Kensington Gardens is a continuation of Hyde Park, just across the Serpentine bridge. Indeed the two royal parks used to be one until 1728 when they were separated so as to create a more ornamental garden for Queen Charlotte.
Like Hyde Park the land was taken from Westminster Abbey by Henry VIII in 1536 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and used for his hunting.
Kensington Gardens Memorials
Kensington Gardens is perhaps best known for two royal memorials. The Albert Memorial was built for Queen Victoria in 1872 in memory of her consort Prince Albert. While the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground has become a busy spot for people to come to pay their respects for the popular Royal.
The Albert Memorial is close to the Royal Albert Hall, which hosts numerous performances and events throughout the year, most notably the Last Night of the Proms.
The gardens are also home to the twin Serpentine Galleries, which are arguably the finest contemporary art spaces in London.
When Is It Open?
The gardens are open from 6am to 9pm.
Map of Kensington Gardens
You can view a map here.
Getting to Kensington Gardens
The nearest tube stations are: Lancaster Gate, Queensway (both Central Line) for Diana Memorial; and High Street Kensington (Circle and District Lines) for Albert Memorial.
Hyde Park lies to its east, while the Royal Albert Hall is in an area nicknamed ‘Albertopolis’ which also contains the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. To the north you have the western end of Oxford Street, with access to Bayswater, a great area for Greek restaurants. Finally to the west is Holland Park with its open air theatre, and Notting Hill with its great annual carnival.