St Mary Abbots

Notting Hill & West London

Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and sporting the tallest church spire in London, graceful St Mary Abbots is a haven of peace and calm. St Mary Abbots was seriously damaged by Luftwaffe fire-bombs in 1944, though the main structure survived (apocryphally, an air-raid warden played the organ to keep its pipes clear of water as fire-fighters doused the flames). The church, with its huge and inviting interior, is undergoing an ambitious plan of restoration.

Notable parishioners have included Diana, Princess of Wales, former prime minister David Cameron, Sir Isaac Newton and William Thackeray. Beatrix Potter was married at the church in 1913. Behind the church is a small garden and a charming line of bijou independent shops runs up narrow Kensington Church Walk to Holland St.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Notting Hill & West London attractions

1. Kensington Palace

0.24 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…

2. 18 Stafford Terrace

0.26 MILES

Formerly known as Linley Sambourne House, 18 Stafford Terrace, tucked away behind Kensington High St, was the home of Punch cartoonist and amateur…

3. Design Museum

0.41 MILES

Relocated from its former Thames location to a stunning new £83-million home by Holland Park, this slick museum is dedicated to design's role in everyday…

4. Elfin Oak

0.51 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…

5. Leighton House

0.53 MILES

Sitting on a quiet street just west of Holland Park and designed in 1866 by George Aitchison, Leighton House was home to the eponymous Frederic, Lord…

6. Kensington Gardens

0.55 MILES

A delightful collection of manicured lawns, tree-shaded avenues and basins immediately west of Hyde Park, the picturesque expanse of Kensington Gardens is…

7. Holland Park

0.59 MILES

This handsome park divides into dense woodland in the north, spacious and inviting lawns by Holland House, sports fields in the south, and some lovely…

8. Albert Memorial

0.59 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…