A very Royal Park
Kensington Gardens is a charming oasis in the very heart of London. Originally part of Hyde Park, King William III purchased it back in 1689. King William unfortunately suffered from asthma and he loved the tranquility and fresh air of the area so much, that he commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to design the quite stunning and imposing Kensington Palace. In 1704, Queen Anne then extended the gardens even further by “transferring” 30 acres of land from Hyde Park! She was also responsible for creating the beautiful Orangery, now a fabulous restaurant, where you can take lunch or indulge in a delicious afternoon tea.
We at J&K Apartments adore Kensington Gardens – a real spectacle and an elegant landscape where one can relax, take a picnic or enjoy a pleasant stroll. It is also a perfect place to take your dog for a walk. As well as the Orangery, you can also enjoy a light snack in The Broadwalk Cafe and there are several refreshment points located through the park for ice cream, hot and cold drinks, pastries and wraps. You can even hire your own deckchair from March – October!
Whilst strolling through this magnificent park, there are several attractions which are not to be missed. The Albert Memorial is probably one of London’s most recognized and ornate monuments. It commemorates the death of Prince Albert in 1861. Take time to admire the splendor of the Italian Gardens, a 150 year old ornamental water garden which was designed and created as a very special gift from Prince Albert to his beloved Queen Victoria (who was born at Kensington Palace and lived there until she became Queen in 1837).
There are also many statues and sculptures to be admired throughout the park. The Physical Energy was installed in 1907 by George Frederick Watts and commemorates Sir Cecil Rhodes. A quite imposing statue made in bronze, it depicts a man on horseback. Another interesting sculpture is The Arch by the renowned artist, Henry Moore who presented it to the nation in 1980. This is a 6 metre high Roman travertine piece situated on the north bank of the Long Water. The Speke Monument is a reflective piece dedicated to John Hanning Speke, the explorer who discovered Lake Victoria and led many expeditions to The Nile.
This is also a wonderful and quite magical place for children to visit. The Peter Pan statue is really charming and depicts squirrels, rabbits, mice and fairies climbing up to Peter. Appropriately, Kensington Gardens was used as a location for the film “Finding Neverland”, starring Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp. To add to the magic, take your children to see The Elfin Oak, created from the hollow trunk of an old oak. Elves, fairies and woodland animals are beautifully carved into the wood and this is located alongside The Diana Memorial Playground, a wonderful area for children to play, use their imagination and explore. J&K Apartments highly recommend this as part of a great family day out.
Diana, Princess of Wales who famously lived here, is also remembered on the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. This is a reflective 7 mile walk, marked by 90 plaques along the way to remind us of famous buildings and locations associated with The Princess during her life.
All in all, Kensington Gardens is one of the most beautiful, elegant, magical and tranquil parks in London and is not to be missed. It’s certainly one of our favorite areas in London.
We offer a range of serviced apartments located within easy walking distance of The Palace and Gardens. The Milestone Hotel is in a prime situation just opposite and 51 Kensington Court is tucked away in a quiet street just around the corner. Cheval Hyde Park Gate and Cheval Thorney Court are both in wonderful Kensington locations and are just a short stroll away. Do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details of these wonderful apartments and we will be delighted to offer you the very best preferential rates.