Kensington

Posted on: March 21, 2018, by :

Kensington

Is an extremely affluent part of London with world class museums, parks and entertainment venues at its doorstep. It has always been an area of ‘persons of quality’ since the 17th century and the arrival of royalty at the nearby Kensington Palace sealed this reputation. Queen Victoria was born in Kensington Palace in 1819 and received news of her ascent to the throne whilst in the palace.

The main shopping thoroughfare is High Street Kensington, with anchor tenants such as Marks and Spencer and Wholefoods store, who opened in the former Barkers Store in 2007. There are also a selection of skiing and outdoor pursuits store towards the west. The area managed to hold its own even, shopping-wise even with Westfield mall in the west and neighbouring Knightsbridge in the east.

Kensington is home to not one but two great parks, Kensington Gardens and Holland Park. Holland Park surrounds Holland House, a Jacobean mansion, named after its second owner, the Earl of Holland. Unfortunately, large parts of the house was destroyed by bombs during World War II. Amongst the 55 acres in the park are children’s playground, isolated walks and a Japanese-style Kyoto Gardens complete with pagoda and pond containing koi carps. Peacocks roamed the park to complete that exotic feel in the middle of London. In summers, the open-air theatre hosts opera and theatre productions, very popular with Londoners and tourists alike.

Next to Holland Park is the Design Museum. Formerly the Commonwealth Institute, Grade II-listed building has been hosting the Design Museum since 2016. The extra space has given the Design Museum more room for its permanent exhibition as well as space for educational programmes such as lectures and a resource library.

The iconic Royal Albert Hall lays to the east of Kensington. Built in memory of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, in 1871, the venue is known for its huge glazed-iron roof. It is so easy to recognise that enemy pilots used the roof as a navigational marker during a bombing raid in the two World Wars. The roof was covered in black cloth to prevent this from happening. The glazing was also covered in black paint. The hall has hosted various events like bodybuilding and wrestling to political party conferences in the 1900s. Relatively recent performances are from famous British acts such as Bob Dylan and Adele. It is home to the BBC Proms since 1941.