Kensington Property Guide

South Kensington has held its place on the map as an area of cultural and scientific importance since the Great Exhibition of 1851, and some of the world's most prestigious museums and universities grandly line up along Exhibition Road, showcasing West London’s distinctive stucco style. With the Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall and Victora and Albert attracting such a vibrant mix of people, it's easy to forget that this is a residential area as well.

However just by the Tube station is a continental style square often filled with locals breakfasting in the sun. Tucked behind the museums lie rows of mansion blocks, terraced houses clustering round pretty garden squares and fine examples of villa style housing. It’s said that the majority of London's French community live here – it's been nicknamed Paris’s ‘21st arrondissement’. There’s a Lycée as well as the French cultural institute nearby, and residents will tell you that South Ken is the only place in London you can buy a proper croissant. Residents tend to be professionals and the area is an unbeatable location for shopping, with two of London’s most iconic department stores nearby. The jewel in South Kensington’s dazzling crown is surely its proximity to the historic and beautiful Hyde Park.

Going out

Eating: It’s impossible to list all of the fantastic dining options open to South Kensington locals, from tiny independent eateries to award winning chains. Obica mozzarella bar is an unusual restaurant, but one that is growing in popularity and renown year on year. Locals gather here for a quick bite with friends, enjoying small tastings of the finest mozzarella. Other great options include Bumpkin, PJ's Bar and Grill and the Anglesea Arms. Go-Viet is a new addition to the area, serving authentic Vietamese cuisine.

Culture: The area is famously home to London’s most iconic museums. Try the Victoria and Albert Museum for its world class collections of art and design, or while away an afternoon at the Natural History Museum or the Science Museum. Fans of French cinema will want to keep an eye on what’s showing at Ciné Lumière at the Institut Français. South Kensington’s own fringe theatre, The Drayton Arms, might only have 50 seats but its productions often rival those of London’s largest venues.

Shopping: South Kensington locals want for very little when it comes to retail therapy with the legendary Harrods and Harvey Nichols on the doorstep. Those looking for a more intimate shopping experience may prefer the boutiques along Brompton Road, Fulham Road and Bute Street, where you can find The French Bookshop, Moxon’s Fishmongers and toy shop Snap Dragon. Kensington High Street, and Chelsea's Sloane Square and King's Road are all nearby.

Green spaces

The southern edges of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park buffer Kensington Road and, although there are plenty of pretty garden squares in South Kensington, the Royal Parks are the star attraction. As well as the Serpentine Lido and Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens is also home to a beautiful memorial fountain to Diana, Princess of Wales and a playground that also bears her name.

Transport

Tube: South Kensington Tube station boasts a desirable Zone 1 location, and is on the District, Circle and Piccadilly Lines. This makes travel to East and West London particularly easy, and residents will usually only have to change trains once to reach the far end of North or South London. Journeys to Monument take 18 minutes, and it’s 16 minutes to King’s Cross or 20 minutes to Highbury and Islington.

Overground: The nearest Overground station is West Brompton. From here trains connect across London, to Clapham Junction in one direction (11 minutes) and Willesden Junction in the other (12 minutes).

Bus: Buses from South Kensington include the 14 (to Warren Street), 74 (to Baker Street) and C1 (to Victoria). There are also two night buses, N74 and N97 (to Trafalgar Square).

Road: South Kensington’s handy location on the A4 means it’s only a short 20 minute drive to the M4, allowing access to the west of England. From there it’s a further 15 minutes to the M25.

Getting away: The Piccadilly Line service to Heathrow means residents can reach the airport in less than an hour.

Education

South Kensington has a wide array of primary and secondary schools, including state schools, academies, voluntary aided schools and independent schools. Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle is a French language school and takes pupils at both primary and secondary level. South Kensington is an ideal location if you’re looking for private schools. There are several options within walking distance, including Glendower Preparatory School and Queen’s Gate School. Garden House School is a leading London day school offering kindergarden through to prep schooling.

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