Since starting my blog in Jan 2017 I had taken a lot of photos of the pretty neighbourhood I’ve grown up in and was thinking about how best to use them when one of my followers asked me what secret things she should do on visiting London. Then the idea crystallised to turn it into a guided photo walk following the best parts of my morning jogging routes by which i get to or from Kensington Gardens.
The proposed walk lies within a square between the Earl’s Court road on the left and Gloucester Road on the right and between Kensington High street on the top and Cromwell Road on the bottom. I will probably return to this article to improve it or add photos so you should download it freshly before you plan to use it.
START AND FINISH : EARL’S COURT TUBE STATION
Start at Earl’s Court tube station (Earl’s Court Road exit). If you’re desperate for a coffee Paul (opposite the tube station) has good coffee and the best almond croissants in London. However…there are also little hidden cafes on this tour – see the related post mentioned at the start of this article.
The pretty hidden streets taking you from Earls Court to Kensington High street
Walk North up the Earl’s Court Road and take the second right turning onto Kenway Road. Turn up Walgrae Road and Right onto Redfield Lane. There are lots of adorable coloured houses along these streets.
At the end of Redfield lane is a passage on the left to the Cromwell Road. Take that, cross the Road and go up Marlowes Road. The second turning on the left is Stratford Road. Wander long it to see all the sweet little shops (the Design shop is a fantastic source of presents around Christmas time), lovely architecture and one of my hidden cafés Fait Maison. Walk up Marlowes Road, turn left at Abingdon villas and walk up pretty Irvena Gardens which will take you pup into Wrights lane. Go North up to Kensington High street which is great for shopping. When you’ve shopped turn right from Wrights Lane towards the park.
(If you are short of time then turn left up Kensington Church street to head to Notting Hill gate to explore that. If you’ve enough time continue reading).
A small acicular walk from Kensington High street shows off more stunning side streets
Walk East (towards Kensington Gardens) and turn right at Young Street walking down past hidden cafe Pain Quotidein to Kensington Square Gardens. At the bottom turn left into one of my favourite streets Thackeray Street.
My hairdresser is here as are two of my favourite cafes but my very very favourite is Montparnasse. The gallery on this side of the street is lovely and I’ve bought one or two pictures from them. Sign up for their gallery openings and mailing lists if you live in London or come often.
At the end of Thackeray street turn left and walk back up towards the high street by taking the left fork of Kensington Court which turns into a passageway linking the North West corner of Kensington Court onto Kensington high street. For another time, Cote Brasserie is a good al fresco coffee stop and quite good for lunch or dinner as well.
Turn right along the High Street and before long note the lovely Milestone hotel on the corner of the other end of Kensington court where it meets the High street a second time.
If you are there at tea time you can get tea at scones in one of the loveliest lounges in London. It might cost 15 pounds but this is a lot less than a full afternoon tea will cost you in any of the hotels (40 pounds upwards).
Wend your way through Mewses and passage ways back to Earl’s Court
Keep going along the High Street with the Park on your left and turn right into Victoria Road. After 100 m or so it opens into a a fork. Take Canning passageway (the left fork)
This brings to you Victoria grove and Launceston Place
Launceston place is on a triangle.
The Launceston place restaurant is a lovely (but pricey) traditional restaurant – the sort of place to take your mother to! The photography gallery Hacklebury next door is one of my favourites galleries in London. They have a passion to share their love of photography and educate their visitors. They represent great photographers too. If you live in London or New York or visit often sign up for their club as they organise talks and meet-the-artist. Last time I went it was Willy Kleine! Sadly I joined after Cartier Bresson died but they did such sessions with him too!
On the triangle walk left down Victoria Grove to see the pretty houses.
[Optional 15 minute detour: You could walk to where Victorial Grove meets Gloucester Road and either turn right and go for a coffee at Fait Maison or go straight ahead up Queens gate place, turn left onto Queens Gate and then first right onto Prince Consort Road and walk up till you see the Albert hall on the left (shown at the head of this post). Opposite it on the right is the Royal College of Music. If you enjoy classical music you can often get into a concert or opera in their opera theatre quite cheaply. If you continued up to Exhibition Road and turned right you’d come to the famous cluster of museums (Victoria and Albert, Natural History and Science museum) and if you were going to do that you should also visit Maitre Choux for the best looking and tasting éclairs in London
However the museums and Maitre choux they aren’t part of this walk. So when you’re done with the Albert Hall and Royal College of Music, retrace your steps to the Launceston Place triangle]
Enjoy the views down Launceston Place (i.e. the leg of the triangle that continues from the photography gallery and restaurant)
Walk South on Launceston place and wander into Cornrwall Mews South on the right and look at the cute houses.
Then double back slightly so you can into Kynance mews (you should be walking West at this point). You’ll see some steps on the right that lead up to Victoria Road. You will pass Christ church where I used to be taken as a young child for bible studies on the left. My two memories are the boredom of being barked at about hell by an old man with no charisma and on another occasion sprinting down the steps running away from two youths with knives who wanted my bag of conkers! A lovely policeman stopped his car to ask me if I was OK and took me home. I remember my father saying that day you know you’re getting old when the policemen seem young and thinking I’d never think the policemen looked young. Today…well, lets change the subject! Turn left onto Eldon Road and walk along till you get to Stanford road.
Turn left there and walk along it and through the passageway linking it to Cornwall Gardens.
Enjoy the stunning Cornwall Gardens, one of my favourite garden squares in London. Note also the lovely little mewses on the North West Corner.
Walk to the South West corner of Cornwall Gardens and take the passageway linking it to Lexham gardens.
Walk West along Lexham Gardens.
At this point there are two options.
To finish the tour at Earls court tube, go West on Lexham Gardens continuing on it after crossing Marlowes Road. At the end turn left onto the Earl’s Court road and walk South for 5 minutes till you come to the tube station on your right.
Alternatively if you want to see more of Kensington or Notting Hill, work your way back up to Kensington High street via the back streets like Abingdon Villas. Perhaps visit Holland Park (don’t miss the Japanese Garden) or Leighton House (stunning art museum belonging to a former academician Lord Leighton at the Royal Academy of Arts). Or you might like to do some more shopping on the High street. By going North form Kensington High Street you can walk to Notting Hill gate though you can also get there in just a few stops from Earl’s court Tube. One of the linking streets between Kensington High street and Notting Hill is Kensington Church street. It isn’t one of the side streets but has a lovely pub, the Churchill Arms and no end of buses and taxis as well as a lovely church I sometimes go to at Christmas and is worth a quick visit
I’m new to blogging and social media this year (Jan 2017) and not many people know I’m here yet. So if you’ve enjoyed this PLEASE (1) like and follow my blog (and like this post), (2) like my facebook page (discerningfoodandtravel) and (3) follow my Tumblr account (discerningfoodandtravel). THANK YOU!!!
Come back to my blog and tell me if you enjoyed the walk!