One of my favorite parks in London is Kensington Gardens.
Entering Kensington Gardens from the Notting Hill side in autumn. Photo by me.
I discovered it last year, and since then I can’t stay away.
Kensington Gardens’ Round Pond. The perfect spot on a summer’s day. Photo by me.
One of London’s Royal Parks, it flows out from behind Kensington Palace…
Kensington Palace. Photo by me
…to join with Hyde Park on its eastern border.
On the western side of London, Kensington Gardens is next to one of the most desirable areas in London– Kensington–known for some of the best shopping in the city.
Kensington High Street, just a few blocks from Kensington Gardens. Photo by me
It is also very near the popular Notting Hill neighborhood and the famous Portobello market.
A crowded Sunday afternoon shopping on Portobello Road at the market. Photo by me.
To the south of the park is the famous concert hall, The Royal Albert Hall, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concert since 1941. It is right across from the Albert Memorial Gate entrance to the park and the Albert Memorial on Kensington Road.
Royal Albert Hall viewed from Kensington Gardens. Photo by David Iliff, Creative Commons
The Albert Memorial. Photo Wikimedia Commons by D. Iliff
And of course right inside the gardens on the west side of the park is Kensington Palace, the London home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will & Kate) and Prince Harry.
Kensington Palace from the Sunken Garden in June. Photo by me.
The Sunken Garden outside the palace, on the edge of Kensington Gardens. Photo by me.
Kate has been known to walk Lupo in the park with her security guard at her side.
Kate was seen recently walking Lupo around the Italian Gardens in the park.Creative Commons photo
But so far I have not been fortunate enough to run in to them.
The gates between Kensington Palace and the park. Photo by me.
There are lots of dog walkers in the park, and to be a “commercial dog walkers” you do need a license to “operate” in the royal parks. But these British dogs seem very well-behaved, following all the rules…most of the time.
A dog walker takes a break in KG. Photo by me.
You are very aware of the royal residents who used the park as their backyard. This small cafe is next to The Princess Diana Memorial Playground.
One of several small shelters to stop and sit and enjoy the park. Photo by me.
Word has it that the Princess stopped for coffee at the small shop that now bears her name which is right outside the gates that lead to the palace.
The Diana Cafe where I stopped for lunch on my walk around the park back to my hotel. Photo by me.
But it is the beauty of the park itself that keeps me coming back. It is well used by the locals and visitors. You can feel the friendliness as soon as you enter.
A friend captures the foliage and her friend in a photo, while a group of children practice their “football” (soccer in the US) in the background. Photo by me.
No matter what the season, it just seems like a lovely space to meet a friend and spend an hour or two walking.
A painting of Kensington Gardens by me.