The Royal borough of Kensington is located just to the west of central London and is one of the capital’s most sought-after areas. At its heart lies Kensington High Street, which is something of a melting-pot with a bustling string of shops that includes department stores, high street names, boutique clothing outlets and the enormous Whole Foods Market, which specialises in organic produce. If you keep walking west then you will eventually reach Portobello Market, which has more of a bohemian atmosphere with its colourful clothing booths and quirky antique shops.
Perched above the hustle and bustle of the high street lies a hidden oasis, the Kensington Roof Gardens. These gardens are home to the ever-popular Babylon restaurant, along with a private members’ club and even some flamingos!
Wander into the backstreets and you’ll uncover a very desirable residential area, which mainly comprises Victorian villas, town houses and converted mansion blocks.
Kensington is something of a cultural hub. The Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) are all close by, as is the world-famous Royal Albert Hall, one of London’s premier concert venues. Two Royal Parks are here too – Hyde Park with its Serpentine Lake and the wonderful Kensington Gardens.
Kensington has also held Royal connections for many years now. It first rose to prosperity when Sir Christopher Wren was instructed to create what is now known as Kensington Palace. Queen Victoria was born in the Palace in 1819 and lived there until she took to the throne in 1837. It was also home to Diana, Princess of Wales, who lived at Apartment 8, Kensington Palace for most of her adult life.
Accessible transport links include several underground stations, including High Street Kensington in the heart of the high street, with Notting Hill Gate to the north, Gloucester Road to the south and Earls Court to the south-west, providing Circle, District, Central and Piccadilly lines.