Largely populated by both families and young professionals alike, South Kensington is a very affluent part of London with a laid back and friendly continental feel. In the heart of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the area boasts some of the most admired and respected museums in the world, located minutes from each other. These include Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum and the Royal Albert Hall. The area is very popular with French ex pats – largely because of The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle and the French Institute. Neighbouring the equally rich areas of Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Kensington, South Kensington has some of the most expensive property in the world.
South Kensington remained largely undeveloped until the mid-19th century and was an agricultural area supplying London with fruit and vegetables. After the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, an area was purchased to make a home for institutions dedicated to the arts and sciences. This resulted in the foundation of the museums and universities such as Imperial College. Local landowners also began to develop their land in the 1860s as a result of the creation of new roads and this led to a boom in different parts of London. The area was further absorbed into London after the tube arrived at Gloucester Road and South Kensington in 1868, providing links to key parts of the capital.
Known for its white stucco villas, gorgeous terraced houses and modern flats in period buildings surrounded by beautiful garden squares; there are many different properties in South Kensington catering for all sorts of people. Don’t think that W8 is just for Russian oligarchs – there are many options depending on what you’re looking for. Lots of the large family houses have long been converted into flats for under a million pounds and there are perfectly affordable studios on offer.
There’s so much choice when it comes to shopping in South Kensington. Take your pick from an array of boutiques, well-known designers and larger stores. You’re also close to Knightsbridge and Chelsea, where there’s everything you’ll ever need and more. Just try to not get overwhelmed! If it’s fashion you’re after, you should get yourself along to Sloane Avenue and Fulham Road. There are also exquisite antique shops in the area too. As well as this, in Kensington you’ve got trendier options like the market where you can pick up some bargains.
Tube lines in the area include Gloucester Road, High Street Kensington, Knightsbridge and South Kensington. Heathrow airport is about an hour away, direct on the Piccadilly line, while Piccadilly Circus is only about 15 minutes away.
Parks close to South Kensington include: Kensington Gardens (with the Albert Memorial and the Serpentine Gallery), Hyde Park and Holland Park.
The area benefits from exceptional local schooling with a good choice of both primary and secondary schools. These include: Our Lady of Victories RC Primary School, Glendower Prepatory School, Falkner House School and St Philip’s School.
Five interesting facts about South Kensington
1. The Great Train Robbery was planned by Bruce Roberts here in a pub called The Anglesea Arms.
2. German pilots used the Albert Memorial as a landmark during World War I.
3. In 1985 Sir Terrence Conran bought The British headquarters for the French tyre company. Now The Michelin building is a popular cafe and bar!
4. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones appeared on the same bill only once - at the Royal Albert Hall on September 15th 1963.
5. Exhibition Road is named after The Great Exhibition of 1851.
If you are interested in purchasing a property in South Kensington, have a look at our website or contact us for more information on the latest properties available. If you wish to sell your property, why not book a valuation?