London – Kensington Palace & Gardens

Hi friends, welcome back to my Paris and London Anniversary series 🙂 After exploring Notting Hill and taking a milkshake break, we headed to Kensington Palace. I wanted to see if we could get a glimpse of the front entrance, so we walked down Kensington Palace Gardens, one of the most exclusive and expensive streets in London. This street is home to heiresses, oligarchs, and many embassies including Nepal, France, Lebanon, Norway, and Italy. There are signs all over prohibiting pictures and security guards at the entrance, so I wasn’t taking any chances with my camera. I’d recommend strolling through this mysterious street, it’s very peaceful to walk down and admire the homes. If you’re interested in seeing more, this article has pictures of the homes and more information on the residents. (Picture below is from the article)

Kensington Palace, built in 1605, was the favorite residence of William and Mary of Orange. It was the official Royal Palace from 1689 – 1837 before Queen Victoria moved to Buckingham Palace. More recently the palace was well known for being home to Princess Diana and where she raised Will and Harry. Kensington Palace was also the main residence of Will and Kate before they recently moved to Windsor, but sadly I didn’t have the chance to befriend Kate or catch a glimpse of her adorable children.

The gardens outside are free to explore and include the new Statue of Diana, Princess of Whales. It was unveiled on what would have been her 60th birthday by her two sons. The children around the statue represent the legacy of her charitable work with children.

Queen Victoria memorialized outside her home.

We could take pictures inside Kensington Palace and it was neat to see. They had run out of audio guides, but we managed. One of the rooms had a docent that told funny stories about the inhabitants and life at Kensington. Admission includes access to the King’s and Queen’s State Apartments, the King’s Staircase, and the apartments where Queen Victoria was born and lived until she became Queen. It wasn’t as grand as the other palaces we’d seen on our trip, but it was still cool to walk through.


This was the room Queen Victoria, at only 18 years old, heard that her father had died and she was now Queen. The table shows a reenactment.

After finishing the interior of Kensington Palace, we walked through Kensington Park back towards Buckingham Palace. Kensington Garden spans 265 acres and feels very spacious. For reference, Central Park is over 840 acres. Jon and I were trying to get to our next stop, so we didn’t wander through the park much, and stayed on the quickest path. We enjoyed wandering through the park and seeing everyone out and about on the beautiful day. People were having picnics, playing soccer, reading books, and spending time with friends.

We passed the Albert Memorial commemorating Queen Victoria’s husband who died of typhoid fever at the age of 42.

Eventually Kensington Gardens turns into Hyde Park which covers an additional 350 acres. We saw The Rose Garden in bloom while we were walking and I had to make a pitstop for some pictures. It was so beautiful and peaceful!

I enjoyed the park and walking down Kensington Palace Gardens, but I thought the inside of Kensington Palace was a little underwhelming. I think seeing Versailles, Windsor, and the Napoleon Apartments at the Louvre spoiled us because our expectations are so high now. The gardens and area around Kensington are definitely worth seeing, but you could skip going inside the palace without losing much value.

I’ve got one last post of this trip to share, so stay tuned for the conclusion of our Paris and London anniversary series!


Posts in my Paris and London Anniversary series:



37 thoughts on “London – Kensington Palace & Gardens

  1. Another great set of photos!!! That frieze of people that makes it look like the balcony extends around is very well done! Was this where the Peter Pan statue is or is that somewhere else?

    1. Thank you!! The staircase is very impressive, fit for royalty 🙂 Yes the Peter Pan Statue is in the Kensington Gardens near that big pond. We walked through the other side of the park so I don’t think we passed it.

    1. That is a nice park to have so close by! I wish Central Park was only a few blocks away from me.

  2. Well Lyssy, you went one step further than we did earlier this year with a tour of the interior. That’s definitely still on our to-do list when we next go to London. Great photos throughout, it has been a lifelong ambition of mine to one day have a four poster bed like that one.

    1. I think you’ll enjoy viewing the interior! Those beds are very impressive, especially when the canopy part is so high. The ones in Versailles were so over the top it cracked me up.

  3. I wouldn’t mind living there as klong as I didn’t have to pay for upkeep and taxes.😄 All of the palaces and enormous cathedrals must in some ways justify the position of the ruling class vis-vis the rest of the population. Being prohibited from taking photos outdoors makes no sense to me. A hotel I stayed at in Kenya had a restrictive policy about taking photos but the hotels website had them online.😮

    1. I bet the taxes and upkeep are killer! I agree, a lot of the houses were blocked by high fences so we couldn’t even see that well. In NYC the diplomat buildings aren’t so guarded like that. I wonder if your hotel got a talking to haha

  4. Great post and thanks for the idea to add Kensington gardens to my itinerary! I think I will skip the palace but I do want to go down that street. Was it awkward at all to walk along the street? I’ve read that there’s a gate and guards in front of the embassies.

    1. Thank you! I didn’t think it was awkward walking down. At the front of the streets there are gate/security like at a parking garage, and then the houses all gave fences to give privacy but I don’t think each house had a guard too. I tried not to look too carefully at the houses, but we went on a Saturday and the street was pretty quiet.

  5. I remember introducing you to Queen Victoria in third grade as you were born in a town modeled after this time period. However, I was watching the Queen’s Jubilee on FOX NEWS. They reported that Prince Albert died after being stung by a bee. His throat swelled up and he couldn’t breathe. Well….it was Fox News.🙄

    1. Oh yes that makes sense. Hmm that sounds like season 2 of Bridgerton…….Sad thing is people will believe it.

  6. “Princess of Whales” was LOL (and I’m going to blame spellcheck for that one). Seriously though, I always wondered if the designation carried any responsibility with it. Were Charles and Diana expected to keep watch over Wales? I think not. The statue looks very well done – a fitting likeness of Diana. Also, did you see the part of Kensington Palace where William & Kate lived? The structure doesn’t really say “home”, does it? Glad they moved on to Windsor, at least for their children’s sake.

    1. You always find the funniest spelling mistakes! We did not get to see where they lived sadly. I’d like to see Kate’s closet. No it isn’t quite the home I imagine when I think of a place for a family to live.

  7. When I visited maybe up to 5 years ago the official teas of the royal places were Harney and Sons which is based out of Millerton, NY. The gift shop at Kensington sold some of the Harney and Sons teas. Harney and sons still gets to label those tea tins that were chosen “the official teas of the royal palaces.” It’s on the tea tins. I think Harney and Sons may still have a location in Manhattan.

  8. So beautiful Lyssy and just one of many Royal Palaces. We walked by this one many times when we stayed near there in 2002 but never went in. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    1. It is a nice area! I’d love to have the gardens for my backyard, but I guess there is more room in Windsor.

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