Bradshaw’s Hand Book, The West, District III, Kensington Park & Holland Park, (No.29)

The Italian Garden overlooking the Long Water, Kensington Park
The Italian Garden overlooking the Long Water, Kensington Park

Another beautiful afternoon and a few hours of quiet enjoyment. Today Mr Bradshaw encouraged me to visit Kensington Park and Holland Park.

I entered Kensington Park through Alexandra Gate on the Carriage Drive which separates Hyde Park from Kensington Park, dividing the lake into The Serpentine and the Long Water. Kensington Park was much quieter than Hyde Park, more like a private garden people were behaving accordingly. There were no Boris Bikers!

There were statues and memorials, but no war memorialsPrince Albert (1872) is there, but looking away from the Parks; Peter Pan (1912) celebrates fantasy; the Speke Memorial (1866) honours the man who discovered the source of the Nile; there is a statue of Physical Energy (1907), one of three, the others are in South Africa and Zimbabwe – only it would have been Rhodesia at the time; and Queen Caroline’s Temple of 1734 by William Kent.

The Albert Memorial
The Albert Memorial
Peter Pan in Kensington Park
Peter Pan in Kensington Park
The Speke Memorial, 1866
The Speke Memorial, 1866
The Physical Energy Statue, 1907
The Physical Energy Statue, 1907
Queen Caroline's Temple, 1734
Queen Caroline’s Temple, 1734

People were behaving differently from Hyde Park too – lying in the sun, reading, chatting, strolling, watching the birds, just ‘being’…

A bench at the Long Water
A bench at the Long Water
Strolling under the trees
Strolling under the trees
Just sitting
Just sitting and looking…
Recording the moment
Recording the moment
Recording another kind of moment
Recording another kind of moment
Sharing a laugh at The Orangery, Kensington Palace
Sharing a laugh outside The Orangery, Kensington Palace
Letting the world pass by in Holland Park
Letting the world pass by in Holland Park
Being Friends
Being Friends
Playing chess (this is Kensington!)
Playing chess (this is Kensington!)

There were still flowers to be seen.

Kensington Palace Garden
Kensington Palace Garden
Dahlias in Kensington Palace Garden
Dahlias in Kensington Palace Garden
Verbena Bonariensis
Verbena Bonariensis
Roses in Holland Park
Roses in Holland Park
Roses in Holland Park
Roses in Holland Park
Roses in Holland Park
Roses in Holland Park
Echinacea 'White Wings'
Echinacea ‘White Wings’

It was easy to forget the City and imagine being in woods, or parklands surrounding a grand country home.

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Birds lined up on the Long Water
Birds lined up on the Long Water
The Round Pond in Kensington Park
The Round Pond in Kensington Park
Latecomers taking a risk!
Latecomers taking a risk!
One of the old oak trees in Kensington Park
One of the old chestnuts in Kensington Park

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In the woods behind Holland House
Holland House woods
Holland House woods

And as I was leaving to catch a bus to Charing Cross I found these –

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