18 Best Things to do in Kensington London 2024

Ready for a magical time in one of London’s most iconic neighbourhoods? From Hyde Park and the Victoria & Albert Museum to high-end shopping and top-notch restaurants and pubs, Kensington offers plenty of activities to make you feel like a true Londoner.

Kensington High Street

With its perfect blend of historical culture and modern sophistication, there is something extraordinary around every corner that no visitor should miss.

Now it’s time to take off your walking shoes because you will discover why Kensington is renowned throughout London, England – and beyond international borders.

Best Things To Do In Kensington

No matter what kind of outing or adventure you prefer, there are many things to do in Kensington, London.

1. Visit Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace in London is charming and splendour, full of rich history and timeless beauty. This palace was once a humble villa known as Nottingham House, but after being chosen by William III and Mary II for their country retreat in 1689, it has been filled with young royals ever since.

Over time, Stuart and Georgian monarchs continued updating and modernising Kensington Palace to make it fashionable and suitable for the British royal family.

Kensington Palace

From Queen, Caroline was responsible for shaping the palace’s gardens to be some of the best in Europe. Within its hallowed halls, Queen Victoria spent much of her childhood before moving to Buckingham Palace in 1837, many favoured the royal palace with their love and devotion.

In more recent times, Diana, Princess of Wales, Princess Margaret, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan) – not to mention The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) with their children – have all made Kensington Palace their London royal residence. 

London: Kensington Palace Gardens Tour with Royal High Tea

With this Kensington Palace Gardens Tour with Royal High Tea, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Not only will you have a knowledgeable guide show you around the beautiful gardens, but you’ll also enjoy tea in the Pavilion at Kensington Palace-a royal tradition since 1840.

⭐ RATING: 4.6 out of 5 Stars (97+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2.0 hours | BOOK NOW

2. Explore Kensington Gardens – The Diana Memorial Fountain

Visiting Kensington Gardens in London can be an incredible experience. Nestled in the city’s heart, Kensington Gardens is one of eight Royal Parks and offers 265 acres.

Kensington Gardens in London

It began as a playground for Henry VIII before being transformed into a grand palace by William III and Mary II. Queen Anne further developed the English-style garden with an Orangery fit for court entertaining. Queen Caroline’s influence can be seen through features like The Serpentine boating lake, The Long Water, Broad Walk and the round pond.

Visitors can take in some modern and contemporary art at the Serpentine Galleries or bask in the Victorian grandeur of the Albert Memorial.

Young ones will love the Diana Memorial Playground, there’s a pirate ship, sensory trails, and Peter Pan-inspired play sculptures perfect for getting lost in magical outdoor adventures.

3. Shop At Harrods

Harrods is one of the world’s most iconic department stores. Established in 1834, this luxurious retailer is renowned for its superior selection of products, afternoon tea and services and fabulous shopping experience.

Harrods London

As you walk through Harrods’ doors, you’ll be met with a wide array of high-end fashion and jewellery, home decor, cosmetics, toys, books, food and more.

The store also houses several restaurants, cafes, bars, and an award-winning spa.

If that weren’t enough, Harrods also offers private shopping experiences with some of London’s top stylists for those who want to line their wardrobe with designer labels or revamp their home decor.

With a serene atmosphere and friendly staff at hand to help you through your visit, there’s no better place in London to spend a day out shopping.

4. Holland Park – Kyoto Garden

Holland Park in London is a fantastic place to explore. Not only are there 54 acres of parkland, but it has a fascinating history too.

Built-in the early 17th century by Sir Walter Cope, it was to eventually become the grounds of Cope Castle.

Things to Do in Holland Park London England

After Lady Rich inherited it from her husband, the Earl of Holland, it was renamed Holland House. Although badly damaged during World War II, one wing survived and has since been converted into a youth hostel.

One of Holland Park’s most outstanding features is the Kyoto Garden, its one of the top Japanese Gardens in London. Designed and built for the Japan Festival in London in 1992 by an eminent Japanese Garden designer, this area is perfect for enjoying the fresh air with stunning landscaping.

5. Take In A Concert At Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall measures almost 97 meters, and the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London is a sight to behold.

This concert hall is located in Kensington, it is easily accessible from other parts of this fantastic city. Built under the reign of Queen Victoria and named for her beloved husband, Prince Albert, this impressive structure boasts some truly picturesque civil engineering with its Victorian architecture.

Royal Albert Hall London

Inside, you’re sure to be enchanted by the beautiful decor, not just it’s interior but also by state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology.

Moreover, it hosts various events, from music concerts to business conferences. You can also have afternoon tea at the Royal Albert Hall for a unique experience when visiting London

6. See The Albert Memorial

One of the free things to do in Kensington is to visit the magnificent Albert Memorial.

Located in Kensington Gardens on Albert Memorial Road opposite the Royal Albert Hall, this grand monument was designed by George Gilbert Scott and unveiled in 1872 and serves as a tribute to Queen Victoria’s late husband, Prince Albert, who sadly died at 42 from Typhoid Fever.

Influenced by other statues in Manchester and Edinburgh, including the 13th Century Eleanor Crosses, this gothic masterpiece celebrates Victorian achievement and acknowledges Prince Albert’s passions and interests.

Prince Albert Memorial

This world-famous monument was commissioned to commemorate Prince Albert, who was vital in organising the Great Exhibition of 1851.

He is shown holding the event catalogue in the centre of the memorial, surrounded by marble figures representing Europe, Asia, Africa and America.

At each corner of the building are figures representing manufacture, commerce, agriculture and engineering. At its highest point is a bronze angel statue with virtues accompanying it below.

7. Hyde Park – Hidden Pet Cemetery

This 350-acre Royal Park has world-class events and concerts, plenty of quiet places for relaxing and exploring, and the coveted Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

Stretch your legs with open water swims in the Serpentine Lake or take in the views from one of the waterside cafes. Get even more active by participating in horse riding, tennis, swimming and more.

Italian Gardens at Hyde Park in London

If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Kensington, then a visit to Hyde Park’s Hidden Pet Cemetery should be on your list.

Located near the northeast corner of the park and across from Kensington Palace, this unusual pet cemetery holds remains of beloved pets laid to rest by their owners over the past 200 years.

Dating back to 1880s, this Victorian cemetery is rarely open to the public and contains the remains of around 1,000 animals, with many graves marked by tiny headstones.

It’s a peaceful spot full of history and reverence, perfect for those exploring unusual places in central London.

Kensington Free Museums and Galleries

8. Natural History Museum

Visiting the Natural History Museum in London is a must-do on your things-to-do list when you’re in Kensington.

The majestic Natural History Museum houses almost 80 million items, including specimens from zoology, mineralogy, botany, Charles Darwin collection and more. It’s famous for its beautiful architecture and awesome dinosaur skeletons. A Diplodocus cast previously dominated the central hall until it was replaced by the ceiling-hanging skeleton of a blue whale in 2017.

natural history museum UK

While commonly called The Natural History Museum nowadays, it was originally known as British Museum (Natural History) up until 1992. Get ready for an awe-inspiring experience when you visit this breathtaking and educational museum. The Natural History Museum is one of the top free museums in London to visit.

9. Science Museum London 

If you’re looking for things to do in Kensington for free, the Science Museum London is always a great option.

Founded in 1857, it has been one of the biggest attractions in London ever since – averaging 3.3 million visitors every year. The Science Museum collection ranges from Ancient Egyptology to groundbreaking medical achievements.

The two buildings that compose the museum – the main building and Wellcome Wing are both loaded with intriguing things to discover.

10. Leighton House Museum

The Leighton House Museum is an absolute must-see if you find yourself in Kensington. It was once home to the English artist Frederic Leighton, who used it as his studio for over 40 years and decorated it with stunning works of art.

The museum offers visitors a unique insight into 19th-century art and culture. From private drawing rooms to meticulously crafted ceilings and mosaics, everything from top to bottom oozes beauty and grandeur.

As you wander through the house, admire Lord Leighton’s impressive art collection, which contains works from his famous friends, such as Lawrence Alma-Tadema and George Frederick Watts.

Not only is there an art gallery that showcases a variety of renowned pieces, but you can also explore the exotic Arab Hall, an attraction within itself.

Not only that, but if you stay until the early evening, you can wander through the peaceful garden area, illuminated by gas lamps amidst exotic plants and fountains after dark – a perfect end to your day exploring places in Kensington.

11. The Design Museum

Founded in 1989 by Sir Terence Conran and Stephen Bayley, this extraordinary museum is the perfect place to explore the product, industrial, graphic, fashion, and architectural design.

Named European Museum of the Year in 2018, it operates as a registered charity, and all proceeds generated by ticket sales are used to curate wonderful exhibitions.

The Design Museum

Originally housed in a 1940s banana warehouse on the Southbank of the Thames River, this museum moved to its current location on 24 November 2016.

On the top floor, you will have access to the Designer Maker User display with key objects from the collection; not just that – there’s also a restaurant, members’ lounge, residency studio and events and gallery space.

The first-floor houses architecture reference places for those who enjoy admiring interesting places.

The Design Museum is just a short walk from Leighton House Museum and 10 minutes from Holland Park.

12. Saatchi Gallery

For things to see in Kensington, remember to check out the Saatchi Gallery.

Since 1985, it’s been a beacon of contemporary art and modern art from around the world, presenting exhibitions of up-and-coming artists and introducing audiences to names that have since become famous worldwide.

Saatchi Gallery

This is all due to Charles Saatchi’s incredible collection, which has served as the backbone of the gallery since day one.

Since 2019, it’s been a registered charity taking things even further—it’s officially opened a new chapter in its history and today boasts an impressive roster of talents.

13. 18 Stafford Terrace

If you’re looking for things to do in Kensington, 18 Stafford Terrace, now known as Sambourne House, is a great place to visit. This Grade II* listed Victorian house is the former home of Edward Linley Sambourne, an illustrator for Punch magazine.

Re-decorated by him in the Aesthetic style with influences from William Morris, this stunning building held many secrets.

Alongside its unique decor, the archive at Sambourne House contains personal papers dating back to 1815, so you can learn more about his professional and family life.

Perhaps most notably, it served as the set for Mrs Vyse’s London residence in Merchant Ivory’s A Room with a View.

14. Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

Have you ever heard of this free museum in Kensington, London, called the Victoria and Albert Museum? Also known as the V&A, this incredible place was founded in 1852 and is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

It houses a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects from Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa, spanning 5,000 years of art covering 12.5 acres (5.1 ha) of gallery space.

the V and A museum

This impressive museum was initially established to show off the prize-winning objects from the Great Exhibition of 1851, which his first director Henry Cole was instrumental in organising.

15. Serpentine Gallery

This world-renowned gallery has been championing new ideas in contemporary art since 1970 and hosts a wide range of exhibitions from emerging practitioners to globally renowned artists.

Located within Kensington Gardens, it’s made up of two separate sites just a few minutes apart. 

Serpentine Gallery

The Serpentine South Gallery showcases emerging and established contemporary art, ranging from sculptures and paintings to their annual Pavilion architecture commission in the park.

Plus, Koenig Books is conveniently located at the entrance of this gallery. You can also visit the Serpentine Sackler Gallery Restaurant. For those seeking an extra adventure, visit the Serpentine North Gallery—the original Grade II listed former gunpowder store has been extended with Zaha Hadid’s ‘Magazine’ showcasing even more contemporary art.

Best of all, Park Nights events are held annually within special temporary buildings by international architectures called Pavilions if you are looking for things to do in Kensington at night. 

16. Churchill Arms

The Churchill Arms is one of the best pubs in Kensington. Constructed in 1750, this pub was a regular haunt of Winston Churchill’s grandparents during the 1800s.

So it’s no surprise that the Churchill Arms earned its namesake once World War 2 came to a close.

The Churchill Arms

Step inside today, and you’ll find plenty of Winston Churchill memorabilia on display and be rewarded with some of the best beers in London, along with exquisite Thai dishes.

Did we mention that the Churchill Arms is a Chelsea Flower Show winner too? So pull up a stool at this renowned watering hole and let yourself get lost in centuries of pub lore.

17. Pretty Mews in Kensington

Kensington is a unique and stylish area of London, and there is no better way to experience its vibrancy than through the Pretty Mews.

These colourful houses are known for their captivating facades and have become a must-see tourist attraction.

St Lukes Mews Love Actually Filming Location 1

Kynance Mews no doubt tops the list due to its vibrant display of hydrangeas and ivy cascading down its arch walls. It’s one of the cutest places in Kensington, and you’d surely get some great photos here. 

18. Kensington High Street

Kensington High Street in London is a popular tourist destination renowned for its charming independent shops, spectacular bars and lively nightlife.

Situated on the north side of the city’s Hyde Park, this vibrant neighbourhood features some of London’s best.

Choose from trendy cafés with outdoor seating along the cobblestone sidewalks or high-end restaurants featuring haute cuisine.

Kensington High Street also boasts an impressive array of boutiques, galleries and luxury stores that are perfect for any shopping aficionado.

At night time, indulge in the intoxicating energy that radiates from cosy bars and pubs that draw people from near and far. Experience why Kensington High Street continues to be one of London’s most beloved areas.

Where to Stay in Kensington

Ravna Gora Hotel

Ravna Gora Hotel perfectly blends classic wooden furnishings and modern touches. It is also situated less than a minute’s walk away from Holland Park Underground Station and Notting Hill Gate, making it an ideal location for exploring London.

Ravna Gora Hotel London

Relax in comfortable private bedrooms with free WiFi access and TVs, or best of all, take a 5-minute stroll to Hyde Park from the hotel. Nearby attractions such as Portobello Market are just one mile away and Notting Hill, while the best pubs in Kensington can offer you a great way to enjoy a night out close by. For convenience, guests can access parking, luggage storage, and several other amenities, including 24-hour front desk service, non-smoking rooms and a bar.

⭐️ Rating: 8.1/10 |📍 Location: Holland Park Avenue | 🏩 View Latest Price On Booking

Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington

Staying at the Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington is like having your own luxury apartment right in the heart of modern London.

With contemporary styling and fully equipped kitchens, you’ll have all the comforts of home while being just a three-minute walk from Kensington High Street.

Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington

The private bathrooms come complete with complimentary toiletries, and there’s never a shortage of things to do onsite. Work up a sweat at the 24-hour gym, then freshen up in the laundry facilities.

All that, plus its only 10 minutes to get to the Olympia Exhibition Centre and Earl’s Court – perfect for days out or nights with friends! Plus, you can take your pet along too.

⭐️ Rating: 7.8/10 |📍 Location: Kensington and Chelsea | 🏩 View Latest Price On Booking

The Other House Residents Club South Kensington

The Other House is the perfect way to make South Kensington your home away from home. Whether you choose one of our Club Flats, complete with a bedroom, living space, and kitchen with unique features, or stay for a while as a resident of The Other House, you’ll have exclusive access to its amenities.

The Other House Residents Club South Kensington

Relax in the Hogsmire Lounge, or find yourself in the Keepers Room Private Bar. You’ll even have access to a stunning vitality pool at our Vitality Pool—the perfect chance to kick back after a long day exploring all that London has to offer. 

As if that wasn’t enough, residents also enjoy unprecedented control over their stay thanks to our bespoke House app. For check-in or out at the touch of a button, book and order meals and drinks easily online, and adjust the climate and lighting in your room.

It’s no surprise this is the couple’s favourite part of London according to independent reviews: they rated it 9.5 for two people.

⭐️ Rating: 9.0/10 |📍 Location: Kensington and Chelsea| 🏩 View Latest Price On Booking

How to Get to Kensington London

Getting to Kensington, London, is a breeze if you plan ahead. The best way to get there is by taking the Underground (Tube).

You can pick up a map at the nearest station and look for the green Piccadilly line, Circle or District lines – it will take you right into central Kensington.

If you don’t fancy travelling on the Tube, you could try other methods such as buses or taxis or even take a leisurely stroll if you want to take in the sights and sounds of this vibrant part of London.

Check the times before you set off so that your trip runs smoothly. Once you’re in Kensington, you will be surrounded by countless attractions to explore.

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