Kensington area London question

Old Jul 4th, 2006, 10:00 PM
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Kensington area London question

I've been reading about how much people enjoy staying in the Kensington area. It reminded me of an area that I hanged out as a teenager staying in a youth/student pension on my first visit to London (fun memories). I rarely went to London in my adulthood but we've stayed in the Mayfair area twice and only ventured west as far as Harrods and north as far as Oxford street. I would like to get this board impressions of staying in the Kensington area. We like areas with small neighborhood feeling and we're not planning to see any London monuments/must sees on our upcoming 3 night visit. Thanks.
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Old Jul 4th, 2006, 10:32 PM
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"Kensington" refers to a huge slug of west inner London, with sub-bits that differ massively.

The area around Ken High St is a moderately high status residential area (though rather too full of expatriate bankers on two year contracts to create a proper neighbourhood feel in my view).

The area west, round "Kensington" Olympia station is an anonymous sprawl.

South Kensington has a slight neighbourhoody feel immediately around South Ken tube station: the term is used also to include the monumental area ("Albertopolis" to some townscape specialists) between the museums and the Albert Hall. This area includes some very pleasant Edwardian blocks of flats around the Albert Hall (though no real parade of shops), some of which are rented to visitors. It also includes a dismal strip of anonymous hotels along the Cromwell Rd which many posters seem rather to like, though Heaven knows why.

The area north of Notting Hill Gate is known as North Kensington. More neighbourly feel immediately round the tube station, leading to pleasant leafy houses as you start going north. North of Westbourne Grove, cutting-edge cool starts meeting knife-carrying hoodies. No more dangerous to most civilians than any other residential area of London (few of us live more than 100 yards from somewhere a bit dodgy). But if you're walking north of Westbourne Grove after dark, make sure all valuables are somewhere else.
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Old Jul 4th, 2006, 10:36 PM
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Hello! UreOSceptic

Hi Dax-We rented a flat in South Kensington one year and really enjoyed the feeling of the area..walking along Brompton Rd, buying flowers and going to Harrods and raiding the Food Hall for snacks to have on hand.
My husband discovered the local wine shop and we enjoyed the small "no-name" restaurants in the area, as well as a couple of Name restaurants
I liked the area and thought it a bit less busy than Notting Hill/Kensington High Street areas.
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Old Jul 4th, 2006, 11:30 PM
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Hi Dax,
We stayed in the area just near Kensington High St.in May this year and were well pleased with the location.
The area felt quite residential and we were opposite St.James Palace,Princess Dianas home.The gardens that surrounded the palace were gorgeous and we enjoyed touring the palace itself.
Kensington High St.is an upmarket shopping area with some acceptable cafes and restaurants.We had an early pre-theatre dinner at the Wagamamas there and made good use of the supermarket located in the basement of Marks and Spencers.
We found tubing from Kensington High St. station convenient and easy.
I would recommend this part of Kensington as an excellent base.
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 01:17 AM
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"St.James Palace,Princess Dianas home". Ahem, that'll be KENSINGTON Palace then.
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 06:01 AM
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Thanks all for your opinions, Kensington sounds like a mixed bag. I wonder what area would have nice neighborhood shops & cafes to stroll by other than Mayfair. How about Chelsea? I also read a bit about Bloomsbury but not sure which part to stay in. Marylebone has also been mentioned but not sure why.
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