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London area of South Kensington guide

What to do and where to stay in London's South Kensington neighbourhood

The concentration of prestigious and world-class museums in South Kensington is unique to London. In no other city would you find the likes of such luminaries as the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Royal Albert Hall within walking distance of each other and a large number of elegant hotels. It’s no coincidence that these bastions of culture are clustered together and the name of the street that links them, Exhibition Road, gives a clue as to why they are – the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851 created the foundations for these grand institutions dedicated to the arts and sciences. It was this investment in the area that set in motion a building spurt with large terraced houses which gives the district its current appearance as a high-class residential area; streets like the Boltons are among west London's smartest addresses. Catering for this type of resident are the designer shops around Brompton Cross. There’s also a distinct European flavour to modern day South Ken with a French emphasis making it all the more chic.

See our recommended nearby South Kensington Hotels, Events, Entertainment, Sights and Attractions, Shopping, Restaurants, Pubs, Nightlife, Leisure, Education, and Meeting Venues.

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The Best

Hotels near South Kensington

Near South Kensington
Grange Strathmore Hotel London London

Grange Strathmore Hotel London

from £59  24% off
41 Queen's Gate Gardens, London, SW7  5NB  1 minutes away from South Kensington

Ideally located in London's affluent and fashionable Kensington area, the Grange Strathmore Hotel is an elegantly restored London townhouse, combining Victorian splendour with modern day luxury. ...More

 
Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel London

Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel

from £58  21% off
68-86 Cromwell Road, London, SW7  5BT  2 minutes away from South Kensington

Formerly home to the Vanderbilt family, this grand Victorian townhouse with an imposing frontage is now part of the Radisson brand. Located on the bustling Cromwell ...More

 
Rydges Kensington London London

Rydges Kensington London

from £80  21% off
61 Gloucester Road, London, SW7  4PE  2 minutes away from South Kensington

A clean and bright boutique, Victorian hotel, the Rydges Kensington London offers excellent proximity to London's celebrated museums and the Royal Albert Hall. Only 75 metres ...More

 
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The Best

Events near South Kensington

Near South Kensington
Animal Vision For Families London

Animal Vision For Families

On Soon
Dates: Saturday 8th August 2015 - 11.30am-12noon
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7  5BD  3 minutes away from South Kensington

Learn about how certain animals see, including reptiles and vertebrates, with a chance to handle some species....More

 
Prom 22: Aurora Orchestra London

Prom 22: Aurora Orchestra

Today Only
Dates: Sunday 2nd August 2015 - 3.30pm
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, SW7  2AP  7 minutes away from South Kensington

Nicholas Collon conducts the Aurora Orchestra in a performance of Brett Dean's Pastoral Symphony, Mozart's Piano Concerto No 26 in D, Anna Meredith's Smatter Hauler and ...More

 
Prom 23: Verdi: Requiem London

Prom 23: Verdi: Requiem

Today Only
Dates: Sunday 2nd August 2015 - 8pm
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, SW7  2AP  7 minutes away from South Kensington

Donald Runnicles conducts the Chorus Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Verdi's epic choral work featuring soprano Angela Meade, mezzo-soprano ...More

 
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The Best

Entertainment near South Kensington

Near South Kensington
Cine Lumiere London
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Cine Lumiere

Institut Francais Cultural Centre, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7  2DT  4 minutes away from South Kensington

The Cine Lumiere is a shining beacon for all fans of European and World cinema. Attached to the Institut Francais, its programme is varied and intelligent, ...More

 
Science Museum IMAX London
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Science Museum IMAX

Exhibition Road, Knightsbridge, South Kensington, SW7  2DD  4 minutes away from South Kensington

The huge IMAX screen - ten times bigger than the average screen - at the Science Museum is one of the few places in London where ...More

 
Royal College of Music London
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Royal College of Music

Prince Consort Road, South Kensington, SW7  2BS  5 minutes away from South Kensington

The Royal College of Music is the school where Gustav Hoilst, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Benjamin Britten, James Galway, Joan Sutherland and Ralph Vaughan Williams learnt their ...More

 
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The Best

Sights and Attractions near South Kensington

The best museums, galleries, attractions near South Kensington
Natural History Museum London
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Natural History Museum

Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7  5BD  3 minutes away from South Kensington

The Natural History Museum is sure to impress even the most jaded of children. This ornate museum is home to more than 70 million specimens from ...More

 
Science Museum London
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Science Museum

Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7  2DD  4 minutes away from South Kensington

The Science Museum in South Kensington houses one of the most comprehensive collections looking at the development of science and industry, and it is all done ...More

 
Information Age London
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Information Age

Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7  2DD  4 minutes away from South Kensington

A major permanent gallery on the second floor of the Science Museum, open on 25th October 2014, Information Age: Six Networks That Changed Our World is ...More

 
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The Best

Shopping near South Kensington

The best shops and markets near South Kensington
Moxon's London
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Moxon's

17 Bute Street, South Kensington, SW7  3EY  5 minutes away from South Kensington

Fishmonger Robin Moxon is regarded as one of the best suppliers of fish in London and is all too familiar with early morning trips to Billingsgate ...More

 
La Cave a Fromage London
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La Cave a Fromage

24-25 Cromwell Place, South Kensington, SW7  2LD  6 minutes away from South Kensington

In true French style, this chic cheese shop piles its wares high and stinking, with no fridges, or glass barriers to stop customers getting in for ...More

 
Christie's South Kensington London
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Christie's South Kensington

85 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, SW7  3LD  6 minutes away from South Kensington

Established in 1776, Christie's holds sales ranging from Old Masters to the contemporary arts. In 1990 it broke all records with the sale Van ...More

 
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The Best

Restaurants near South Kensington

What are the best dining options near South Kensington London?
Starbucks London
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Starbucks

83 Gloucester Road, South Kensington, SW7  4SS  3 minutes away from South Kensington

Originally from New York, Haagen Dazs is now a global ice-cream giant. These cafes sell their delicious luxury ice-cream straight as well as in sundaes and ...More

 
Byron London
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Byron

75 Gloucester Road, South Kensington, SW7  4SS  3 minutes away from South Kensington

Of all the many burger chains in London, Byron is the least gimmicky and could well be the best. Byron claims to source its beef from ...More

 
Ask! Pizza London
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Ask! Pizza

1 Gloucester Arcade, South Kensington, SW7  4SF  3 minutes away from South Kensington

A good pizza chain. Serves tasty large Italian pizzas, pasta and salads in light spacious restaurants. A reliable and quick meal option....More

 
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The Best

Pubs near South Kensington

The best pubs near London South Kensington.
The Duke of Clarence London
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The Duke of Clarence

148 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, South Kensington, SW5  0BE  7 minutes away from South Kensington

Gastropub...More

 
Devonshire Arms W8 London
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Devonshire Arms W8

37 Marloes Road, South Kensington, W8  6LA  10 minutes away from South Kensington

Always a popular hangout with the South Kensington locals, The Devonshire Arms had a fresh lick of paint in 2014 and emerged with its proper pub ...More

 
The Enterprise London
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The Enterprise

35 Walton Street, South Kensington, South Kensington, SW3  2HU  12 minutes away from South Kensington

Bar ...More

 
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The Best

Nightlife near South Kensington

South Kensington clubs, bars, cabaret nights, casinos and interesting nightlife.
Ghost INC London

Ghost INC

7-11 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7  2DL  3 minutes away from South Kensington

Perhaps the last thing you would expect under South Kensington's upmarket Gainsborough Hotel is a compact cocktail bar pumping out electro house and nu-wave until 2.30am ...More

 
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Babylon at the Roof Gardens London
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Babylon at the Roof Gardens

99 Kensington High Street, South Kensington, W8  5SA  11 minutes away from South Kensington

Richard Branson's rooftop restaurant-come-nightclub at Kensington Roof Gardens is a favourite with the glam girls of Kensington, who can be seen at all hours sipping cocktails ...More

 
Barts London
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Barts

Chelsea Cloisters, Sloane Avenue, South Kensington, SW3  3DW  12 minutes away from South Kensington

Taking its inspiration from the American speakeasy movement, Barts is a tiny, intimate and relaxed bar in South Kensington which promises a refreshingly fun experience - ...More

 
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The Best

Leisure near South Kensington

South Kensington gyms, sporting activities, health & beauty and fitness.
Holiday Inn, The Gym London

Holiday Inn, The Gym

100 Cromwell Road, Kensignton, South Kensington, SW7  4ER  3 minutes away from South Kensington

...More

 
G-Spa London
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G-Spa

63-81 Pelham Street, South Kensington, SW7  2NJ  9 minutes away from South Kensington

Downstairs from LA Fitness (keep going past the people who look like they're about to die on the running machines) you'll find G-Spa. A world away ...More

 
The Roof Gardens London
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The Roof Gardens

99 Kensington High Street, South Kensington, W8  5SA  11 minutes away from South Kensington

Although a restaurant, clubbing and event venue, the extraordinary Kensington Roof Gardens are still accessible to the general public during the day if there are no ...More

 
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The Best

Education near South Kensington

Near South Kensington
Dana Centre London
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Dana Centre

165 Queen's Gate, South Kensington, South Kensington, SW7  5HD  2 minutes away from South Kensington

There are plenty of initiatives trying to get kids involved in science, but the Dana Centre, an extension of the Science Museum, is the first one ...More

 
Language Link Ltd. London

Language Link Ltd.

21 Harrington Road, South Kensington, SW7  3EU  5 minutes away from South Kensington

12-16 per class. Under £200pw...More

 
The London School of Painting and Drawing London
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The London School of Painting and Drawing

23 Kensington Square, South Kensington, W8  5HN  10 minutes away from South Kensington

Evening and weekend classes in life drawing and painting, taught by tutors from the Slade School of Fine Art and the Royal Society of British Sculptors. ...More

 
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Meeting venue hire near South Kensington

Where to have your meeting, conference, exhibition, private dining or training course near South Kensington.
Natural History Museum London
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Natural History Museum

Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7  5BD  3 minutes away from South Kensington

The Natural History Museum is sure to impress even the most jaded of children. This ornate museum is home to more than 70 million specimens from ...More

 
The Gore Hotel London
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The Gore Hotel

190 Queen's Gate, Kensington, South Kensington, SW7  5EX  6 minutes away from South Kensington

...More

 
The Great Hall, Imperial College London
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The Great Hall, Imperial College

South Kensington Campus, South Kensington, SW7  2AZ  6 minutes away from South Kensington

One of London's largest academic venues, the Imperial College London has a portfolio of more than 200 meeting and seminar rooms. Its largest conference room, The ...More

 
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