One of London’s most affluent areas, Kensington is the go-to destination for entertainment, sightseeing and accommodation. But what is it about this area that make it so interesting? We have a look at why visitors flock here – facts about Kensington London that might surprise you.
Kensington Area Stats
1 >> Kensington has access to 6 Underground stations and 2 train stations.
Kensington has four London Underground stations inside its area – High Street Kensington, South Kensington, Gloucester Road, and Earl’s Court. It’s also accessible by a further two Underground station at its borders – Holland Park and Notting Hill, and two train stations – Kensington (Olympia) and West Brompton, also at the edges of the district.
2 >> It sits only 40 to 45 minutes away from Heathrow Airport on the Underground Piccadilly Line via South Kensington and Gloucester Road stations.
3 >> Kensington is home to two of London’s top 10 most expensive streets.
London’s most expensive street, Kensington Palace Gardens, sits adjacent to Kensington Palace. The property average price here is an eye-watering £35,696,711. Further down the list, ranking eighth, is Cottesmore Gardens, where the average price is £11,969,745.
4 >> Kensington is home to London’s Museum District.
Located at the crossing of Cromwell Road and Exhibition Road, it includes the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, and Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A). The Royal Albert Hall is also a neighbour. Located at Kensington Gore, it sits between the museums and Kensigton Gardens, right across the road from The Albert Memorial.
5 >> The district is home to a fifth of London’s and the UK’s most visited attractions.
Having four of its attractions ranking in the London’s Top 20 Most Visited Attractions list, and three in the UK’s Top 20 Most Visited Attractions, Kensington is home to some of London’s and the UK’s most visited sights. Namely, the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, V&A Museum, and Royal Albert Hall.
6 >> Other attractions in the area include:
The Albert Memorial, Kensington Palace and Serpentine Gallery, all within Kensington Gardens; 18 Stafford Terrace, the former home of cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne; and Leighton House Museum, the opulent former home of artist Lord Federic Leighton, with its stunning Arab Hall and intricately decorated interior.
7 >> Kensington Palace has been home to royalty since 1689, including Prince William, Prince Harry and the late Lady Diana, Princess of Wales.
8 >> Kensington Gardens is one of eight Royal Parks in London and boasts an Italian and Dutch style gardens.
9 >> St Mary’s Abbots Church in Kensington has the tallest church spire in London, standing a glorious 278 feet tall. The Church is also part of the live backdrop for TV channel London Live.
10 >> Kensington Palace is currently home to Prince William, Kate and their children.
11 >> Prince Harry and Megan Markle will move into Nottingham Cottage, within the grounds of Kensington Palace, after their wedding.
12 >> Current famous residents include:
Madonna; David and Victoria Beckham; singer and actress, Kylie Minogue; celebrity cook, Nigella Lawson; F1 Supremo, Bernie Ecclestone; John Fredriksen, owner of the largest oil tanker fleet in the world; journalist and broadcaster, Jeremy Paxman; as well as musician Stormzy.
13 >> Kensington is home to several major London-based newspapers including the Metro, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The ‘i’, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, and the Evening Standard. All housed within Northcliffe House, in Derry Street.
14 >> Kensington was originally a village.
Being part of central London, it’s hard to believe that Kensington was once a village on the outskirts of the capital. Later, it became the Metropolitan Borough of Kensington (1900- 1965), part of the London county. Today, it sits west of Westminster and Buckingham Palace, in the centre of London and inside Zone 1 of the growing 9 zones found in the public transport.
15 >> The first dignitary to move into Kensington Palace was Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham.
16 >> The first royals to live in Kensington were King William III and Queen Mary II when they moved into Kensington Palace in 1689 to help William better cope with his asthma. It has been the address of royalty ever since.
17 >> Queen Victoria was born in Kensington Palace. It was after her death and following her wishes that the borough is today named the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
18 >> Kensington was first mentioned as an area in the Domesday Book of 1086.
19 >> The name of the area is believed to have originally been “Kenesignetun” in Anglo-Saxon, which means Kenesigne’s land or meadows.
20 >> Kensington as an area has more than one definition and more than one border outline.
London is an old city and with development and growth comes a few grey spots. The ‘area of Kensington’, for instance, can mean more than one thing depending on who you are talking to or what you are talking about.
The district of Kensington, as residents and visitors know it, has somewhat of a loose definition. It could mean the area immediately southwest of Kensington Palace, bordered by Knightsbridge to the east, Chelsea to the south, Earl’s Court to the west and Holland Park to the north – the definition we use on our website; or it could refer to an area including Kensington, Earl’s Court and Holland Park.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the official name for government resource management purposes and includes within its borders the districts of Brompton, Chelsea, Kensington, Holland Park, Notting Hill, Earl’s Court and parts of Knightsbridge.
Kensington is also a UK Parliament Constituency, with smaller voting wards covering the northern and central parts of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for political purposes.
21 >> West Kensington Underground station is not actually part of Kensington as a district or a Royal Borough.
22 >> The first sumo wrestling tournament to ever be held outside Japan took place at the Royal Albert Hall in 1991.
23 >> The first of only two times The Beatles and The Rolling Stones appeared on the same bill was at the Royal Albert Hall in September 1963.