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South Kensington area guide

Visiting SW7? Find great restaurants, bars, hotels and things to do near the museums in South Kensington

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Things To Do Editors
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South Kensington is one of the most visited parts of London, and for good reason: it’s home to the Natural History, Science and V&A museums. The main thoroughfare, Exhibition Road, is a lively and fitting route past the iconic institutions, up to Hyde Park and the Albert Memorial. There’s architectural splendour at nearly every turn, from the florid Italianate Brompton Oratory Catholic church to the iconic Royal Albert Hall. This distinctly elegant part of the capital also has a strong French accent thanks to the nearby Lycée Français and Institut Français, plus a sizeable student population (the Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, Imperial College and numerous language schools are all here) and lots of embassies. There are restaurants and hotels galore too, plus a self-styled 'design quarter' with a cluster of high-end furniture shops. Here’s our pick of the best things to eat, drink, see and do in South Kensington. 

RECOMMENDED: Our London area guides

Things to do in South Kensington

V&A

V&A

  • 5 out of 5 stars

The V&A is one of the world’s – let alone London's – most magnificent museums.

Restaurants in South Kensington

Dinings SW3

Dinings SW3

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • price 3 of 4

Let’s get the awkward stuff out of the way. This long-awaited sequel to Dinings W1 is not cheap. But if sushi is your desert island dinner, it’s...

Chicama

Chicama

  • 4 out of 5 stars

The name of this Chelsea newbie is not (thankfully), a twee riff on the word ‘chic’. Chicama is actually just a coastal town in Peru. Which is...

Ceru

Ceru

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • price 1 of 4

Fresh and clean, fun and colourful, and undoubtedly Eastern Mediterranean – when it comes to this cute little Levantine diner nestled just off Old Brompton...

Wright Brothers South Kensington

Wright Brothers South Kensington

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • price 2 of 4

Wow, Orville and Wilbur Wright really branched out once they invented the aeroplane, eh? No, of course not. These Wright Brothers might share the name but...

Hotels in South Kensington

Bars and pubs in South Kensington

The Hour Glass

The Hour Glass

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • price 2 of 4

In the posh-shop-big-museum nexus around South Kensington, a nice old pub with nice old tiles has been scrubbed up by a couple of lads who own the nearby...

K Bar

K Bar

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • price 3 of 4

As I walk in to the reception of the Town House Kensington hotel, the low hum to my left is unmistakable: the sound of a lively bar, where people are having...

Queen's Arms

Queen's Arms

Tucked away in a small mews, its proximity to the Royal Albert Hall makes this busy pub the favourite destination for prommers. Its off-street location also...

Anglesea Arms

Anglesea Arms

  • 4 out of 5 stars

Favoured at various times by both Charles Dickens and DH Lawrence, this splendid pub is packed tight on summer evenings, the front terrace and wide main bar...

The perfect weekend in South Kensington

More things to do near South Kensington

Design Museum

Design Museum

After a few setbacks and much anticipation, the Design Museum finally re-opened in its new premises last year – and boy, is it looking flash these days. Now...

Serpentine Gallery

Serpentine Gallery

  • 4 out of 5 stars

The secluded location to the west of the Long Water in Kensington Gardens makes this small and airy gallery for contemporary art an attractive destination. A...

Holland Park

Holland Park

The history of Holland Park, one of London’s finest green spaces, makes an interesting tale for history buffs and horticulturalists alike. The park surrounds a...

Harrods

Harrods

The distinctive terracotta façade with its dark-green awnings stirs up some of the most divided feelings in the capital: for every tourist who comes out...

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