South Kensington is an understated, yet fantastic part of London. Known for its museums and culture, it actually offers much more to those who come and stay there.
South Kensington is one of the very prestigious areas of the capital, even though it isn’t always necessarily mentioned in the same breath as Westminster or Mayfair. It is an affluent West London district belonging to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The people of South Kensington contribute to the 155,000 population who live in the London Borough as a whole. The Borough is one of the country’s most populous local authorities.
Its borders though are undefined. Popular opinion suggests that South Kensington occupies the area below Hyde Park, enclosed by other districts Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Earl’s Court and West Kensington. Some also associate the district with the area that surrounds South Kensington and Gloucester Road tube stations. Pretty much the entirety of South Kensington also belongs to the well-known London SW7 postcode. One of the biggest appeals of staying in South Kensington serviced apartments though is the district’s close vicinity to Central London. The district is only fifteen minutes away by car and ten minutes away on the tube.
South Kensington is a perfect place for the business traveller to stay. Bordered by the vastness of Hyde Park to the north and just a short distance from the river to the south and east, furnished housing in South Kensington is a great London aparthotel solution.
Furthermore, statistics reveal how welcoming the local business climate really is. First of all, South Kensington’s population is said to enjoy higher salaries than the average area in England. This is based on the fact that the rate of claiming (work) benefits is more than 10% lower there than the national average. Regarding local’s well-being and health, they responded to the Office for National Statistics & Department for Work & Pensions majoritively claiming to have ‘very good’ general health, higher than the national average too. Whilst these stats do spread across the Borough as a whole, they do reflect how the business lives of many people who reside here are fulfilling.
Across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, there are around 18,000 functioning businesses. Kensington businesses benefit from a local economy which is almost six times the European average. They also post GDP over double its nearest European counterparts. Both businesses and relocating corporates also have access to the support of the Kensington & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. This independent and dynamic business network commits to supporting a successful business community, whilst also promoting and supporting the services of local organisations. The combination of business support such as this and the already flourishing economy unsurprisingly convince countless corporates to relocate and stay in corporate accommodation in South Kensington.
The history of South Kensington often merges into what historians already know about the Royal Borough. Like most English locations, the first mention of South Kensington came briefly in the Doomsday Book of the eleventh century. It was not until the seventeenth century either that the area began to take shape. The reason there are so many garden squares across the district is due to the agricultural supply the district was supplying for London. This was were South Kensington began to grow.
However, many also credit the birth of South Kensington emerging after the Great Exhibition spectacle of 1851. Londoners were treated to a wonderful display of Britain’s success across its industries and how the only way was up. What’s more, it was the first international exhibition of its kind. This led to the organisers of the event purchasing the land south of Hyde Park (now Exhibition Road) in order to introduce a selection of specialist museums. First was the opening of the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria & Albert Museum) in 1857. This was truly the beginning of South Kensington's cultural quarter.
This resulted in the opening of many establishments in the following centuries. South Kensington went on to become the hub for education and entertainment that it is today. It was venues and attractions such as these which helped Londoners to get through the tough times, such as the World Wars. With such significant attractions came a whole host of important individuals visiting the area too. Still, to this day, South Kensington holds this important status as a go-to place in London.
In some ways, South Kensington effortlessly connects two opposites of London life; the chic and the student. Earls Court and Chelsea are both just next door which grants an opportunity for some great boutique shopping, whilst South Kensington itself is home to a cluster of free London museums. The Natural History and Science Museum are both there, as well as the V&A and the Royal Albert Hall.
These museums should not be understated, as they are amongst some of the most interesting and extravagant in Europe. Particularly the Natural History Museum, which is as a landmark and home to a collection of natural phenomena. Collectively, this museum ’quarter’ encompasses an array of national history, through many forms. They can easily make for an educational day out for anyone. Ultimately, they are a blessing to the district, drawing attention from tourists across the globe. Equally appealing and notorious is the Royal Albert Hall. This grand Victorian Hall is one of Britain’s hubs for live entertainment, playing host to the famous Proms festival. Its distinctiveness makes the Royal Albert a national treasure. It joins the museum quarter as a blessing to South Kensington and its Royal Borough.
With all these famous places, it’s easy to forget that South Kensington is a residential district, resplendent with classic London period properties, sometimes found down inviting cobblestone lanes, or surrounding leafy parks. There are several gardens across the district, and our corporate housing in South Kensington can base guests within easy walking distance of the lovely Princes, Wildlife, Queen’s Gate or Ennismore Gardens. However, as serene as these gardens are, they do not quite match the beauty and splendour of the Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park to the north of South Kensington. There is a countless number of attractions to explore across these parks. These include the Kensington Palace, the Diana Memorial Playground, the Serpentine Gallery, the Albert Memorial and the Hyde Park Bandstand. We could go on, but ultimately, these expansive parks are South Kensington’s gateway to serenity.
It is not hard to establish the type of lifestyle which commonly associates with South Kensington. However, despite its collection of prestigious attractions and clear similarities with Central London, anyone can reap the benefits of living here. Its welcoming atmosphere is evident. The business climate is promising. Its attractions are enticing. Overall, staying in South Kensington aparthotels entitles guests to have access to it all.
South Kensington sits between two of London’s biggest international airports, London Heathrow (LHR) and London City (LCY).
Whilst Heathrow is around thirty minutes away to the west of South Kensington by car and is easily accessible via the Terminal train stations, London City, the capital’s business centre airport, is around forty-five minutes away to the east by car and is also accessible via the light rail transit stations nearby. From many of SITU’s South Kensington city apartments, taxi transfers can be arranged to-and-from these airports and others.
Although there are no London Overground railway stations technically within the boundaries of South Kensington, the Southern Line running to the west of the district can be utilised.
Stations closest to the district, running along this line include Kensington Olympia, West Brompton and Imperial Wharf. It is always worthwhile purchasing a Visitor Oyster Card when travelling across London. These electronic smartcards can be easily topped up and can be spent on travel across tube and bus services.
Based only a short walk away from the city of South Kensington, its underground station is served by the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines.
Collectively, each of these lines enables transport to many London locations including; Buckingham Place, Embankment, Earl’s Court, Harrods, Hyde Park, Leicester Square, London Heathrow Airport, Monument, Piccadilly Circus, Westminster and many more. Alternatively, our South Kensington serviced apartments can also put guests within close vicinity of Earl’s Court, Gloucester Road and Knightsbridge underground stations.
There are at least fifteen routes and stops which facilitate bus travel throughout the area of South Kensington.
It is these routes which enable travel to surrounding London districts such as; Acton, Shepherd’s Bush, Kensington, Notting Hill, Edgware Road, West End, Victoria, Peckham, Battersea, Clapham, Chelsea, Putney, Fulham, Roehampton and West Brompton.