Kensington has long been an affluent area, having been mentioned in the Domesday Book as being leased by the Bishop of Coutances to his vassal Aubrey de Vere I. The Veres became the earls of Oxford and their Kensington estate became known as Earls Court.
Today, the area around Kensington High Street is very popular with families looking for spacious houses with convenient amenities on their doorsteps. The grand mansions of Kensington Palace Gardens make up a street that is widely thought to be London’s most expensive. There are also a number of beautiful communal garden squares, which are surrounded by large semi-detached properties.
North of Kensington High Street, the peaceful surrounds of Holland Park feature grand and imposing detached and semi-detached villas on the Philamore Estate and around Abbotsbury, Addison and Holland Villas Roads, all of which are highly desirable for affluent families who move to the area.
Kensington is also home to world-famous cultural institutions, such as the Royal Albert Hall, which sits on Kensington’s borders with Knightsbridge and South Kensington, and Leighton House Museum, which was once home to the painter and president of the Royal Academy, Frederic Leighton, and houses a wonderful collection of Pre-Raphaelite pictures.
Average Price Guide for the Area:
St Barnabas (featured) & St Philip’s C of E primary school and Fox Primary are two sought after state schools. Thomas’s is a good independent option.
There is a huge variety of restaurants and cafes in the area, such as Kensington Place, Maggie Jones and Michelin-starred Kitchen W8. Clare Smyth, recently voted “World’s Best Female Chef”, with three Michelin stars to her name, has just opened Core on Kensington Park Road. Lidgate’s is the renowned butcher of choice for Kensington locals.
In spite of its vibrant atmosphere, the nightlife in Kensington is rather low-key these days. The ever-popular Windsor Castle and Churchill Arms pubs can provide the evening refreshments, but those looking for a late-night cocktail might head towards neighbouring Notting Hill.
Kensington Gardens (featured) and Hyde Park are on the doorstep. Holland Park, which hosts its much-lauded open-air theatre and features a beautiful Japanese garden, is located at the western end of Kensington High Street.
High Street Kensington is served by the Circle and District lines, while Holland Park is served by the Central line and is therefore very convenient for getting to the City. Buses travel frequently to Hammersmith or the West End.