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Kensington Palace

Journey though history and learn about the lives of the British Royal Family at this official London residence, set in the magnificent Kensington Gardens.

London’s Kensington Palace has been home to various members of the royal family since the 17th century. Still a working royal residence today, sections of the palace and gardens are open to visitors, providing a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of some of Britain’s most significant royals. 

Starting out as a mansion in 1605, the palace has undergone various expansions and alterations over the centuries. In more recent times Kensington Palace gained worldwide fame as the home of Diana, Princess of Wales. 

Like many of Britain’s royal residencies, parts of Kensington Palace are now open to the public. The palace is divided into four areas known as “story zones,” with guides and multimedia installations on hand to bring the past to life. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by Luminous Lace. This striking contemporary installation mimics a royal lace pattern and is crafted from miles of luminescent wire and 12,000 Swarovski crystals. 

Follow in the footsteps of past monarchs by climbing the King’s Staircase to the opulent King’s State Apartments. Then take the Queen’s Staircase to see the sumptuous furnishings and artworks in the Queens Gallery, Queen’s Drawing Room and Queen’s Bedroom. 

Visit the Fashion Rules exhibition to admire Princess Diana’s couture dress collection, as well as many belonging to Princess Margaret and the current Queen. Learn about the public and private life of one of Britain’s greatest monarchs, Queen Victoria, in Victoria Revealed. 

The Palace Gardens play a staring role as well, particularly in the warmer months. The gardens connect to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park where you’ll find the Diana Memorial Fountain.

Visit the Palace Café and Gift Shop for souvenirs and refreshments. For a treat, enjoy an elegant breakfast or decadent afternoon tea in The Orangery, which overlooks the palace grounds.

Kensington Palace is centrally located in Chelsea and is an easy walk from several Tube stations. The palace is open year-round 7 days a week, except for a few days around the Christmas holiday and the end of January. Ticket prices include access to the palace, gardens and exhibitions. 

You won't believe how many things there are to do at Kensington Palace. Here are some ideas to get you started:

For more activities, take a look at our London things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Kensington Palace


Map

Top Kensington Palace Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Thistle Kensington Gardens NZ$182
Thistle Kensington Gardens

Thistle Kensington Gardens

104 Bayswater Road, London, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace. Royal Albert Hall and Imperial College London are also within 1 mi (2 km). Queensway Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Bayswater Underground Station is 5 minutes.

    Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington NZ$171
    Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington

    Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington

    Scarsdale Place, Kensington, London, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kensington High Street, Kensington Gardens and Cromwell Road. Kensington Palace and Royal Albert Hall are also within 1 mile (2 km). High Street Kensington Station is only a 4-minute walk and Earl's Court Station is 15 minutes.

      Central Park Hotel NZ$101
      Central Park Hotel

      Central Park Hotel

      49/67 Queensborough Terrace, London, England
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace. Kensington High Street and Royal Albert Hall are also within 1 mile (2 km). Queensway Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Bayswater Underground Station is 6 minutes.

        Hyde Park Executive Apartments NZ$109
        Hyde Park Executive Apartments

        Hyde Park Executive Apartments

        8-18 Inverness Terrace, London, England
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in London City Centre, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park. Kensington High Street and Royal Albert Hall are also within 1 mile (2 km). Queensway Underground Station and Bayswater Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          Lancaster Gate Hotel NZ$170
          Lancaster Gate Hotel

          Lancaster Gate Hotel

          66-71 Lancaster Gate, London, England
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Hyde Park and Kensington Palace. Buckingham Palace and The British Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km). Queensway Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Lancaster Gate Underground Station is 6 minutes.

            The Rembrandt NZ$290
            The Rembrandt

            The Rembrandt

            11 Thurloe Place, Kensington, London, England
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, and Cromwell Road. Imperial College London and Harrods are also within 10 minutes. South Kensington Underground Station is 6 minutes by foot and Gloucester Road Underground Station is 11 minutes.

              The Milestone Hotel NZ$660
              The Milestone Hotel

              The Milestone Hotel

              1 Kensington Court, London, England
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Kensington High Street and Kensington Gardens. Kensington Church Street and Kensington Palace are also within 5 minutes. High Street Kensington Station is 6 minutes by foot and Gloucester Road Underground Station is 12 minutes.

                Royal Garden Hotel NZ$374
                Royal Garden Hotel

                Royal Garden Hotel

                2-24 Kensington High Street, London, England
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kensington Palace and Hyde Park. Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus are also within 3 mi (5 km). High Street Kensington Station is only a 4-minute walk and Gloucester Road Underground Station is 13 minutes.