Kensington Gardens

Attractions, Parks and gardens Knightsbridge Free
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(4user reviews)
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 (© Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
© Greywolf, The Royal Parks
 (© Giles Barnard, The Royal Parks)
© Giles Barnard, The Royal Parks
 (The Albert Memorial © Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
The Albert Memorial © Greywolf, The Royal Parks
 (© Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
© Greywolf, The Royal Parks
 (The Elfin Oak © Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
The Elfin Oak © Greywolf, The Royal Parks
 (Horse riding lessons © Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
Horse riding lessons © Greywolf, The Royal Parks
 (The Serpentine Gallery © Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
The Serpentine Gallery © Greywolf, The Royal Parks
 (The Diana Memorial Playground © Anne-Marie Briscombe)
The Diana Memorial Playground © Anne-Marie Briscombe
 (Diana Memorial © Andrew Brackenbury)
Diana Memorial © Andrew Brackenbury
Diana Memorial Fountain
 (The Round Pond © Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
The Round Pond © Greywolf, The Royal Parks
 (The Sunken Gardens © Greywolf, The Royal Parks)
The Sunken Gardens © Greywolf, The Royal Parks
 (© Giles Barnard, The Royal Parks)
© Giles Barnard, The Royal Parks

At the end of the seventeenth century, William III – averse to the dank air of Whitehall Palace – relocated to Kensington Palace and, consequently, a corner of Hyde Park (Kensington Gardens) was sectioned off to make grounds for the residence. Nowadays, Kensington Gardens is only delineated from Hyde Park by the line of the Serpentine and the Long Water.

To the west of the Long Water lies the secluded Serpentine Gallery, which hosts an ever-evolving programme of exhibitions featuring contemporary artists. While right in front of the palace is the Round Pond, where playwright JM Barrie met Jack Llewellyn Davies, the boy who was the inspiration for Peter Pan – a bronze statue of whom was erected there in 1912.

The gigantic green space also pays especial homage to Princess Diana, with a Memorial Playground that’s a favourite for children thanks to its massive wooden pirate ship and accompanying ‘beach’. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, a shallow stone ring of trickling water, is also popular for paddling.

Visit more of London's biggest and best parks.


Venue name: Kensington Gardens
W2 2UH
Opening hours: Daily 6am-9.15pm
Transport: Tube: Lancaster Gate/Queensway/High St Kensington
Price: Free
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Avatar for NakedPRGirl Claire

Right - start by entering the garden near Queensway at the north west corner and walk alongside the lovely (and lively) Diana's Memorial Playground and head down to my favourite bit which is the palace garden. Viewed from he Walkway, it's an enchanting place and if you come early enough (like sunrise o clock) you might see gardeners working on them. I love the leafy archways and the simple viewing points and benches. It's always tranquil even at busy times. At the moment it's planted with white flowers and Forget Me Nots to celebrate Princess Diana's life at the palace during the exhibition. Make sure you look at the palace (and maybe go inside if you have time) and look at the Queen Victoria statue which has a handy QR code next to it to find out more. After that, I like to meander around the pond and then look at the statue of the Hot Guy on his Horse (not actual name) before heading to the Peter Pan statue and the beautiful Italian Lakes. You can follow the Serpentine here to head down to Hyde Park. Also worth noting is the imposing Prince Albert statue at the south of the park overlooking the Royal Albert Hall! It's a beautiful park, so cared for and loved, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Avatar for Lizzie W

I love this park - a beautiful pond, a lovely view and a pretty area with fountains and flowers. It's got it all! Huge areas for football games, a great short route for a jog pluuuus it makes for a short cut through to South Ken from north of the park (the tube is a nightmare). Be warned the park closes at sunset and they lock every gate.

Avatar for Tom Bruce

Nowhere in West London is better than Kensington Gardens if you're in need of a little tranquility and solitude. Of course, it's the perfect environment for all the family too. There is a playground.

Reading a book beside the Roman-style Queen Victoria memorial fountains in late summer is a joyous experience, as you soak up the sun, peeping your head up every now and then to observe a duck rustle its feathers or wryly smirk as a cigar smoking American struts emphatically up and down the promenade, taking it all in.  

Statues of interest include one of the man who fixed measles or small pox or... well, definitely one of those vulgar child snatching viruses anyway. And he deserves his place there, standing tall and proud as he surveys some of the most beautiful patches of horticulture London has to offer.

Go. Go now. Go for a walk. Look at some squirrels. Sit on a bench. Bask in the glory of well-kept nature. Not right this exact moment, obviously. It's 23:35, on a Tuesday. You'd have to be a nutcase. Just look at my picture, and pretend you're basking.

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Avatar for Victoria A

It was so peaceful to walk through the garden watching the birds swimming in the lakes and children playing on the greens. The rose gardens next to the palace is delightful in the summer. In spring time, enjoy the beautiful daffodils and crocuses on the lawn.