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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. 

Popular Activities at Kensington Palace

There are loads of wonderful ways to experience Kensington Palace. Here's a list of some of the most popular:

For more activities, check out our London things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Kensington Palace


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Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington C$134
Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington

Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington

4-18 Harrington Gardens, London
     
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    This is a large modern hotel set in exclusive South Kensington, 50 metres from Gloucester Road London Underground station with access to the Piccadilly line, and adjacent to the Millennium Conference Centre.

    Park International Hotel C$134
    Park International Hotel

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      Located in upscale South Kensington, this London hotel is 3 blocks from Kensington High Street, and within 2 km. of Hyde Park, Harrods department store, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

      Thistle Kensington Gardens C$138
      Thistle Kensington Gardens

      Thistle Kensington Gardens

      104 Bayswater Road, London
         
        4.1
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        Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace. Hyde Park and Royal Albert Hall are also within 1 mi (2 km). Queensway Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Bayswater Underground Station is 6 minutes.

        Royal Garden Hotel C$257
        Royal Garden Hotel

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        2-24 Kensington High Street, London
           
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          1960s-built London hotel located on bustling Kensington High Street, 55 yards from Kensington Palace and Gardens and Hyde Park.

          Central Park Hotel C$97
          Central Park Hotel

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            Superbly located hotel, 3 mins walk from both Queensway and Bayswater Tube Stations with NCP parking nearby. Situated opposite London’s famous Hyde Park, the hotel is perfectly positioned for quick access.

            Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington C$168
            Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington

            Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington

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              3.9
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              Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington is located just off High Street Kensington and offers easy access to the shops and restaurants of Kensington, Knightsbridge and Notting Hill.

              The Westbourne Hyde Park C$172
              The Westbourne Hyde Park

              The Westbourne Hyde Park

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                4.6
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                Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Kensington Palace and Marble Arch are also within 1 mi (2 km). Lancaster Gate Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Paddington Underground Station is 6 minutes.

                Corus Hotel Hyde Park C$134
                Corus Hotel Hyde Park

                Corus Hotel Hyde Park

                Lancaster Gate, London
                   
                  3.7
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                  Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Kensington Palace and Marble Arch are also within 1 mi (2 km). Lancaster Gate Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Paddington Underground Station is 8 minutes.