After Six weeks of travel our amazing adventures through Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, were coming to an end, and it was time to head home, but not before one last hurrah! What better way to end the trip of a lifetime, than strolling around in my number one favorite city: London!
Wanting to explore somewhere new, we chose Kensington, not only was it a neighborhood I hadn’t spent much time in, but we had an early flight back to the States and its proximity to Heathrow was a big plus. Our hotel, The Kensington, was walking distance to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, the Museum of Natural History, High Street, and many other interesting sights and restaurants!
Speaking of restaurants, arriving, from Paris, just in time for lunch we discovered the Hereford Arms, a friendly pub and restaurant with excellent service and even better food. I had the best tarter sauce I’ve ever had there, and after weeks traveling throughout the UK, thats saying a lot! Seriously!
After lunch we walked up and down High Street enjoying the beautiful flower arrangements, poking in and out of the various shops and galleries and stopping to take photos. Our little one had recently discovered he actually enjoys reading, so we picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone for the flight home.
Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens
Wanting to make the most of our very last day, Simon and I decided to explore Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, which were walking distance from our hotel and are conveniently connected to one another. London’s parks are the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon just like the locals do! They are beautiful, vast and filled with activities for every interest.
We wandered through the parks taking photos, hunting Pokemon, and stopping along the way to admire The Albert Memorial, Royal Albert Hall and the interactive Peter Pan Statue.
The fountain was an especially big hit as the day we visited it was quite a warm afternoon, however the playground’s Peter Pan theme is really charming. Who wouldn’t want to take the helm of a giant pirate ship, hang out in a tee pee , or play sentry on the walls of a fort!
The Serpentine Gallery
As I mentioned I really enjoy, the Serpentine Gallery and our first stop within the Park was the Gallery’s Summer Pavilion installation. If you haven’t had a chance to see this, I highly recommend it! The exhibition is different each year, and showcases the designs of up and coming architects via the building of unique and temporary structures located within the Park. This was my second visit to see this exhibition and if given the opportunity I would go every year! Depending on the year’s design, visitors can go and in and out, enjoy drinks and snacks, and even climb onto the structure. While most years the exhibition features only one structure, this year’s featured some smaller buildings as well.
Highlights and Tips:
- The many activities within the park differ depending on the time of year, so consider repeat visits.
- Admission to The Serpentine Gallery is free.
- The Pavilion Exhibition is a summer installation and changes every year. Check the website for the most current information.
- Kids 12 and under can enjoy the Peter Pan themed Diana Memorial Playground with adult supervision.
- Go ahead and dip your feet into the Diana Memorial Fountain. Its permitted!
- The Peter Pan statue is interactive, so consider bringing a smart device.
- Did you know you can take a guided tour of the Albert Memorial?
- Kensington is a great place to stay if you have an early morning flight out of Heathrow.
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