Introducing the Borough
London is the main reason why many people come to visit or settle in Southeastern England. There are many boroughs and towns to choose from, each with its own landmarks, culture and history. We have dedicated this page to Kensington, which is among the most famous locations in the Britsh Capital. Here are some basic facts about the area and the people, as well as places you can explore, should you find yourself in that part of England.
Kensington was once inside the country of Middlesex. The original name during the Saxon Era was Chenesi’s ton, which means homestead. The district was mentioned for the first time in 1086, during the reign of William the Conqueror. Back then, the land was a manor, that he granted to his loyal advisor Geoffrey de Montbray from Normandy.
At the end of the 17th century, the district became a residence of the royal family. In 1689 a mansion was built there for King WIlliam the Third, who wanted a place away from the pollution in the capital. In the following years, monarchs and royal court members, continued to use the residence. Nowadays, the palace is most notable for being the birthplace of Queen Victoria.
The town is located inside the borough of Kensington and Chelsea. You can reach the district by following the river Thames to the Western half of Greater London. The town is on the Northern riverside, right after Chelsea. Many prefer living in Kensington, because it is about twenty minutes away from the city of London. To get around, you have to look for Kensington High Street - the district’s main traffic route.
At the town, you can travel with the London Underground. The three listed transportation facilities are served by the District and the Circle Line, but follow different routes.
South Kensington is the busiest station with over 33 million users annually. If you are headed to the West, the two lines will get you to Gloucester Road. Since each of them has different routes in the opposite direction, you can reach Knightsbridge to the North, or Sloane Square to the South.
High Street Kensington has two through and two bay platforms. Both the District and the Circle line can take you to Notting Hill, if you travel to the North. The difference, when you go South, is that one of them leads to Gloucester Road, while the other - to Earl’s Court.
Gloucester Road has four platforms. The two on the sub-surface were opened in 1868, and the deep-level ones are from 1906. Both major lines lead to South Kensington, with one of them having connection to Earl’s Court, while the other - to High Street Kensington.
Almost half of the 160 thousand people living in the borough are English, and more than a third have a residence in the main town. The 64,700 citizens place the center among the most densely populated areas in Britain. As a service provider, Royal Cleaning works in Kensington for the sake of the locals.
The ethnic diversity becomes obvious as you walk around the borough. There are about 8000 immigrants from the USA, while the ones coming from North Africa and South America are 3200 each. The rest of the minorities are mostly South Asian or British.
The marriage rate is very low among the locals, with less than one third being married and forty percent preferring to live on their own. Another issue is the middle age as most people are 38 years old.
Kensington Temple is the major religious center. The Pentecostal Church, which means dedicated to Protestant Christianity, was founded in 1849. The large stone building has two towers on each side of the entrance and a steep triangular roof. Kensington Temple is a supporter of community events and other practices, as the church hosts music performances, art exhibitions and painting classes.
Although the St Mary Abbots Church dates back to the 13th century, the current building was completed in 1872. The architecture combines Neo-gothic and early English style, with many decorations and ornaments throughout the structure. The church is known for the tall spire with a ring of ten bells, that serve for charge ringing. Inside the building and around its garden, you will find various sculptures and funeral monuments.
Art lovers should enter the Leighton House Museum. The Victorian building used to belong to the painter Frederic Leighton. Inside are many of his paintings and sculptures as well as items he purchased from the Near East, with the latter being kept at the Arab hall extension.
See the life from the past ages at 18 Stafford Terrace. The building is the former residence of the cartoonist Edward Sambourne. Nowadays the place is a museum that exhibits vintage household items and furniture from the 19th century, associated with the Aesthetic movement.
For innovative artwork from various styles, check the Design Museum. Once serving as a banana warehouse, nowadays the many spaces inside the facility have become galleries. The halls display product or graphic design, architecture or industrial structures, machine engineering and fashion.
Parks and Gardens
The Holland Park is considered to be one of the best outdoor public spaces in London. The 54 acre land used to belong to a Jacobean mansion, until the owner sold it in favor of the local community. To express their gratitude, named the park after him and created the Lord Holland’s monument, which stands in the Northern side.
As proven by the Kyoto Garden, the park pays respect to the Japanese culture. Once you go there, you will think you’re in the far East. The green area consists of colorful plants and shrubs in different forms, with several peacock enclosures spreading around. In the center you will see a waterfall and a pond with clear water, where koi fishes are swimming.
The routes at the park are great for jogging or simply going for a walk. The sculptures and the common flower gardens make it worth to explore every space. Those who like physical activities are free to play a game at the sports facilities or the large grass fields.
Restaurants to Dine at
To have a meal early in the morning or late at night, just stop by Dishoom Kensington. The staff will find a table for any event, whether it’s a date, a staff meeting or a big party.
In order to taste the French kitchen, don’t look any further than Cote Bistro. The menu offers traditional and modern dishes, along with vintage beverages that aren’t too expensive.
Bill’s Kensington Restaurant works day and night. The small but cozy venue serves dishes from all around Europe, as you choose from different menus for every part of the day.
The Japanese kitchen is represented by the Yashin Sushi dinery. The cooks put their creativity to good use so you can try innovative recipes for sushi and drink the finest sake.