Theatres and Galleries in Kensington

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall

The central oval hall of London's premier concert venue is lined with tier upon tier of boxes and galleries, seating up to 6,000 people. Planned by Prince Albert, it was built as his memorial by Captain Francis Fowke (1867 - 1871). A regular programme of musical entertainment events, meetings, exhibitions and ceremonies are held throughout the year; the most famous of which is 'The Proms' - a popular series of classical and orchestral concerts.

Site tours also available, subject to programme and availability.

Opening times: Box Office: 9am to 9pm - Admission Charges
Location: Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP - Tel: 0845 401 5045 - Website

Serpentine Gallery

Set in the beautiful surroundings of Kensington Gardens, the gallery is a showcase for varied temporary and changing exhibitions of contemporary art and architecture. The original building was constructed in 1908 by Sir Henry Tanner as a tea house and named after the lake next to which it was built. On the other side of the Serpentine is the newly opened sister venue, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.

Opening times: all year, daily 10am to 6pm - Free Entry
Location: Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA - Tel: 020 7402 6075 - Website

Parks and Open Spaces in Kensington

Holland Park

Extensive parkland (54 acres). Once part of the estate of Holland House, built in 1606 but now mostly ruins. Opened to the public in 1952, the formal parkland is laid out with lawns, tree lined avenues, wild flower meadows and shaded woodland walks. Thought to be one of the most peaceful and graceful parks of West London - where peacocks parade the lawns in summer and regular concerts are held in the park's open-air theatre.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park London

This former hunting ground of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, was opened to public in 1637 and became the site of the Prince Albert's Great Exhibition of 1851.

Hyde Park is the largest open green space in central London, covering some 630 acres. Visitors can enjoy its wide open spaces, tree lined walks, fine gardens, alfresco dining, boating on the Serpentine, horse-riding along Rotten Row (a former haunt of highwaymen and duellers) and contemporary art exhibitions in the Serpentine Gallery.

Another attraction in the park is Speaker's Corner, near to Marble Arch, where by tradition, anyone is free to stand on a makeshift podium and air their opinions in public.

Little Venice

little venice canal london

Colourful narrow boats line the western end of Regent's Canal backed by the green oasis of Rembrandt Gardens. This picturesque location has inspired many artists including Feliks Topolski and Lucien Freud.

The Pool, located at the junction of the Grand Union and Regent's Canals is host to a variety of floating restaurants, pubs and other eateries.

Boat trips along the canal start from the terminus at Paddington basin. Alternatively you can enjoy a peaceful walk along the canal towpath, all the way to Regents Park Zoo and beyond.

Monuments in Kensington

Albert Memorial

An elaborate monument to Prince Albert (husband of Queen Victoria). Designed and completed in 1876 by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The bronze figure of the Prince Consort sits in an ornate tabernacle, clutching a catalogue of his beloved project, The Great Exhibition. All around the pedestal is a marble frieze depicting contemporary architects, artists, composers and poets.

Located in Hyde Park opposite the Royal Albert Hall.

Marble Arch

This elaborate arched gateway originally stood outside Buckingham Palace, but Queen Victoria had it moved in 1851 to provide a grand entrance to the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. The arch
sits adjacent to the site of the Tyburn Gallows, where thousands of criminals, patriots and saints were executed over a period of 600 years. The condemned were brought in open carts along Oxford Street and were often hanged in batches of a dozen (12) or more.

Shopping in Kensington


The first of the great London department stores. Whiteley's is now a two story shopping centre, with a cosmopolitan mix of cafes, restaurants, shops and a cinema.

Beauchamp Place

Shops line both sides of Beauchamp PlaceTraditionally the place where royalty and celebrities shop. This popular street of well-kept brick terraces was developed in late 18th century and is lined with immaculate shop front displays of designer clothes, shoes, silver and antiques.


Bonhams AuctioneersOne of the oldest fine art, antiques and collectibles auctioneers in Britain (founded in 1793).

Valuations can be requested of anything from antique toys and jewellery to ceramics and old masters.

Kensington High Street

A vibrant and stylish shopping area with branches of all the standard chain stores but a lot less busy than Oxford street. For more bespoke and individual fashion it is best to explore the roads leading off the high street.


Harrods London Lights

One of the world's largest and most famous department stores. It began in 1849 as a small grocery store, opened by wholesale tea merchant Henry Charles Harrod. It has grown to become Britain's most prestigious store, selling absolutely everything from picnic hampers to high class fashion. What makes this shop so special is that each department is a specialist shop in its own right. The toy and children's book departments are delightful and the vast food department sells a wide variety of virtually every kind of food imaginable.

The present building was begun in 1901 and the elaborate red brick facade dates to 1912.

Portobello Road Market

One of London's best street markets can be found in Portobello Road. This famous Saturday antiques and collectibles market has hundreds of stalls selling everything from antiques to clocks, furniture, fine china, silverware, jewellery, miscellanea and other sundries.

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Please note that the above information was accurate at the time this page was last updated. This information is subject to change at any time (opening times in particular), therefore if you plan on visiting any of the above attractions, please check the owner's website first or phone them for the latest details.

Please note that the museums, historic houses and attractions listed on this site may be currently closed due to Government Guidelines. Please check the attraction's own website for details of closure/opening times.


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