There is an awful lot on offer in London, and it can be very difficult to try to see and do everything that this wonderful city contains- even the locals still discover new and wonderful things!
There are a few places though that simply can’t be missed, and Kensington Palace is one such place.
Located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, it has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century and is currently home to several members of the royal family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Make the most of your Montcalm Hotel London City Centre stay by visiting one of the city’s true gems, and take a tour of this magnificent palace and the stunning gardens.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know before you go!
A Quick History Lesson
Kensington Palace has a rich history that spans more than 300 years.
Originally known as Nottingham House, the palace was purchased by King William III and Queen Mary II in 1689 as a country retreat.
One of the most significant events in Kensington Palace's history was the birth of Queen Victoria in 1819.
She spent much of her childhood at the palace and later made it her home after becoming queen. During her reign, the palace was renovated and expanded to accommodate her growing family.
In the 20th century, Kensington Palace became the home of several members of the royal family, including Princess Margaret and Princess Diana.
Throughout its history, Kensington Palace has been a site of great historical significance, serving as a symbol of royal power and prestige. It has also been the setting for numerous royal events and ceremonies, including the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
The palace is easily accessible by public transport, with High Street Kensington tube station (on the Circle and District lines) just a short walk away.
Alternatively, you can take a bus or taxi to the palace- it is one of the best known landmarks in the city so your driver will know exactly where to go!
If you’re heading back to your hotel to enjoy the excellent nearby Finsbury Square restaurants then jumping on the central line to Liverpool Street Station is the best way to do so!
Kensington Palace is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm (last admission at 5 pm).
However, it is closed from the 24th to the 26th of December- for obvious reasons!
The admission fee for Kensington Palace varies depending on the time of year and whether you purchase your tickets in advance or on the day.
It is recommended to book your tickets online in advance, as it is usually cheaper and will also save you time on the day.
Prices start from £17.50 for adults and £8.75 for children (under 16).
What to See
Once you enter Kensington Palace, you can explore the State Apartments, which are ceremonial rooms used by the monarchy for official occasions. These include the King's and Queen's State Apartments, which are decorated with stunning portraits, world class paintings, ornate furniture, and other gorgeous objects from the Royal Collection.
Another must-see is the Victoria Revealed exhibition, which tells the story of Queen Victoria's life and reign through her personal objects, letters, and diaries.
You can visit many of the palace's exhibitions, including the Fashion Rules Restyled exhibition which showcases fashion from the wardrobes of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, and Princess Diana.
The palace also has beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces that you can explore. The Sunken Garden, for example, is a tranquil oasis in the heart of the palace, with colourful flowers and a fountain.
The flower gardens are world famous wonderful fountains, manicured lawns and wildflower meadows.
Activities and Tours
There are many activities and tours available at Kensington Palace to enhance your visit. These include:
- Audio Guides: You can rent an audio guide to take you through the palace and give you more information about the history and significance of each room.
- Guided Tours: You can also join a guided tour with one of the palace's expert guides, who will take you through the palace and give you a more in-depth understanding of its history and significance.
- Family Activities: If you're visiting with children, there are plenty of family activities available, such as the "Dress Up as a Courtier" activity, which allows children to dress up in historical costumes and learn about life at court.
- Afternoon Tea: You can also indulge in a traditional English afternoon tea at the palace's Orangery, which overlooks the palace gardens.
Before you visit Kensington Palace, here are a few final tips to help you make the most of your visit:
- Plan ahead: It's a good idea to plan your visit in advance, including booking your tickets online, deciding what you want to see, and researching any special events or exhibitions that may be taking place.
- Wear comfortable shoes: The palace is quite large, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes to make your visit more enjoyable.
- Check for closures: Occasionally, parts of the palace may be closed for renovations or events, so be sure to check the palace's website for any closures or disruptions.
- Allow enough time: To fully appreciate everything that Kensington Palace has to offer, allow at least 2-3 hours for your visit.
- Evening spa session: Leave the palace in plenty of time to enjoy the facilities in one of the finest Montcalm spa hotels London can offer.
So there you have it, everything you need to know before you visit Kensington Palace.
Explore the utterly gorgeous gardens, learn the history of the monarchs who have resided here, and enjoy the scintillating palace halls- this really is one of London’s greatest royal attractions.
Make the most of the wonderful London hotel packages currently available in the stunning Montcalm Hotels. You’ll be able to choose from wonderful locations around the city, and enjoy your stay in utter luxury.
Sounds like a good trip to me.