Hotels, B&Bs & Self-Catering in Kensington & Chelsea London - Cool Places to Stay in the UK

London - Kensington & Chelsea

The so-called 'Royal Borough' of Kensington and Chelsea more than lives up to its stately name, with a genteel air and some of London's most elegant streetscapes, garden squares flanked by gloss-black iron railings and cookie-cutter rows of brilliant white townhouses. It's rich, but in fact it's far from dull, and indeed this part of West London throbs with an energy that is all its own. Kensington plays host to some of the UK's most venerable museums and one of its most glorious parks in Kensington Gardens – home to the recently revamped Kensington Palace), while Chelsea is packed with uber-slick restaurants and bars. Both neighbourhoods can also boast some of London's very best shopping, with King's Road very much the star attraction.

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Eat and Drink

Far enough away from the tourist traps of the West End, Kensington and Chelsea attract a local crowd with a range of places to eat and drink that have style, substance – and fair prices. The King's Road in Chelsea is lined with everything from gastropubs and cafes to bistros and Asian restaurants, while tucked away in the quiet streets of Kensington are some real gems, including a cracking selection of local pubs that will have you believing London must be miles away.

Shop

Shopping in Kensington is mostly mainstream, with many of Britain's established brands such as Topshop and Jigsaw having outposts along Kensington High Street. A more interesting prospect for an afternoon flexing the credit cards is the King's Road in Chelsea, once the epicentre of the punk movement and today still a fashion mecca with independent boutiques sitting side by side with the quirkier high street names.

Things to Do

Kensington and Chelsea have a long history of playing host to London's great and good and so the area is home to numerous sites (and sights) of cultural and historic significance. South Kensington is known for its world-famous museums, the V&A, Natural History and Science, of which London is rightly extremely proud, while further north Kensington Gardens has Kensington Palace, the Serpentine Gallery and – just outside – the iconic Albert Hall. Chelsea has less headline attractions, allowing for a range of smaller, more unassuming places to flourish. These include the delightful Chelsea Physic Garden, the Royal Hospital Chelsea (home of the Chelsea Pensioners) and the cutting-edge Saatchi Gallery.