Kensington is immediately to the west of the main downtown area and is one of the most expensive and affluent areas of London. During the day, and especially in the summer, the shopping and cultural areas of South Kensington are animated with residents, shoppers and tourists alike. In the evening as the shops and museums start to close the area starts to quieten down with only residents milling about and socialites on their way to the local pubs and classy bars. The residential parts of Kensington remain quiet and peaceful throughout the day.
The borough has been granted Royal status, one of only four in the country that have. This location has an international flavour, with a high number of Europeans living in the area, partly due to the French Lycee in South Kensington. Also, there are a high number of embassies in the area, probably the most famous being the Iranian Embassy which was besieged in 1980, which help add to the diverse international community in the area.
There is a large array of museums and galleries in South Kensington, including the Victoria and Albert museum (V&A), the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum which all still have free admission. Another tourist attraction is Kensington Palace where a children's playground has been constructed as a memorial to Princess Diana. The grounds of Kensington Palace are Kensington Gardens which flow freely into Hyde Park, making the combined area the biggest open green space in London.
Kensington is one of the safest areas in London.
Commuting is made fairly easy by the tube and frequent bus services. You can get on the Circle or District lines at High Street Kensington, Gloucester Road or South Kensington, the latter two also giving access to the Piccadilly line on which you have direct access to Heathrow but the route is slower due to frequent stops. Also, the A4 runs straight out to the West turning in to the M4 further out which links to the M25.
|To Purchase||To Rent|
|Studio||£300,000 - £1,000,000||£200 - £600 per week|
|1 bed||£350,000 - £2,000,000+||£250 - £1500 per week|
|2 bed||£400,000 - £2,000,000+||£350 - £2000 per week|
|3-4 bed||£550,000 - £3,000,000+||£450 - £2500+ per week|
|5+ bed||£1,500,000+||£2000+ per week|
Types of Housing and Pricing
Housing in this area is very expensive but considered to be worth it. The architecture is varied with some Georgian and many Victorian three / four storey terraces in the main part of Kensington. Many remain as individual family homes though some have now been converted into flats. South Kensington has a lot of white, stucco-fronted or red brick housing, which started as family homes but most of which have now been converted into apartments. Many of the buildings are constructed around a central garden square.
|To Purchase||To Rent|
|Studio||£95,000 - £225,000||£500 - £1250 per month|
|1 bed||£95,000 - £225,000||£500 - £1250 per month|
|2 bed||£95,000 - £225,000||£500 - £1250 per month|
|3-4 bed||£95,000 - £225,000||£500 - £1250 per month|
|5+ bed||£95,000 - £225,000||£500 - £1250 per month|
Education in the UK is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 16. Many state-funded schools offer a nursery class from age 4 and independent nursery from as young as 6 months. There is also a choice of both state and independent schools that offer higher education to age 18.
The Local Authority (LA) for the area is Kensington and Chelsea and it is responsible for state-funded schools, including their admissions.
Most primary schools in the area achieve standards that are equal to or above the national average. There are 6 senior state schools in the area as well as a good selection of primary, preparatory and senior independent schools. The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, usually referred to as the Lycée or the French Lycée, is a large independent co-educational school for primary and senior students.
To view a map showing schools in the local area, please click the button below. Each school on the map can be clicked to show further information, including OFSTED ratings, exam results, age ranges and number of pupils.Schools Map
- Ranked in Top 10%
- Requires Improvement
- Primary and Secondary
- Independent School
We can help you to get round the nuances of the British schooling system with our school search services. We offer a range of programmes, from basic consultancy with one of our education specialists, to detailed reporting on every suitable school for your child or children, through to fully accompanied school inspections where we take you to see your top school choices.More Info
Local Authority, Taxation and Crime Rates
The London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) is the administrative authority responsible for the local area. They levy an annual charge known as ‘Council Tax’ for local services such as waste collection, street lighting, police and fire services. You should expect to pay Council Tax whether you are renting or buying.
The police authority for the area is the Metropolitan Police. For non-emergency calls to the police, phone 101.
Your local Member of Parliament (MP) is elected by their local constituents to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons.
A good source of information for crime rates in the area is ‘Illustreets’. The website has a great interactive map which provides detailed local statistics, including standards of living.
Kensington High Street (Ken High Street) draws a large crowd with its vast mixture of shops and Oxford Street is a stone's throw away. Kensington Church Street is a great place to go if you are looking for antiques. There are also some good shops mixed in with the restaurants around South Kensington tube station since the area has been pedestrianised.
There are five main supermarkets chains in the UK: Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose. However, they now face competition from other brands such as Aldi, Lidl, The Co-Op and Marks & Spencer. Most offer on-line shopping facilities as well as Ocado, which is the only completely online grocery retailer in the UK, that offers Waitrose quality produce.
Waitrose and Marks and Spencer offer higher quality produce with prices reflecting this. Sainsbury’s and Tesco offer good value for money for a weekly family shop and Asda, Morrisons and The Co-Op are competitively priced with a larger range of budget everyday items. Aldi and Lidl are German brands that stock produce typical to the UK. They are often referred to as discount stores and offer fewer products.
As part of our Home Search Programme, we will orientate you around your target areas and show you where the nearest shopping centres and supermarkets are.Home Search Programmes
Kensington Leisure Centre - offers a full range of leisure, fitness and sporting activities, including a swimming pool, spa and health suite.
The Gate House - an independent ornate cinema offering a unique experience for cinema lovers.
There is a full choice of cinemas and theatres in the West End which is only a short taxi, bus or tube journey away.
Kensington Place - exhibits of former residents such as Queen Victoria and Princess Diana and the popular Royal Gardens cover 242 acres including a sunken garden.
Kensington Gardens - home to the Albert Memorial and Princes Diana Memorial Fountain and is one of eight Royal Parks. It is also worth noting that the park is contiguous with Hyde Park; although often still assumed to be part of Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens has been technically separate since 1728, when Queen Caroline made a division between the two.
The Royal Albert Hall – a world-renowned concert hall best known for The Proms annual concert, which has been held there since 1941. It also hosts music concerts, ballet, opera and sporting events.
The Science Museum - founded in 1857, has exhibitions from throughout the ages.
The Victoria and Albert Museum - the world’s largest decorative arts museum.
The Natural History Museum - a vast range of specimens and exhibits from natural history throughout the ages.
The Roof Gardens –mature gardens, including flaminos, set on the on the 7th floor of an old department store