Explore the tranquil landscape and cultural landmarks of a 265-acre Royal Park. This is where you’ll find Kensington Palace, the Serpentine Galleries, the Italian Gardens, the Albert Memorial and the Diana Memorial Gardens.
What is there to see at Kensington Gardens?
Kensington Gardens covers the area of parkland on the west side of Hyde Park.
Pay a visit to Kensington Palace, a royal palace which has been home to royalty since the 17th century. Areas of the palace, including exhibition rooms, are open to the public but you need to book a ticket if you wish to explore inside. Alternatively, admire the beautiful Round Pond and formal palace gardens.
Or, take a stroll around the picturesque Italian Gardens near Lancaster Gate, a historic water garden believed to have been created by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria. You can also pick up a quick coffee or snack at the Italian Gardens Cafe to keep your energy levels up.
If you’re an art lover, Kensington Gardens is home to the world-famous Serpentine Galleries which host contemporary and modern art exhibitions. On the north bank of The Long Water lake you’ll find The Arch, a six-metre high stone sculpture by Henry Moore.
Other highlights not to miss include the ornate Albert Memorial, which commemorates the death of Prince Albert in 1861, and The Allotment in Kensington Gardens, where you can source tips and inspiration for growing your own fruit and veg.
Finally, if you have young children with you, don’t miss a trip to the Peter Pan-inspired Diana Memorial Gardens. It’s free to visit and features a large wooden pirate ship. You can also spot a statue of Peter Pan and various animals to the west of The Long Water.
How long does it take to go around Kensington Gardens?
Kensington Gardens covers 265 acres. If you’re visiting Kensington Palace or the Serpentine Galleries, you’ll want to factor in extra time to go around the inside of those venues. If, however, you’re more in the mood for a wander in the open air, schedule in two to three hours including a break to visit the cafe or to enjoy a picnic lunch.
Can you eat and drink at Kensington Gardens?
A variety of small cafes and kiosks are available across Kensington Gardens. This includes the Italian Gardens Cafe, serving breakfast, lunch and ice creams, and the Broad Walk Cafe near the Diana Memorial Playground which serves stone-baked pizzas and a wide range of other lunch options. If you are visiting Kensington Palace it is also possible to book a table at The Orangery restaurant for lunch or afternoon tea.
Are there bookable activities in Kensington Gardens?
Royal Parks puts on regular public events in Kensington Gardens. These include talks and tours of the Albert Memorial and wildlife walks. Most of the events are ticketed and need to be booked in advance.
Is Kensington Gardens free to visit?
Kensington Gardens is free to visit, although some of the areas and activities within Kensington Gardens may require the purchase of a paid ticket and need to be booked in advance.
Where is Kensington Gardens?
Kensington Gardens is in west London, just to the west of Hyde Park.
How do I get to Kensington Gardens?
Depending on which area of Kensington Gardens you wish to visit, the closest Tube stations are Queensway (Central line), which is one minute's walk from the Diana Memorial Playground and eight minutes’ walk from Kensington Palace. Lancaster Gate (Central line) is approximately five minutes’ walk from the Italian Gardens.
Alternatively, use South Kensington (Piccadilly and District and Circle lines), which is 14 minutes’ walk from the Albert Memorial and 16 minutes’ walk from the Serpentine Galleries.
The closest mainline station is Paddington, which is nine minutes’ walk from the Italian Gardens.
Several bus routes stop close to Kensington Gardens.
6am to late evening all year round. Diana Memorial Playground closes earlier and has selected opening times throughout the year.