Sandwiched in roughly by the open space of Holland Park to the west and by the gardens of Kensington Palace to the east (where houses in Kensington Palace Gardens or “Millionaire’s Row” can change hands for more than £100 million), Kensington is bordered to the north by Notting Hill and by Cromwell Road to the south.
A scattering of excellent schools draw families to the area; the museums of South Kensington are nearby; the Royal Albert Hall is a hub of major cultural events; and Holland Park hosts a well-respected opera festival, all of which create a lively community spirit hard to match elsewhere in central London.
The focus of the area is Kensington High Street, voted one of the nation’s best shopping streets (and home to the organic Whole Foods Market), to the north of which lies The Phillimore Estate, a grid of elegant homes varying in size from substantial to enormous, which is the jewel in Kensington’s crown. Slightly less formal are the homes in the pretty tree-lined streets at the top of Campden Hill heading towards Notting Hill, such as Campden Hill Square, Sheffield Terrace and Bedford Gardens.
To the south of the high street are a number of red-brick mansion blocks (purpose-built Edwardian flats) as well as pretty streets of substantial houses such as Cottesmore Gardens and Victoria Road.
In recent years there have also been a number of exclusive new developments in Kensington, from Earl’s Terrace, which was the redevelopment of an entire terrace of Georgian houses, to The Phillimores, Wycombe Square and Thornwood Gardens on Campden Hill, all of which provide secure environments with concierge and underground parking. The latest developments including One Kensington Gardens, Holland Green and Holland Park Villas have raised the bar higher still.