Kensington Area Guide

Brief history to Kensington

First mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086, this unique and highly desirable area of Central and West London is awash with green spaces and luxurious lifestyle. Originally called Keneignetun, Kenesigne's land or meadows, Kensington is now a thriving and beautiful area in the heart of the capital.

The manor of Kensington was granted by William the Conqueror to Geoffrey de Mowbray, bishop of Coutances, one of the wealthiest men in Britain in the 11th century. He granted tenancy to the de Vere family and when the Mowbray's rebelled against William's son Rufus the de Vere's were granted tenancy-in-chief. The Vere's estate was later renamed Earls Court whilst Kensington was granted to Abingdon Abbey. From the early 17th century this area of Central and West London has been associated with landed nobility and wealthy land owners. Rows of stunning terraces and beautiful garden squares are in abundance.

Home to Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens, the area is spoilt for green space, barely a high-rise building mars the skyline and the air is said to be the freshest in the city centre. Bustling Kensington High Street offers a wide choice of retail outlets with high street chains, boutiques, vintage and antiques are all located within its boundaries.

Types of Property in Kensington

This unique and sought after area of Central and West London is rich with period style properties. Large Victorian Villas and Regency Style Georgian townhouses often 4-6 storeys high. Some have been beautifully converted into apartments for contemporary living. There are large detached properties, mansion blocks and the skyline is barely touched with high rise buildings so the views across the city are outstanding.

Average rental prices

Kensington is simply stunning, full of green space, parks and private garden squares. This is highly reflective in the cost of living, a studio apartment you will expect to pay in the region of £284.00 per week. A one bedroom apartment you will expect to pay in the region of £637.25 per week and a two bedroom property will be in the region of £974.25 per week.

Council Tax Banding in the area ranges from A – £711.19 to H – £2,133.56. For more information about council tax charges in the area please go to Band values & charges.

Who lives in Kensington

Kensington is renowned to be one of the safest boroughs in the capital, this and its extensive green spaces, make it an attractive area for young families, professionals, bankers and foreign ambassadors.

This small area of Central and West London has been hand chosen as the best place in the city to live by a wealth of famous residents. Sir Elton John, Bernie Ecclestone, Sainsbury's mogul John Sainsbury and Earl of Cadogan are all residing within Kensington's boundaries.

What to do in Kensington

Kensington is busy, glamorous and upbeat. There is a huge range of activities and entertainment on offer within the area, you are spoilt for choice. For retail therapy, Kensington High Street offers a choice of high street stores and independent traders. There's a farmers market held on a Saturday and the former Barkers department store has been refurbished into a Whole Foods supermarket.

Two royal parks are located in the area, Kensington Gardens once private is now open to the public all year round and Hyde Park is also close to hand. You'll find the Serpentine Lake and the Albert memorial inside Kensington Gardens and you may even find Peter Pan. Hyde Park comes into a world of its own in winter, forming the cities Winter Wonderland you'll find stocking fillers, mulled wine and the Ferris wheel, it's not to be missed.

For fine dining Kensington is home to Gordon Ramsey and Tom Aikens both Michelin-starred. For those seeking less formal then the Medlar on the Kings Road is renowned for its use of seasonal produce and delicious cuisine. Kitchen W8 is a favourite with the locals for Sunday lunch and family-run Ziani is the area's best Italian.

There are so many cultural places to visit within this area of Central and West London, Kensington Palace has no entry charge and the state apartments make an impressive viewing. The Science Museum you will find on Cromwell Road, a great day for the kids. There's an IMAX 3D cinema but the highlight has to be the famous Launchpad Gallery, interactive and hands-on even the adults won't get bored.

Transport

There are excellent transport links in and out of Kensington with tube stations found at High St Kensington, Barons Court, Kensington, West Kensington, South Kensington and Gloucester Road.

Superb links with the A4 onto the M4 and direct linkage to the M25.

There are numerous bus routes in and out of the area.

Schools, Colleges and Universities

There are many schools in this area of Central and West London notably at primary level the Hawkesdown House School, Fox Primary and Weatherby all have great Ofsted Reports. At secondary level the David Game College and the Holland Park School have gained excellent Ofsted reports.

With an abundance of further and higher education colleges and three universities situated in the area Kensington can cater for all ages of study. For more information on schools and colleges in the area please visit our specified section here.