As one of the major tourist draws of London, Kensington has steadily grown its attractions over the last 170 years. Since the mid 19th century, the area has nurtured a range of museums, landmarks, commercial districts and of course, accommodation like the Shaftesbury Hotel Paddington. The beautiful area of West London is bordered by Paddington, Fulham and Hammersmith and so has many transport routes that make it a prime tourist destination.
This blog will explore some of the best attractions to explore on a day in Kensington, though with the sheer concentration of attractions, guests of the Park Grand London Hyde Park could very well spend a week here and still not run out of things to do!
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum was built as a major development of what is colloquially known as “Albertopolis”. This was the name given to the area of South Kensington devoted by Prince LAbert, the husband of Queen Victoria, to educating the wider public and providing entertainment venues that were accessible and fun. The Natural History Museum is now a major tourist attraction and is completely free of charge, with galleries focused on space, nature and prehistoric fossils.
Another addition to Albertopolis, the Science Museum explores engineering feats, the human body and scientific principles through playful, interactive and, above all, accessible galleries. The Science Museum and above-mentioned Natural History Museum are perfect outings for families staying at the Westbourne Terrace Hotel thanks to their awe inspiring artefacts and high returnability. Did we mention they were free to visit?
Victoria & Albert Museum Of Design
The Victoria & Albert Museum of Design is the third museum located on Exhibition Road (the other two mentioned above), and is the largest museum of its kind in the world. With 2.8 million artefacts that explore 5000 years of decorative and applied arts, the V&A is a must visit for art and history lovers alike. On top of this, the museum’s programme of ticketed temporary exhibitions is second to none, in the past having explored everything from the history of video games to the life of Frida Kahlo and fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
Moved to Kensington in 2011, this 1989 founded museum of design explores textiles, electronics, architecture and fashion among a range of other applied arts. The museum has become one of the best known design galleries in the world, having won the European Museum of the Year Award in 2018. Located in north Kensington and close to Holland Park, it differs from the previous three exhibition spaces in that it is a ticketed entry.
Whilst the previous 4 entrees for Kensington visitors have been indoor attractions, this list wouldn’t be complete without at least mentioning the beautiful Kensington Gardens. Initially a part of its neighbouring Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens is more formal in its landscaping and provides a 265 acre collection of woodlands, fountains and sculptures across what was once the private gardens of Queen Anne. Easy to reach for guests of Central London hotel deals, Kensington Gardens borders such attractions as the Royal Albert Hall and the Prince Albert Memorial Statue.