HomeAllLiving in Kensington | Reasons to move to W8
Living in Kensington | Reasons to move to W8
Published May 10th 2023
4 mins read
Are you considering a move to London’s W8 postcode area and want to know more about living in Kensington?
Here we highlight the many factors that make Kensington such a desirable place to call home, and why it has been one of the most sought-after places to live in London for many hundreds of years.
Where is Kensington?
Kensington W8 is within the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. It is one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in Central London and is positioned to the north of South Kensington and south of Notting Hill.
Kensington over the years
Lying to the west of the City of Westminster, 200 years ago, Kensington Palace was once a tranquil rural enclave of London, rebuilt by Christopher Wren in 1689, it was the birthplace of Queen Victoria in 1819 and her home until she acceded the throne in 1837.
The borough was granted its royal status in 1901 and became amalgamated with Chelsea in 1964 to become known as the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
Kensington has since become a chic and sophisticated part of London. Smart stucco-fronted houses and Italianate villas with grand portico entrances line the many elegant residential roads and streets.
Former famous Kensington residents include Virginia Woolf and rock musicians Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Freddie Mercury. Today, J K Rowling is a resident in what is one of London’s prime central residential areas.
Parks in Kensington
To the east, Kensington Gardens is a gem in the local area, covering 265 acres of prime green space.
It is a fantastic part of Kensington and somewhere for everyone to enjoy exploring and a place to exercise.
The Round Pond is full of wildlife with swans, ducks and coots. The Sunken Garden next to Kensington Palace and the Italian Gardens near Lancaster Gate underground is beautifully maintained. For a quintessentially English afternoon tea, The Orangery is well worth a visit.
Once you go beyond the Serpentine, popular with local wild swimmers, Kensington Gardens evolves into Hyde Park, another abundance of open green space and a relaxing escape from the capital’s frenetic pace.
Holland Park offers a direct and very pleasant walk linking with Kensington High Street. It has an interesting combination of terrain and landscape comprising open green parkland and parts that are woody and forest-like.
The park is ideal for sporting activities with tennis courts, golf practice areas, children’s playgrounds and a sports field.
Schools in Kensington
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has 35 state and 31 independent schools within its boundaries, many of which are located within W8.
According to the 2022 School Guide, some of the most well-regarded schools in Kensington include the following:
Primary schools in Kensington
St Mary Abbots CofE Primary School
Queen’s Gate School
St Barnabas and St Philip’s CofE Primary School
Secondary schools in Kensington
Saint Thomas More Language College
Kensington Aldridge Academy
Holland Park School
Independent secondary schools
Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle de Londres
Queen’s Gate School
Mander Portman Woodward School
Shopping in Kensington
From the large stores found along Kensington High Street to the charming independents and high-street names along Kensington Church Street, there are many places to visit for shopping in Kensington.
Kensington High Street
Kensington High Street offers anyone a wonderful spot of retail therapy and a great array of both recognised brands from Jigsaw to L’Occitane, London’s largest Whole Foods branch and stylish independent shops and boutiques.
In addition to the brand-name stores and boutiques, Kensington High Street is also home to a wide range of restaurants, bars and cafes that are trendy and hip.
Kensington Church Street
KensingtonChurchStreet is one of Kensington’s most charming streets with a neighbourhood feel much frequented by local residents.
It boasts several floral boutiques, art and antique shops, eccentric pubs and quaint teahouses and also some much loved British designers including Sweaty Betty, L.K. Bennett, Reiss and Neal’s Yard Remedies.
Places to eat, drink and dine out in W8
There are a variety of places to eat, drink and dine out in W8. Local favourites include Locanda Ottomezzo which is one of London’s most authentic Italian restaurants. It is named after Frederico Fellini’s 1963 cinematic masterpiece Otto e mezzo.
Launceston Place is a Michelin-starred gem situated in an elegant 19th-century townhouse, close to Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace. The late Princess Diana was a frequent diner.
Menoo Eclectic Food on Kensington Church Street is a delightful Greek restaurant with a welcoming homely atmosphere.
Akira is a traditional Japanese Michelin-starred restaurant on the first floor of Japan House, the cultural home of Japan in London, which is located on Kensington High Street.
Kensington’s transport connections
London Underground: High Street Kensington is on both the district and circle lines. To the south of the area Gloucester Road is on the Picadilly Line and to the north, Holland Park Station is on the Central Line.
Buses: Multiple bus routes operate in the area, with around 10 different buses running along High Street Kensington, including several night bus services.
Trains: The West London line runs through nearby stations at Kensington Olympia and West Brompton.
Property in Kensington
The local property landscape offers an excellent range of properties and architectural designs laid out in tree-lined leafy streets and positioned on garden squares.
Those looking to buy a home in Kensington will find white stucco-fronted houses, detached villas and London terraces with period red brick mansion blocks and tucked away, quiet cobbled mews houses offering both work and live space, often making popular second homes or pied de terres.
Kensington Palace Gardens is a tree-lined avenue with ambassadorial residences and is comfortably one of the most exclusive address in the country.
In W8, Phillimore Gardens and Lower Phillimore Gardens are some of the most exclusive streets favoured by families and international buyers.
What’s happening in Kensington’s local community?
The Electric Cinema Kids Club screens films for children aged from 3 to 16 every Saturday morning.
The Marina Simioni Theatre is a children’s (5-10 years) musical theatre school held at St Philip’s Church, Earls Court Road W8 on Saturdays.
Kensington offers plenty of varied activities from sports to cooking and youth clubs. Nearby there are local markets including Portobello Road in Notting Hill.
To the south, the Natural History Museum, V&A, and Science Museum also run many events to encourage residents to become involved with these cultural treasures.
Learn more about living in Kensington
To discuss your search for a property in Kensington with a professional property finder please do get in touch for a no-obligation discussion regarding your plans to move.