*Spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
Kensington isn’t a part of London I’ve visited often, but I had the chance to explore the area a little on Friday. Sam and I were in the city doing the Crystal Maze experience and decided to head to Kensington after for some food and a wander. It only took about 20 minutes on the tube to get from Piccadilly Circus to Kensington High Street, making it much more accessible than I’d ever realised.
Kensington is a great place to stay if you want good shops and restaurants and are going to be exploring the museums and parks. Its proximity to the city means it’s easy to get to many of London’s other major attractions too (it’s only 20 minutes from Trafalgar Square and a 10 minute drive to Buckingham Palace), and there are so many hotels in Kensington that you’re bound to find something to suit your budget.
Where to eat
We set out with the intention of eating at Bill’s in Kensington Arcade, but as there was a long queue we settled on The Ivy which is a couple of minutes’ walk from Kensington High Street station. I opted for the ham hock croquette to start and the chargrilled chicken curry for main, whilst Sam chose the shellfish cocktail and the Iberico pork. I’ve eaten at The Ivy before and this time was just as good!
There are plenty of chain and boutique restaurants to be found near Kensington High Street, and the same is true of South Kensington. I would suggest making a reservation wherever you decide to visit though, as it’s a popular area and you may have to queue otherwise.
things to see & do
After lunch we decided to go for a wander around Kensington to get our bearings. We walked up to Kensington Gardens, past the Albert Memorial and then along past some of London’s most famous museums. The Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the V&A are all within walking distance of one another which is ideal for a day of exploring. All have free admission so if you’re looking for a cheap day in London, it’s the perfect place to visit!
Kensington’s green space is part of what makes it stand out compared with other areas of the city. Central London can feel very claustrophobic and so walking through Kensington Gardens was a lovely treat. The weather wasn’t really on our side though as it was super cold, and as it was getting dark we decided to head home. I definitely want to come back here on a warmer (and sunnier!) day though as it was beautiful.
We got back to South Kensington station just as all the museums were closing so it was an absolute nightmare getting on the tube. Definitely bear that in mind if you’re visiting the museums, and factor in walking to the next station or stopping for a bite to eat before you head home. Of course if you’re staying nearby, walking or catching a cab is another good option!
That pretty much concludes my list of things to do near Kensington. Essentially if you’re all about good shopping and good food, plus getting the most for your money in terms of days out in London, Kensington is a great place to stay. Even if you decide to base yourself elsewhere, it’s a great little area to spend a day or two exploring.
What’s your favourite thing to do near Kensington?