There are Many Charming Features to Discover in Kensington Gardens:
With our hotel right opposite Kensington Gardens, there was no excuse not to explore the Gardens on this visit. Whereas on previous London visits, we’ve mostly just skirted through parts of the Kensington Gardens to get somewhere, this time round we were well located to explore and enjoy the beautiful gardens in the centre of London.
Situated to the left of Hyde Park, the grounds of Kensington Gardens were previously a part of Hyde Park. In 1728, the western section of Hyde Park was carved out to create Kensington Gardens which became part of Kensington Palace grounds. Designed and landscaped under the watchful eye of George II’s wife, Queen Caroline, fashionable features such as the Round Pond, formal avenues, the Serpentine and the Italian Garden were created. In 1841, the former Kensington Palace grounds became a public park and today this beautiful royal park is available for all to enjoy.
Stroll through Kensington Gardens at any time of the day in summer and there are people sunning themselves on the grass or reading a book and enjoying as much of the warm summer sunshine as possible. Joggers, parents strolling with their little ones, people walking their dogs, cyclists are all part of the people scenery at Kensington Gardens.
Kensington Gardens is also home to a big community of bird life (about 178 species) and it is interesting to observe the birds feeding and resting in the Gardens, and totally oblivious to human presence nearby. The squirrels are my favourite and its amusing watching these little creatures scurrying around looking for food and not too shy to come forward if food was being offered by people.
Kensington Gardens Features
There are many charming features and memorials to discover in Kensington Gardens, including:
- Princess Diana is very much remembered here at the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. Just outside the Playground is the stump of a 900 year-old Elfin Oak, ornately carved with elves and fairytale creatures
- Round Pond – Birds and ducks hang around humans, hoping to be fed. This is an area for sailing model boats as well.
- Serpentine Lake forms one of the many attractions, equally popular with boaters and birds. Winding around, it’s over a mile around, fed by an underground river.
- On the banks of the Serpentine the Gardens contain an oft-visited bronze sculpture of Peter Pan, cast in 1912.
- There are elaborate Italianate fountains and dozens of quiet paths to enjoy strolls. But there are also areas for kite flying and rollerblading.
- The Albert Memorial can be found at the southern end of Kensington Gardens and the Royal Albert Hall is just across the road from it.
Having spent some time in Kensington Gardens on this trip, I must say that we thoroughly enjoyed seeing this side of London and it was a pleasant change to the crowds of Oxford Street.
Kensington Gardens are easily accessible via the London Underground.
- Lancaster Gate & Queensway – Central Line
- Bayswater – District Line
- High Street Kensington – Circle and District Lines