IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD: SOUTH KENSINGTON

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South Kensington is both a residential and commercial neighbourhood, with a strong cultural vibe, centrally located between Belgravia, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Earls’ Court. 

South Kensington is a neighbourhood with a strong cultural vibe and comprises some of London’s most popular museums: the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum.

Hosting the French Embassy and Institut Francais, it’s both a residential and commercial neighbourhood, with a strong French cultural influence, a fact that has given rise to its nickname; the “21st arrondissement.”


HOUSING & RENTAL MARKET

In the 17th century, the area saw large Italian stucco style houses developed for wealthy families that wanted to have a home in an area that was seen as a cultural centre. Much later, these mansions were converted into residential flats, but the styling of these imposing structures continues to be a prominent feature in South Kensington.

You will also find beautiful red brick houses in South Kensington. The trend for building these was started by Richard Norman Shaw and later taken up by builders who came after. Although a lot of these original red brick houses are now converted into flats, they make for a beautiful blend that gives the area the regal character that it has. Other types of architecture in the area include mews houses at Queen’s Gate Place Mews, among others. There is also terraced housing as well as purpose built mansions.

With such a rich cultural heritage to its name, there is a premium to living in South Kensington. Property, whether rental or sale is on the higher side. For example, average property prices for a two-bedroom house is around £1.8m while the average rental price for a 2 bedroom is anywhere from £500 per week to a top of about £5000 per week.


GETTING AROUND

There are a variety of options when it comes to getting round in South Kensington. Movement from one side of London to the other is easy as the tube station in South Kensington is graded as zone 1. This means minimal train change (typically once) to get to any corner of London.

Most of the key stations such as Kings Cross typically take 20 minutes or less. Apart from the tube, you can connect from South Kensington to other locations through the over ground train station at West Brompton, which is the nearest from South Kensington.

It is also easy to drive as South Kensington is on the A4, and just a short drive on to the M4, and there on to the West of England. Bus transport is also available in the form of bus number C1 to Victoria and 74 to Baker Street. There are also two night buses to the Trafalgar square. When travelling by air, the Piccadilly Tube line will directly get you to Heathrow Airport, and from there on to any destination.


THE PARKS

The highlight of the area is Hyde Park with its rich heritage and splendid beauty. Other green spaces in the area include the Kensington Gardens, which houses the memorial fountain that is dedicated to the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.


SHOPPING 

You will be spoilt for choice as South Kensington hosts a range of supermarkets, numerous independent organic shops and farmers’ markets. There is free parking for shoppers at the Whole Food market on South Kensington high street. If you are looking for more refined shopping options, there are Harrods and Harvey Nichols just around the corner, in Knighstbridge. Smaller and more intimate shopping options exist along Fulham Road and Bute Road, among others.


THE PUBS & RESTAURANTS

South Kensington has an assorted range of pubs to meet just about every need possible. Party the night away in any one of the pubs scattered in and around the South Kensington’s high street.

From the Anglesea Arms (a favourite of Charles Dickens) to the up-market Duke of Clarence near the Kensington tube station. Popular South Kensington food haunts include CERU, Wright Brothers, Daquise Restaurant, Town House Kensington, and more.


CELEBRITIES

In and around the larger Kensington area, you are likely to catch a glimpse of past and current homes of celebrities such as Richard Branson, Rowan Atkinson and James Dyson. 

The most expensive street in London, Kensington Palace Gardens (or ‘Billionaire Row’), with an average house price estimated at over £33 million, is home to royalty, oligarchs, tycoons and ambassadors.

SCHOOLS & MEDICAL FACILITIES

There is a wide range of primary and secondary schools in South Kensington. They range from state funded schools to independent schools. There is also a French school that incorporates both primary and secondary schools sections. Some of the top schools include Magdalen College School, Headington School, and Radley College.

Around South Kensington, you can also find some of the top universities like Richmond University (The American International University in London) and Imperial College London.

If you need to see a doctor, there are numerous facilities around South Kensington. Hospitals in the area include Bupa Cromwell Hospital and the Royal Marsden Hospital. 


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