Kensington Palace: The History and How to Get There

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is one of London’s most recognisable landmarks, and with good reason!

Once a small suburban villa, the history of Kensington Palace is as fascinating as the building is beautiful. Up until 1760, it was home to reigning sovereigns and is the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria.

So what else is there to learn about this famous London Palace and what do you need to think about if you are planning to visit?

Although Queen Victoria was bought up at Kensington Place, she chose to reign from Buckingham Palace instead and never once during her long reign stayed at Kensington again.

The reasons for this are unclear, but many sources have pointed to an unhappy and lonely childhood which may go some way to explaining why the Queen did not favour her former home once she ascended the throne.

If you want to visit Buckingham Palace too during your stay in London, the leave our Kensington Park Hotel London and take the tube from Earl’s Court to Green Park Station which is just a few minutes stroll away from the palace.

Set in Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace is currently the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and several other prominent members of the Royal family.

Kensington Gardens itself is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon with its well-maintained parks, Princess Diana memorial garden and Albert Monument, plus its just a short walk away from our Kensington Hotels.

Visitors can tour the historic state rooms at Kensington Palace from 10 am, so there’s plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast at the Kensington Park Hotel London before heading off for the day.

Once you arrive, there are plenty of exhibitions to enjoy including the Diana fashion exhibition that showcases items from the Princesses stylish clothing collection along with accessories and information on her charitable works.

There’s also the informative and engaging Victoria revealed exhibits where you can uncover more about her time spent at the palace and even some surprising aspects as a wife, mother and monarch.

One of the newest features of a trip to Kensington Palace is the family-friendly digital missions, an interactive challenge designed to make visitors become ‘time explorers’ using their iPhones and help them uncover some interesting facts about the palace during their visit.

There’s also a great gift shop on site at Kensington Palace where visitors can pick up a few souvenirs of their day before returning to our Kensington hotels for some much-needed rest after a busy day out.

Kensington Palace is open all year round between 10 am and 5 pm, but with so much to see and experience, you might have to arrange another trip back to London to enjoy the latest exhibitions and discover any little pieces of history that you might have missed the first time around.