17 February 2020

Exploring Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is one of the Royal Borough’s finest gems and well worth a visit while staying at 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel. Visiting the palace from the hotel requires just a 20-minute stroll through South Kensington to the palace gates or you could hop in a taxi for five minutes and avoid the often-unpredictable Great British weather! If travelling by public transport, the palace is best accessed via High Street Kensington or Queensway tube stations.

Located in the majestic surroundings of Kensington Gardens, the palace has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century. There are markers of its royal history and fascinating stories all around the grounds, including the little known fact that the palace was once a suburban villa named Nottingham House. It was in 1689 that newly crowned monarchs William and Mary chose this unassuming property to be their country retreat and in the years that followed, Stuart and Georgian monarchs transformed the building into a fashionable home for Britain’s young royal families. Today, as well as being a popular visitor destination, Kensington Palace is the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children.

For a modest admission fee, you can get behind the scenes and visit areas not accessible to the general public. This includes unfrequented corners of the Palace and State Rooms, as well as all the public areas of the palace and gardens. There are plenty of activities and exhibitions taking place at the palace throughout the year too, including the popular Victoria: A Royal Childhood. Commissioned in 2019, this new permanent exhibition celebrates the 200th anniversary of Victoria’s birth and explores how a young princess blossomed into an independent and iconic monarch. Amongst the highlights, you can explore Victoria's re-imagined childhood rooms and the famous Sunken Garden.

A trip to the palace is not complete without a visit to The Orangery on the edge of the grounds. The perfect place to round off a quintessentially English experience, here you can indulge in a spot of afternoon tea. Built in 1704-05 for Queen Anne, who ascended to the throne following the death of King William, the Orangery was used for hosting parties. Today a quaint restaurant, it offers a fine lunch and selection of teas, while there is also an outside terrace so you can enjoy the views of the palace and its gardens.