Kensington in London

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, London

Serpentine Gallery © Mark Ahsmann/cc-by-sa-3.0

Serpentine Gallery © Mark Ahsmann/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in West London. The district’s commercial heart is Kensington High Street, running on an east-west axis. The north east is taken up by Kensington Gardens, containing the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery and Speke‘s monument. South Kensington is home to Imperial College London, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Albert Hall. The area is also home to many European embassies.

The focus of the area is Kensington High Street, a busy commercial centre with many shops, typically upmarket. The street was declared London’s second best shopping street in February 2005 due to its wide range and number of shops. However, since October 2008 the street has faced competition from the Westfield shopping centre in nearby White City. Kensington’s second group of commercial buildings is at South Kensington, where several streets of small to medium-sized shops and service businesses are situated close to South Kensington tube station. This is also the southern end of Exhibition Road, the thoroughfare which serves the area’s museums and educational institutions.

© Yaanch The Serpentine Lake © Jamie101/cc-by-sa-2.5 Serpentine Gallery © Mark Ahsmann/cc-by-sa-3.0 Royal College of Music © Diliff/cc-by-2.5 Royal Albert Hall © Colin/cc-by-sa-4.0 Natural History Museum © CherryX/cc-by-sa-3.0 Kensington Palace © Arnoprepa/cc-by-sa-4.0 Kensington High Street © Gary Houston Kensington High Street © Philafrenzy/cc-by-sa-4.0 Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens © Michel wal/cc-by-sa-3.0 Hyde Park (bottom) and Kensington Gardens (top) © flickr.com - Ben Leto/cc-by-2.0
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Hyde Park (bottom) and Kensington Gardens (top) © flickr.com - Ben Leto/cc-by-2.0
The boundaries of Kensington are not well-defined; in particular, the southern part of Kensington has conflicting and complex borders with Chelsea (another ancient manor) whether electoral or postal definitions are used, and has similar architecture. To the west, a border is clearly defined by the line of the Counter Creek marked by the West London railway line. To the north, the only obvious border line is Holland Park Avenue, to the north of which is the district of Notting Hill (another ancient manor), usually classed as within “North Kensington”. In the north east is situated the large public Royal Park of Kensington Gardens (contiguous with its eastern neighbour, Hyde Park). The other main green area in Kensington is Holland Park, on the north side of the eastern end of Kensington High Street. Many residential roads have small communal garden squares, for the exclusive use of the residents. South Kensington also largely comprises private housing. North Kensington and West Kensington are largely devoid of features to attract the visitor.

Kensington is, in general, an extremely affluent area, a trait that it shares with Chelsea, its neighbour to the south. The area has some of London’s most expensive streets and garden squares, and at about the turn of the 21st century the Holland Park neighbourhood became particularly high-status. In early 2007 houses sold in Upper Phillimore Gardens, immediately east of Holland Park, for over £20 million. Brompton is another definable area of Kensington. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea forms part of the most densely populated local government district in the United Kingdom. This high density has come about through the subdivision of large mid-rise Georgian and Victorian terraced houses (generally of four to six floors) into flats. The less-affluent northern extremity of Kensington has high-rise residential buildings, while this type of building in the southern part is only represented by the Holiday Inn‘s London Kensington Forum Hotel in Cromwell Road, a 27-storey building. Notable attractions and institutions in Kensington include: Kensington Palace in Kensington Gardens; the Royal Albert Hall opposite the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park; the Royal College of Music; the Natural History Museum; the Science Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum; Heythrop College; Imperial College; the Royal College of Art and Kensington and Chelsea College. The Olympia Exhibition Hall is just over the western border in West Kensington.

Read more on VisitLondon.com – Kensington, VisitLondon.com – Things to do in South Kensington, LondonTown.com – Kensington and Wikipedia Kensington (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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