Our historic property, The Milestone Hotel, sits within London’s prestigious Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and is just moments from the sprawling greenery of Kensington Gardens. As well as being a tranquil retreat from the city, these gardens have a wealth of sights and experiences to seek out, which can be easily enjoyed with a stay at The Milestone Hotel. Here’s our pick of the best things to do within the gardens.
Explore the historic royal residence, Kensington Palace
Here in Kensington Gardens, the focus undoubtedly falls on the 17th century royal residence Kensington Palace, which is currently the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate. Some areas of the palace are open to the public, giving visitors a glimpse into life at the palace while gaining insight into the history of British royalty.
Seek out each of Kensington Gardens’ monuments
A number of culturally and historically significant monuments are dotted throughout the gardens. From stumbling across a marble statue of Queen Victoria and bronze statue of King William III, to seeking out a Peter Pan bronze figure and a Henry Moore sculpture, a simple stroll through the gardens can turn into an afternoon of discovery.
Gaze at contemporary art in the Serpentine Galleries
There’s more to Kensington Gardens than historic monuments; they also represent London’s vibrant contemporary arts scene, with the venerated Serpentine Galleries on-site. Throughout the year, these two galleries host exhibitions focusing on contemporary arts and architecture, in accordance with the season. While the original Serpentine Gallery opened in 1970, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery is a far more recent addition, with Zaha Hadid Architects transforming the space within an 1805 gunpowder store and calling it The Magazine.
Follow the Diana Princess of Wales memorial walk
This scenic memorial walk takes in four of London’s most celebrated parks: St James’s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens. Covering seven miles, the trail is marked by 90 plaques, leading visitors to each location Diana had a connection to, including three of London’s royal palaces.
Take a guided tour of the Albert Memorial
One of the most impressive sites within the gardens is The Albert Memorial, which sits across from iconic performance venue, the Royal Albert Hall. Designed by George Gilbert Scott, this ornate memorial commemorates the death of Prince Albert, while celebrating his legacy and contribution to Victorian achievement. By taking a guided tour, visitors can get closer to the monument and gain a greater understanding of the memorial.
Stroll through the Italian Gardens
This 150-year-old ornamental water garden is said to have been a gift from Prince Albert for Queen Victoria. Having been created in 1860, the garden features a Pump House that would have once contained a steam engine to pump the water for each fountain. To this day, visitors can see Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s initials on one of the walls. The Italian Gardens have been the set for a number of films, including Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
Dine in Kensington Gardens’ restaurants
Found within a garden pavilion that was built for Queen Anne in 1704, The Orangery restaurant sits amidst Kensington Palace’s formal gardens. Within the 18th century dining room, visitors can dine on traditional British cuisine. The Magazine Restaurant can be found within the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Here, the chef Emmanuel Eger creates contemporary plates encompassing premium produce, for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Back at The Milestone Hotel, guests can take the opportunity to indulge in a traditional Afternoon Tea, rounding off a day of exploring Kensington Gardens with freshly baked scones and cream.