EUROPE FEATURED HOTEL REVIEW LONDON

London Itinerary: Things to do in Kensington and staying at Imperial College London Summer Accommodation

I love London, always have and always will. I regularly feel extremely lucky to have such an iconic and magnificent city on my doorstep. London is one of the most prestigious cities in the world and it certainly has a lot to offer tourists, but what about those of us who live close by, and want to explore without the crowds and chaos?

London is home to historical sights, world-class shopping, top-notch sporting, and wild nightlife. I’ve done the tourist attractions multiple times, and when Theo and I decided to head to London last weekend we decided instead to head west and explore the region of South Kensington.

Here is my guide to exploring South Kensington and how best to spend 2 days in London, if it’s your first time in the city or you’re back for more.

Imperial College London

READ MORE: How to spend 48 Hours in London

Where to stay in London

Imperial College Summer Accommodation

For our weekend exploring South Kensington, we stayed at Prince’s Gardens, part of the Imperial College Summer Accommodation, which was the perfect place to base ourselves. Imperial College is a university based in London that opens up it’s accomodation to the public throughout the summer. Normally it’s the place where students from Imperial College, one of the UK’s best universities, live, but during the summer it’s all ours!

They’ve got an array of accommodation options across London, with locations in South Kensington (Prince’s Gardens and Beit Hall), Paddington (Wilson House), Notting Hill (Pembridge Gardens) and North Acton (Woodward Buildings). We opted for Prince’s Gardens as it was near the world-famous museums, Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, Royal Albert Hall, and Portobello Road is right on your doorstep! It provided us with a great base for exploring South Kensington and London. The rooms start at £74 per night at Prince’s Gardens in South Kensington, £59 per night at Beit Hall in South Kensington and go to as little as £39 per night at Pembridge Gardens in Notting Hill.

In each accommodation option, there is a fully-serviced reception and in the South Kensington accommodation, there is also a breakfast served each morning. At Prince’s Gardens, we had a short walk over to one of the main university buildings for a buffet breakfast the next day. There were lots of options, vegan-friendly meals and lots of coffee, so you can be ready for an adventure-packed day in London.

So what are you waiting for?!

The entrance areas to the halls were all clean and welcoming, and after finding my room I was pleasantly surprised by how at home it felt coming back to halls. I spent three years of my life in halls at Nottingham Trent University, and loved my room there. The room at Prince’s Gardens was massive, much bigger than I expected, had a ton of storage, and a great sized bathroom and shower. After settling in and unpacking, it was time to explor, and it was incredible walking out of the halls and already within minutes being in the thick of the action, surrounded by such iconic London buildings.

I loved staying at Imperial College Summer Accommodation and will certainly be coming back at least once or twice during the summer months!

And just for you guys, here an EXTRA 15% off your stay using the code ‘ImperialSophie19’

 

BOOK YOUR STAY AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE SUMMER ACCOMMODATION 

Remember to use the code ‘ImperialSophie19’ for an extra 15% off 

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

How to get to London

Travel to London by train, by Eurostar, by ferry, by coach, by car, by motorcycle, or by plane into one of London’s five airports. If you are like me, based in the UK, the quickest transportation is the train as it drops you straight into central, however if you are coming from abroad simply jump on a flight to Heathrow, City or Luton and jump on a train from there.

When to visit London

London can be visited at any time of year, as it has a mild climate and extreme weather is rare. Visit in the spring to enjoy longer daylight hours and mild weather, with temperatures averaging 11° to 15°C however spring rainfall is common. However, personally I think the summer is a great time to visit, with warm (even hot!) weather where you can make the most of London’s green spaces, beer gardens and rooftop bars. Temperatures average 18°C and can go above 30°C – perfect if you’re attending one of London’s summer music festivals or outdoor cinemas.

If you’re planning on spending longer than a weekend in London check out 4 Days in London: The Perfect Trip Itinerary.

 

READ MORE: A Guide to Bottomless Brunch in London

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

11 Things to do in Kensington

  1. Science Museum

There’s something for absolutely everyone with seven floors of exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. The in-house cinema shows scientific films in 3D, where visitors can explore the depths of the ocean and never-ending outer space. The Energy Hall highlights the first steam locomotives, which date from the early 19th century, while the third-floor exhibits, which include old gliders, hot-air balloons and flight simulators, are popular with kids.

  1. Kensington Palace

When you’re in Kensington Gardens, make sure you visit Kensington Palace, the current London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It is also where both Queen Victoria and Diana, Princess of Wales lived. Explore the State Apartments, see Queen Victoria’s bedroom, look around temporary exhibitions, stroll around the landscaped gardens and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea in the Orangery.

 

BOOK YOUR STAY AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE SUMMER ACCOMMODATION 

Remember to use the code ‘ImperialSophie19’ for an extra 15% off 

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

  1. Natural History Museum

One of the most well-known and popular tourist attractions in London is the Natural History Museum. It owns an outrageously large collection (around 80 million items) of all things nature in a lovely Gothic Revival building, which opened in the late 19th century. A wildlife garden is open March to November, and the main hall is dominated by an enormous blue whale skeleton.

  1. Victoria & Albert Museum

With over 2.3 million objects, multiple visits (and some comfy shoes) are required to get a handle on the V&A’s enormous collection. Whatever your passion, you’ll find part of its history here, with displays dedicated to fashion, furniture, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery and performance to name but a few.

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

  1. South Kensington Farmers’ Market

The South Kensington Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday between 9am and 2pm, when Bute Street is closed to traffic. They sell a wide range of produce is sold, including meats, cheeses, chutneys and more.

There’s also a Farmer’s Market every Tuesday on the South Kensington campus. Find out more information here.

  1. Buskers in South Kensington

Step into the market square, just outside South Kensington Tube Station and you will find an array of street performers and buskers who have been entertaining crowds for decades. We grabbed a drink in the evening from one of the many restaurants located in this area and enjoyed the music, especially the violinist playing the Game of Thrones theme tune!

 

BOOK YOUR STAY AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE SUMMER ACCOMMODATION 

Remember to use the code ‘ImperialSophie19’ for an extra 15% off 

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

  1. South Kensington Bookshop

There has been a bookshop at 22 Thurloe St since the 1940’s and a remainder bookshop has been operating on the site since 1996. Although the shop went through a bit of a bad patch a few years back it has been under new ownership since 2010 when it became ‘South Kensington Books’.

Nestled in the heart of Kensington, close to the V&A and the Natural History Museum, South Kensington Books should also make any list of must-visit places in the area. A bookshop has stood on this site since the 1940s, and the store today specialises in visual arts, architecture and photography and also stocks plenty of works on history, music, biography, cookery and fiction. Why not stop in to be inspired before your visit to London’s great galleries and museums?

READ MORE: Free Things to do in London

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

  1. Hyde Park

As well as green spaces abundant enough to dodge the crowds, you’ll find historic monuments to explore, fountains to both splash about in and admire, myriad art installations, and free exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery a short walk away from its namesake lake.

  1. Royal Albert Hall

Also just around the corner from Prince’s Gardens, is the world-famous Royal Albert Hall. The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall on the northern edge of South Kensington, London, and is one of the UK’s most treasured and distinctive buildings. Here you can watch a world-famous opera singer, play and orchestra.

 

BOOK YOUR STAY AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE SUMMER ACCOMMODATION 

Remember to use the code ‘ImperialSophie19’ for an extra 15% off 

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

  1. Kensington Gardens

The western half of Hyde Park, known officially as Kensington Gardens. There’s plenty to see and do there — the magnificent Albert Memorial, the Peter Pan Statue, the Serpentine Gallery, the Round Pond and the Diana Memorial Playground. The palace is even the official residence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, so you’ll be in good company.

  1. High Street Kensington

Check out High Street Kensington’s fabulous shops, from Urban Outfitters to Oliver Bonas. Don’t miss the Whole Foods Market, a huge organic food market housed in a former department store. Or pick up Japanese tableware, technology and more at Japan House London, which also hosts exhibitions and a restaurant.

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

*This is a sponsored post, in collaboration with Imperial College London. However, as always opinions are my own.

 

BOOK YOUR STAY AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE SUMMER ACCOMMODATION 

Remember to use the code ‘ImperialSophie19’ for an extra 15% off 

 

 

Other posts that may help you:

Ultimate Guide to a Weekend Break in York

The Best Weekend Trips in the UK

10 Things to do in Aberdeen

Ultimate Guide to Columbia Road Flower Market London

Log cabins with hot tubs in the UK

 

Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! 

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it for me with all your friends and family!

Sophie X

 

 
*This is a paid partnership with Imperial College Summer Accommodation