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South Kensington

Image of South Kensington row houses Brick row houses make South Kensington a picturesque neighborhood

Chic, educational, vibrant: these are just some of the ways you might describe London’s South Kensington district. The neighborhood – part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – has long been associated with culture and luxury, spurned by the extensive building of museums and real estate following the Great Exhibition of 1851. You’d be hard pressed to find another enclave of the city with such a dense cluster of cultural and academic institutions, from world-class galleries to prestigious universities. It’s also an elegant residential area, attracting the attentions of visitors and residents alike.

Welcome to South Kensington

Map of the points of interest and our selection of discounted Vacation Rentals in the neighborhood of South Kensington, London.

South Kensington is bordered by equally stylish neighborhoods; it lies north of Chelsea, south of Hyde Park, west of Knightsbridge, and east of Earls Court. Its positioning in London places it in a prime location and near the center of all the action! An abundance of shops, museums, parks, restaurants, and the theatre arts give the area its dynamic character – and make it one of the most popular visitor spots and real estate markets in London. Here abound upscale boutiques, art galleries, antique dealers, and designer furnishing retailers. Any Francophiles in your party? They’ll love South Kensington for its influence française. As well as the many French expats living here, you’ll find the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle secondary school, the French Institute, and the Consulate General of France in London. Needing a visual to picture the scenery? Our video guide of Kensington covers the region, as well as the bordering neighborhood of Chelsea. Read the entire story here…»


Photo of the Natural History Museum Photo of the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is located on Exhibition Road near both the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, in the borough of South Kensington. The Museum holds 70 million items, split into five main collections. These collections are botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology. The museum also houses many special exhibits that are available to view for a small cost. Entry to the permanent collection is free, so make sure to take the whole family.

Consider renting a flat in South Kensington to fully enjoy the museum and everything the neighborhood has to offer. Here’s a choice to get you started in your search:

This 3 bedroom vacation rental in Kensington-Chelsea (LN-192) is fully furnished and is within walking distance of many museums, restaurants and shops.


Photo of the Science Museum in London Photo of the Science Museum in London

Located in South Kensington, London, The Science Museum founded in 1857 is a major tourist attraction. With its collection of over 300,000 items, you will need plenty of time to experience all the Science Museum has to offer. If you want to spend the day in a great museum then look no further, admission to the Science Museum is free and for a small cost you can view an Imax movie or a special exhibit.

Why not stay in a South Kensington accommodation to fully enjoy the museum and the neighborhood? Here’s a good choice to get you started in your search:

-This one bedroom vacation rental in South Kensington, Kensington-Chelsea (LN-62) is near several museums including the Science Museum.


Photo of Sir John Soane's Museum Photo of Sir John Soane's Museum

When the nights begin to get a bit colder in London, some of the best places to head to are the museums. Many of the city’s most notable institutions have a monthly late-night opening to lure workers, tourists and night owls alike. Cocktails are often on hand. Social events are scheduled. And, best of all, most of these places are within walking distance of a New York Habitat vacation rental in London. So soak up the nightlife and a little culture all at the same time!

On the first Tuesday of each month, the eccentric Sir John Soane’s Museum in Bloomsbury is lit up with candles and stays open until 9 p.m. Bathed in candlelight, the rooms and artifacts are atmospheric, to say the least—especially the lower level that houses the Egyptian sarcophagus.

On the last Wednesday of the month, the Science Museum in South Kensington lets loose with music, events, a bar and science-themed activities. No kids are allowed, so adults finally have a chance to try out all the hands-on activities. Get your geek on!

On Thursday and Friday evenings of each week, select galleries in the British Museum are open until 8:30, and the glass-domed Great Court stays open from Thursdays to Saturdays until 11:00 with screenings, talks and music. Read the entire story here…»


london-earls-court-exhibition-centre Earl's Court in London. Photo by Fernando Pascullo

Earl’s Court is not only one of London’s most popular spots for international travelers, it’s also one of the most recognizable on-screen sites for film fans. Exploding with activity and nightlife (pubs, cinemas, music venues, late-night coffee houses, ethnic eateries) and located near some of the city’s most beloved museums and cultural institutions, it’s the perfect setting for myriad movies—not to mention the perfect spot to stay in a vacation rental in London!

One of the directors attracted to the energy of Earl’s Court is Roman Polanski, who shot his thriller “Repulsion” (1965) there, depicting the unnerving unraveling of Catherine Deneuve, who is as beautiful as the well-heeled world she occupies. Read the entire story here…»


Photo of Gloucester Road Underground Station Photo of Gloucester Road Underground Station

London is loaded with “high streets,” which are main avenues full of shops, restaurants and cafés. In New York, high streets would be the equivalent of Broadway, Fifth Ave and even 8th Street. In Paris, they would be Avenue Montaigne and the Rue de Bac. In London, there is, of course, High Street Kensington; there is also Oxford Street, Marylebone High Street, King’s Road, Regent’s Street…the list goes on. However, there are also some smaller thoroughfares that have the same conveniences and appeal as proper high streets, but with certain charms all their own and without the obligatory traffic—human and automotive. Gloucester Road is one of these. What makes Gloucester Road even more of a find are the  amazing London vacation rentals here that will ensure your stay is hassle-free and even more pleasurable. That means Gloucester Road isn’t just a hidden high street, but an “easy street” as well.

Located in fashionable South Kensington, a ten-minute walk from some of London’s major museums and most frequented stores (Harrod’s, Harvey Nichols, H&M), Gloucester Road couldn’t be better situated. To the north, it’s nestled by Hyde Park a few blocks away; to the south, about twenty minutes on foot, there’s King’s Road and a fantastic view across the Thames; to the west is colorful, café-laden Earl’s Court (which also has some cheap eats); and to the east is every attraction that makes up the famous area known as Knightsbridge. Central London is only about five stops away from the Gloucester Road Tube station, which is served by the Piccadilly and Central & District Lines, major routes that lead all across London. Read the entire story here…»


London Accommodation: 2-bedroom apartment in South Kensington (LN-527) photo London Accommodation: 2-bedroom apartment in South Kensington (LN-527)

On a previous article, New York Habitat began its profile of London’s Museum Mile off Cromwell Road, highlighting many of the attractions of the Kensington neighborhood and some of our topnotch rental apartments in the area. This week, we’re moving on from the excellent Natural History Museum to the equally enthralling Science Museum, less than a five-minute walk away. Located more precisely in South Kensington, the Science Museum is a day-long destination in itself—half a day, if you want enough time to soak up some local atmosphere…and some sun in neighboring Hyde Park.

London’s Science Museum is a labyrinthine building with each wing dedicated to technologies that have transformed the world. The space center boasts the actual Apollo 10 command module, which—nerd or not—you really should see. A hall chronicles the history of modern inventions, including a prototype of Mr. Crapper’s contribution located near the public loos; an entire exhibit is dedicated to innovations in sailing, which is a good stop for any fan of Umberto Eco’s The Island of the Day Before or anyone planning the worthwhile trip to Greenwich on the Docklands Light Railway; and there is a whole host of hands-on, interactive (and, dare we say, educational) displays for adults and kids alike. Parents, be sure you’re packing the Purell! Read the entire story here…»


The main hall of the London Natural History Museum The main hall of the London Natural History Museum

London, like New York and Paris, is made up of dozens of distinct neighborhoods, each with its own feel and personality. Every year, a new one comes in or goes out of fashion, and there are always a few up and coming areas waiting to be crowned the next “happening nabe.” But of all the amazing spots to stay in London, the one that never loses favor is the part of South Kensington near Cromwell Road that comprises the Museum Mile. Trust us on this—if you never venture more than twenty minutes in any direction, you’ll still see so much of what gives London its timeless character and charm.

Staying in a vacation rental in South Kensington will let you feel like you’ve been part of this neighborhood for years, even if you’re only there on a two-week holiday. This is the section of London you will want to return to time and again. It’s the one that instantly feels like home. Read the entire story here…»