As an affluent area, the numerous and beautiful garden squares in Kensington make W8 one of the most desirable areas to live...
What to know about Kensington
The Kensington office of Marsh & Parsons has flats and houses to rent in the most expensive and exclusive district of London where houses can change hands for as much as £7,000 a week. The heart of Kensington boasts the bustling shopping streets of Kensington High Street and Kensington Church Street, where boutiques and high-street chains rub shoulders with antique dealers all complimented by the sophisticated bars, pubs and restaurants, including the famous Kensington Roof Gardens with tropical roof gardens offering breathtaking views of Kensington and Central London.
One of the biggest attractions of Kensington, however, is its palace and gardens which borders Hyde Park, and the most expensive property overlooks these beautiful open spaces. In Kensington Palace Gardens W8, Bernie Ecclestone and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal both have homes while the area has been home to both Isaac Newton and Sir Thomas Moore in the past!
Marsh & Parsons not only lets flats and houses in this exclusive enclave but also throughout the W8 area.
Property types in Kensington
The area around Kensington has a rich history that dates back as far as the Domesday Book of 1086 and is now one of the most sought after residential areas in London. With a rich selection of property in the area in and around Kensington and W8, there is a large proportion of properties dating back to the Victorian and Georgian era and offer attractive period buildings. With many of these large properties now taking the form of popular and desirable period conversions there are also numerous detached houses, town houses and mansion blocks. As an affluent area, the numerous and beautiful garden squares in Kensington make W8 one of the most desirable areas to live in and there are additionally a couple of highly popular, private roads in the area. Furthermore, Kensington is one of the few areas of London that can boast almost no high rise buildings spotting the skyline.
So, what will you get for your money in Kensington W8?
Verity Barrett, Lettings Manager for Marsh & Parsons in Kensington, says that prices start at £350 a week for a studio flat in a mansion block, such as Chatsworth Court and Vicarage Court and "one-bedroom flats in the Hillgate Street conservation area rent from about £475 a week."
Campden Hill and its surrounding streets which are equidistant from both Notting Hill Gate and High Street Kensington tube stations are among the most sought after addresses, but they were not always so glamorous. Campden Street and Peel Street were once an area of low-income housing with no sewers known as The Racks where people and pigs lived together. Marsh & Parsons, one of the area's longest established estate agents say that a two-bedroom apartment in Lexham Gardens W8 can rent for £500 to £795 a week.
Families looking for houses to rent in Kensington can expect to pay £1100 - £1400 a week for a two or three bedroom house in Pembroke Place or Adam and Eve Mews W8, handy for High Street Kensington tube station, and up to £1500 a week in Stanhope Mews SW7, closer to South Kensington tube. On the Phillimore Estate on roads such as Argyll Road and Phillimore Gardens W8 prices rise to about £5,500 a week, sometimes more.
What else can you expect from Kensington W8?
Verity Barrett says the attractiveness of the area is due to the charming surroundings offering "great schools, shops and restaurants with a wonderful atmosphere and a feeling of security".
Schools are certainly a big attraction for buyers moving into Kensington and the Good Schools Guide lists more than a dozen, including Ashbourne, Thomas's, Collingham, Mander Portman Woodward, Our Lady of Victories, Francis Holland and Saint Philip's.
Kensington also has some of the best pubs in London, including The Churchill, on Kensington Church Street, whose walls are adorned with Second World War memorabilia, and the Elephant and Castle on Holland Street, just behind the High Street. The Piano Bar, behind a tiny door on the High Street, is a real gem where Bazz Norton and his grand piano entertain drinkers with a wide mix of tunes and requests.
For formal dining, residents are spoilt for choice, from Sally Clarke's to Kensington Place, The Orangery and Maggie Jones's named after Princess Margaret. For shoppers, there is a vast array of boutiques, supermarkets and specialist retailers. The former Barkers department store has recently been replaced with a Whole Foods supermarket and on Saturdays, Kensington hosts its own farmers market.
Furthermore, the area around Exhibition Road in South Kensington is home to many of London’s major museums and educational centres including the V&A Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, not to mention the famous and grand music and entertainment venue of the Royal Albert Hall. With a wealth of major cultural centres and many smaller institutions including the Museum of Brands, the Leighton Museum and the National Army Museum, you will never be short of something to do and see in Kensington!
As your local estate agent staff at Marsh & Parsons pride themselves on the quality and depth of their local knowledge and as well as providing information on the price of a resident's parking permit (£108 a year) and refuse collection (twice weekly), it also has its finger on the pulse of Kensington's hectic social scene.
Green spaces in Kensington
Of the eight Royal Parks in London, Kensington is home to two of them. Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, and adjoining Hyde Park both offer residents vast expanses of green, open spaces. Kensington Gardens boasts the Serpentine Lake, the Albert memorial and the famous statue of Peter Pan! Meanwhile, Hyde Park, one of London’s largest parks, lays claim to the other half of the Serpentine Lake as well as Speakers’ Corner, the Holocaust Memorial and a memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales. Coming to life around Christmas time, Hyde Park hosts a Winter Wonderland, with festive, wooden stalls selling stocking fillers and mulled wine, and the Ferris Wheel forming the central attraction!
In addition to the large parks, there are numerous garden squares in Kensington built for use of the residents in the surrounding area. Of all of the garden squares in London, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has the largest proportion boasting over 100 garden squares!
Transport links in Kensington
There are excellent transport links in Kensington including London Underground services from the following stations:
Kensington (Olympia) also operates National Rail services.
Click here for an Underground Map.
The road links are superb, with the A4 and M4 taking drivers west to Heathrow or east into central London and bus links are also first-class.
For more information about the bus routes in the Kensington area click here.
Which London Borough is Kensington in?
The Kensington area is covered by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Please click here for more information relating to council tax bands, parking permits and healthcare services in Kensington.
How can I find out about schools in the Kensington area?
For a comprehensive list of schools in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea please click here.