“Dating back to the 17th century, Kensington Gardens is a picturesque and historically significant park located in the heart of London. It’s one of the eight Royal Parks that decorate the capital and covers an area of around 265 acres. Located adjacent to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens provides the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Here’s what to see while exploring the gardens:
1. Long Water
If you’re looking for somewhere to relax and while away time, perhaps with a book or a picnic, Long Water is ideal. This is a stretch of water in Kensington Gardens that’s overlooked by hanging trees and is home to a wide variety of wildlife including ducks and swans. Bird spotters will also enjoy the green parakeets that can often be seen flying around the area. These brightly coloured birds are not native to the UK, but have made their home in Kensington Gardens. The best time to see them is in spring, when they perch on trees or fly around in large flocks, adding to the beauty of this sensational location.
2. Peter Pan
While down by the Long Water, be sure to look out for one of the park’s most famous residents – Peter Pan. The creator of this fictional character, J.M. Barrie was actually inspired to write Peter Pan after many happy visits to Kensington Gardens. He then paid for a bronze statue to be placed in the park back in 1912 and it’s been delighting visitors ever since. The boy who couldn’t grow up keeps company with the swans and ducks and makes for a great photo opportunity.
3. Albert Memorial
When Prince Albert died on 14th of December 1861 at the age of just 42, the nation was plunged into a period of morning. Queen Victoria later commissioned a memorial in memory of her beloved husband and this now sits in Kensington Gardens, directly north of the Royal Albert Hall. Built in a high gothic style, the ornate canopy pavilion boasts many interesting features. On each outer corner of the monument’s periphery, for example, you’ll find marble figures representing four of the continents – Europe, Asia, Africa and The Americas. The Americas are represented by a bison, Europe a bull, Africa by a camel and Asia by an elephant.
4. The Italian Garden
The Italian Garden is a hidden gem that’s decorated with flowers and plants that are native to Italy including olive trees, cypresses and roses. There’s also a small pond which is home to a variety of fish. The Italian Garden is a picturesque place for a stroll, or you can sit and relax on one of the many benches in the area. If you want to extend your stay and soak up some sun away from the busy city streets, it’s also possible to hire deck chairs for a small fee.