Kensington Gardens

Kensington & Hyde Park

A delightful collection of manicured lawns, tree-shaded avenues and basins immediately west of Hyde Park, the picturesque expanse of Kensington Gardens is technically part of Kensington Palace, located in the far west of the gardens. The large Round Pond in front of the palace is enjoyable to amble around, and also worth a look are the lovely fountains in the Italian Gardens, believed to be a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria; they are now the venue of a cafe.

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, in the northwest corner of the gardens, has some pretty ambitious attractions for children. Next to the playground stands the delightful Elfin Oak, a 900-year-old tree stump carved with elves, gnomes, witches and small creatures. To the east, George Frampton’s celebrated Peter Pan statue is close to the lake, while the opulent and elaborate Albert Memorial pokes into the sky south of Kensington Gardens, facing the Royal Albert Hall.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kensington & Hyde Park attractions

1. Peter Pan Statue

0.26 MILES

This is sculptor George Frampton’s celebrated statue; close to the Long Water. Kensington Gardens were an inspiration for JM Barrie, author of Peter Pan,…

2. Kensington Palace

0.32 MILES

Built in 1605, Kensington Palace became the favourite royal residence under William and Mary of Orange in 1689, and remained so until George III became…

3. Elfin Oak

0.33 MILES

This 900-year-old tree stump is carved with elves, gnomes, witches and small creatures. One of the photos in the gate-fold of the Pink Floyd album…

4. Italian Gardens

0.35 MILES

The elegant, ornamental Italian Gardens, believed to be a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria, sit at the head of the Long Water, connecting Hyde…

5. Serpentine Gallery

0.35 MILES

This gallery is one of London’s most important contemporary-art galleries. Damien Hirst, Andreas Gursky, Louise Bourgeois, Gabriel Orozco, Tomoko…

6. The Arch

0.35 MILES

Fashioned in stone from northern Italy, this 37-tonne travertine statue by Henry Moore provides phenomenal views of Kensington Palace.

7. Albert Memorial

0.39 MILES

This splendid Victorian confection on the southern edge of Kensington Gardens is as ostentatious as its subject wasn't. Queen Victoria’s humble German…