Kensington Palace Gardens – an idyllic getaway from chaos of the City

Kensington Palace Gardens – an idyllic getaway from chaos of the City

Kensington Palace Gardens offer a place of tranquillity and is an idyllic getaway from the humdrum of the city if you want to fly-away your time.

Located next to Kensington Palace in the heart of London, this hidden gem is an easy destination to reach and a popular green space to explore.

Kensington Palace Gardens

Kensington Palace Gardens is made up of beautiful landscaped grounds. Trees here are planted in straight lines, there are some unique looking ones near the round pond and colourful flowering shrubs which makes a visit here more than inviting.

The Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace Gardens

The Sunken Garden is my favourite part of the Palace grounds. I am sure it is the case for many visitors to this idyllic location.

It was planted in 1908 and resembles classical gardens of the 18th century in the UK. A secluded oasis of peaceful haven with ornamental flower beds, an ornamental pond with fountains and a variety of vibrant, alluring and colourful plants like roses, geraniums, cannas and begonias.

Kensington Palace Gardens: The Sunken Garden
Kensington Palace Gardens: The Sunken Garden | Image: georgina_daniel

According to the Kensington Palace website, the fountain is “formed from re-used 18th century water cisterns retrieved from the palace.” The garden is terraced with paving and is surrounded by an arched, red-twig lime walk formed from original stock trees – the Cradle Walk.

The Cradle Walk at Kensington Palace Gardens

Kensington Palace Gardens: The Cradle Walk, also famously known as
Kensington Palace Gardens: The Cradle Walk, also famously known as “Nanny Walk” | Image: georgina_daniel

The Cradle Walk surrounds the Sunken Garden with arched viewing-points which are equally spaced along the sides. This arch provides shades in the summer where you could sit on one of the many benches available and enjoy the vibrant colours of the flowers. It is peaceful here and a great place to getaway to away from chaos of the City.

Kensington Palace Gardens: The Sunken Garden, a secluded oasis of peaceful haven
Kensington Palace Gardens: The Sunken Garden, a secluded oasis of peaceful haven | Image: georgina_daniel
Kensington Palace Gardens: The Sunken Garden in spring, 2019
Kensington Palace Gardens: The Sunken Garden in spring, 2019 | Image: georgina_daniel

Popularity of the sunken garden

Kensington Palace Gardens: New blooms in the sunken garden, summer 2019.
Kensington Palace Gardens: New blooms in the sunken garden, summer 2019 | Image: georgina_daniel

The Sunken Garden is not just a popular site for visitors but also for the royals. It was a place frequently visited by Diana, Princess of Wales when she needed time to reflect. In her honour, and as a ‘living tribute’ to her 20th anniversary of her death, the garden was renamed The White Garden in 2017, planted with more than 12,000 bulbs and many other flowers such as Persian lilies, Treasure Primrose Wallflowers and white-forget-me-nots which were special to her.

More recently, the Sunken Garden was used when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement in November 2017.

I have also learnt that back in the day, the Cradle Walk was famously known as the “Nanny Walk” because it was a popular place for the nannies to meet in Kensington.

History of the formal Kensington Palace Gardens

Kensington Gardens which formed part of Hyde Park was a playground for King Henry VIII, a place where he hunted, and deer chased. When the Palace was established in 1689, Queen Mary II wanted a Dutch inspired garden to be created of formal flower beds and box hedges, with the aim to make King William III feel at home.

The Gardens were further transformed in 1702 when Queen Anne came to the throne and she wanted an English-style garden. She was very fond of citrus trees and she commissioned the built of an Orangery in 1704 to protect them from the harshness of winter. The gardens were described as “very delicious” by John Evelyn, a diarist in 1705.

The formal Kensington Palace Gardens today

The Round Pond
Kensington Palace Gardens: The Round Pond| Image: georgina_daniel

Today, the Orangery is called the Kensington Palace Pavilion. It has become a fashionable spot for brunch or afternoon English tea favoured by bloggers like me, or as a venue for weddings and other celebrations. It is a perfect destination to getaway from the everyday hustle and bustle and experience a touch of tranquillity within a graceful architecture of palace settings surrounded by 300 years of history.

The Kensington Palace Pavilion is open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. It offers simple menu of delicious English dishes. While you are here, enjoy a traditional afternoon tea which I would highly recommend. (For more information, see below)

The formal gardens as we know it today was created by Queen Caroline from 1728 onwards. The 242 acres were designed to include the Serpentine boating lake, the Long Water, the Broad Walk and the Round Pond which are now looked after by The Royal Parks.

Travel tips and practical information on Kensington Palace Gardens

Access to the Gardens

Access to Kensington Palace Gardens Is FREE and you can visit at any time.

Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX

The Kensington Palace Pavilion
Is open from 10.00-16.00. To avoid queues at busy times you are welcome to make a booking.

The Kensington Palace Pavilion
Kensington Palace
Kensington Gardens
W8 4PX
Tel: 020 3166 6113

How to get to Kensington Palace Gardens

Access to Kensington Palace or Kensington Palace Pavilion is via Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

One of the easiest ways to get to Kensington Palace Gardens is via London Underground. However, you could always hail one of our iconic Black Cab to take you to your destination.

If you decide to travel by London Underground, the following information would be helpful:

By London Underground
Nearest stations:
Use District & Circle lines to High Street Kensington (10 – 15 minutes walking time) or Bayswater (15 – 20 minutes walking time).
Use Central Line to Queensway
(10 – 15 minutes walking time) or Notting
Hill Gate
(20 – 25 minutes walking time).

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If you are in London in spring/summer, make this garden one of your stops. Find a spot at the cradle walk and just enjoy the moment of tranquility.

I sincerely hope that this post is valuable to you for when planning your visit to London. If so, do let me know in comments or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Be sure to join our growing membership and sign-up FREE via Email to receive fresh news on travel and traveller wellbeing right to your inbox. I hope my adventures will encourage you to travel and, perhaps by sharing we can support each other.

Happy discovering London 🙂

March 2021, Update

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“If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place.”

–David Bailey, contemporary English fashion and portrait photographer

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By Georgina

Georgina is a travel writer and a content creator. An escapist, she seeks stories, off-beat things to do, and adores the beauty of culture while embracing comfort and slow travel as a responsible traveller in the off-season. Georgina has lived in 3 continents, visited 30+ countries and strives to share her travel steps, passion, and experienced tips to inspire her readers to explore for themselves. Georgina enjoys venturing solo, takes pleasure in listening to classical, country & jazz, and delights in spending joyous time with A & M, her two adult children.


  1. Happy that my post reminded you of “home”. April is not far…Kensington Gardens is lovely in spring/summer. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on my post. Appreciate it.

  2. You are welcome. Super happy that you found the article interesting and helpful. Hope you will visit here when next in London. Thank you so much, Nancy for sharing your thoughts on my post. Appreciate it.

  3. What a beautiful garden! I love visiting places like this when I’m traveling. It’s so interesting to see different botanicals in other parts of the world, but it also serves as a perfect stop to get refreshed and relaxed between the sometimes busyness of site-seeing. What a treat for you to be able to visit here often. Thanks for sharing this wonderful spot with us.

  4. There’s so much of my home country that we have yet to explore. Kensington Gardens being one of them. Thanks for the reminder to put this on our list for April when we are ‘home’.

  5. Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Amy. Very happy that you like them. I appreciate it. It is beautiful in Spring and early Summer and the evenings especially when it is less crowded. Hope you get to visit London and here soon.

  6. This is such a beautiful spot. I would be here all the time if I lived there. Book in hand! Beautiful photos too! Thank you!

  7. I am so glad you like the post on the gardens. It really is an oasis in the middle of the City. Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I appreciate it.

  8. jennympeel says:

    Fabulous looking gardens! I think if I went to the UK, the gardens would be a highlight!

  9. Thank you Georgina for another fabulous blog post. Next year when we return to London I will have so much choice of things to see – thanks to you. And Kensington Palace will certainly be right up there on my bucket list. Your photos of the beautiful Kensington Palace Gardens are great . My favourite photo is of the Sunken Garden

  10. Haha…the Cradle Walk and the Sunken Garden is really really beautiful, so peaceful. Thank you so much for enjoying my post, I am absolutely delighted.

  11. My inner plant nerd (horticulturist) is skipping with delight! Thank you for the beautiful post!

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