South Kensington offers everything you’d expect to find in London, from culture to excellent entertainment, shopping and fine dining. Below are some of the key spots within easy reach of Manson Place.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is sure to impress even the most jaded of children. This ornate museum is home to more than 70 million specimens from across the natural world, including insects, fossils and rocks. The Dinosaur gallery is one of the most popular exhibits in the museum. Kids can also try their hand at becoming a scientist through hands-on educational tools, gallery trails and art activities, step inside a giant globe demonstrating the solar system or ‘experience’ an earthquake. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/
The Science Museum in South Kensington houses one of the most comprehensive collections looking at the development of science and industry, and it is all done in a fun and creative way. This museum is one of the most interactive in the city, with lots of hands-on exhibits. In the high-tech ‘Wellcome Wing’, visitors can digitally change their faces to look older or younger, and manipulate their voices. Other popular features include a 450-seat IMAX theater and children always love the Science Night Sleepovers, which are held throughout the year. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/
Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum
The museum was founded in 1852 to inspire and educate British designers & manufacturers. Today it is housing more than 4 million items spanning centuries and hundreds of cultures.
Special attractions: The £30 million Medieval and Renaissance Galleries which opened recently, unveils the biggest project undertaken since the museum’s British Galleries opened in 2001. The regenerated space dedicates ten galleries to the museum’s unique collection of masterpieces of medieval craftsmanship and an impressive collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture. http://www.vam.ac.uk
Royal Albert Hall and Albert Memorial
Classical music, rock, pop and jazz, sporting events, galas, banquets and balls and the world-famous Proms series (the Promenade classical music concerts held every summjer) all take place within the Royal Albert Hall’s iconic oval walls. One of London’s most versatile venues, it is a favourite of performers from Jose Carreras to Kylie Minogue. The brainchild of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, inspired by the success of the Great Exhibition, the hall first opened in 1871. http://www.royalalberthall.com/
England’s most famous department store.
Harrod’s features on many tourists’ ‘must-see’ lists – and with good reason. ‘Omnia Omnibus Ubique’ – ‘All Things, For All People, Everywhere’ is the motto of this world-famous attraction, which does its very best to live up to its promise, providing customers with anything their hearts’ desire. Its humble beginnings date back to 1849, when tea merchant Charles Henry Harrod opened a small grocery shop in the East End that emphasised impeccable service over value. Today, the store spans a 4.5 acre site in Knightsbridge and boasts a phenomenal range of products from pianos and cooking pans to pets and perfumery. http://www.harrods.com/harrodsstore/
Found in the middle of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, The Serpentine provides a platform for contemporary artists, both British and international, with frequently changing exhibitions. http://www.serpentinegallery.org/aboutus.htmlKensington Palace State Apartments
Originally a private country house, public visitors are now warmly welcomed into Kensington Palace – the birthplace of Queen Victoria and home to Princess Diana between 1981 and 1997.
Kensington Palace State Apartments
NOTE: Kensington Palace is undergoing a £12 million renovation project. During this time, from March 2010 until January 2012, you can visit The Enchanted Palace exhibition at the palace. http://www.hrp.org.uk/kensingtonpalace/