Although it is just minutes from London’s hectic city center, the residential neighborhood of Holland Park exudes an air of calm. Wander the tree-lined streets, admire the grand white stucco buildings, encounter peacocks in the district’s attractive park and pause to people-watch in small street-side cafés.
The neighborhood takes its name from Holland House, a Jacobean mansion built in the early 17th century. Although the vast majority of the property was destroyed during World War II bombings, the east wing does remain standing. Head to Holland Park to survey what remains of the old mansion.
Stroll through the pretty landscaped lawns of the park, which was once part of the Holland House estate. Soak up the serene atmosphere of the Japanese-style Kyoto Garden and stop by Holland Park Ecology Centreto learn more about the local environment. As you explore the park, be alert for the resident peacocks, which can often be spotted parading around. Every summer, the park hosts the annual Opera Holland Park series, during which crowds congregate to watch operas under a temporary canopy.
Investigate the quiet residential streets around the park. Many of the houses and apartments here are period properties, with converted stables, known as mews, and white stucco mansions being particularly prevalent. Walk down Royal Crescent at the west of Holland Park Avenue to see 32 stunning Regency-style houses.
Don’t leave without exploring the New Design Museum. Located in the 1960s Commonwealth Institute building, this museum opened here in 2016, having moved from a smaller premises in Butler’s Wharf on the riverside. Browse the permanent exhibit chronicling the best examples of 20th- and 21st-century design for free or pay to view temporary touring exhibitions.
Stroll just 5 minutes from Holland Park to reach the shop and restaurant-lined High Street Kensington. Holland Park is well connected to the rest of London. Ride the Tube to Holland Park station for quick access to central London. Several bus routes also serve the local area. Public bike rental docking stations can be found near Holland Park station.