London: An Afternoon in Kensington

#southkensingtonAfter 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!

#kensingtonhilarystyle

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!

#herefordarms

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

#princealbertmemorialWanting 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.

#royalalberthall

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.

#princealbertmemorial

One of my favorite things to see is the Serpentine Gallery, but in past visits my boys have enjoyed both the Princess Diana Memorial Playground and Diana Memorial Fountain.

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

#serpentinepavilion2016As 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.

#serpentinepavilion2016

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.
#
Until next time, London…

Pin for later:

#pinmekensington

Would you like directions to all these fabulous places? Why not take me with you! you can download this and other fun hilarystyle articles using the GPSmyCity app!

#gpsmycityhilarystyle

 

31 thoughts on “London: An Afternoon in Kensington

    1. We visited Kensington Palace years ago, but honestly it wasn’t our favorite. We love the parks and architecture so a visit to the Serpentine is always a must if we are there during the summer.

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  1. I think this is my favourite part of London. I used to live in South Kensington many years ago but didn’t appreciate what the area really had to offer until I returned as a tourist (who didn’t have to go to work each day!)
    We’ve had some fabulous days out to Hyde Park and the museums over the years – so pleased you had a wonderful stay and good weather too.
    #citytripping

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  2. Kensington is such a great area. I love the Serpentine Gallery and Kensington Gardens too. I also really enjoyed the Victoria And Albert Museum which is close to the Natural History museum. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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  3. I really love this part of London. In fact, I was there just today! There’s lots of it I haven’t explored though including the serpentine and Diana playground. Looking forward to heading there in the summer! Thanks for linking #citytripping

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  4. I always love reading other people’s posts about their visit to my home city – so interesting to get a visitor’s perspective. Such gorgeous photos too. I had no idea you could tour the Albert memorial! And embarrassingly I have never been to Kensington Gardens, either myself or with my daughter. I really think the Diana memorial playground has to be on the list for the summer… #citytripping

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  5. You cant really beat an English summer’s day and you had a beautiful one to explore Kensington Hilary. These are some of my regular haunts so I am glad you enjoyed yourself. I agree the Diana Memorial Fountain is special. I did a few laps around it last summer chasing after a couple of 3 year olds. Good for the soul! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

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  6. We love Kensington Gardens too – the playground is definitely one of the best in London. I do love London’s parks. My son and I loved exploring Kensington Palace last summer which is so interesting with its stories about the young Queen Victoria. I go to see a lot of art so it’s positively shocking that I’ve never been to the Serpentine Gallery – I really must rectify that this year. Thanks for sharing this lovely part of London on #FarawayFiles

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    1. I visited the Palace over a decade ago and the exhibit was all about Princess Diana’s dresses. Maybe I’ll have to go back… in a city the size of London it makes sense that you might have missed a few places. 😉 I’m giving you a pass!

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    1. Yes, it’s somewhat bittersweet, but we are nearing the end of playgrounds in our family too, though a dip in the fountain still pleases! We first visited the playground when Simon was 3 yo and he’s 14 now!

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