London: An Afternoon in Kensington

February 24, 2017
February 24, 2017 Hilary

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!


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

#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.


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.


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.


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…

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I love to travel & explore the world both near and far! I do my best to make the most out of life each and everyday! I have two boys and they are, at the ages of 13 and 18, world travelers and all around go along guys. There isnt anywhere I cant take them. It is my hope this blog will be a way to share the fun things Ive learned while on our many adventures together!

Comments (33)

  1. It’s been quite a few years since I last visited London. But i really enjoyed how much of it you could stroll about and enjoy the famous spots and I do remember enjoying a sunny afternoon just laying back in Hyde Park.

  2. I haven’t made it to this part of Kensington yet. As a kid I went to the palace (or house?) but that’s all I can remember. Have always wanted to go to the Royal Albert Hall. #CityTripping

    • 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.

  3. What a beautiful place! I assume it is difficult to choose a neighborhood in London to explore. The Serpentine Gallery is so unique. Love when cool places like this are found.

    • It is such a lovely place! Funny, I’d been there a few times before, but it was this most recent visit that cemented it for me! Maybe because I had no agenda…

  4. You made me very hungry with the mention of that tartar sauce. And a Peter Pan themed playground is just what I need when travelling with two boys. #FarawayFiles

  5. Trish @ Mum's Gone To

    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.

    • I’m experiencing the same thing here in Los Angeles… I wear my tourist badge with pride!

  6. I’ll have to check out the Hereford Arms, I love a good tartar sauce, and fish and chips of course. I like staying in Kensington too, it’s so convenient and a beautiful area. #farawayfiles

  7. Anisa

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Clare Thomson

    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

    • 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!

  12. We loved Hyde Park too – kids a little too old for Diana’s playground, but the youngest had a stroll through! The rest looks so lovely! Thanks for sharing #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • 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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