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South Kensington

Overview

South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles (3.9 km) west south-west of Charing Cross (known as the centre of London).

It is hard to define notional boundaries for South Kensington, but a common definition is the commercial area around the underground or tube station and the adjacent graceful garden squares and streets (such as Thurloe Square, opposite the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Onslow Square, Onslow Gardens). The smaller neighbourhood around Gloucester Road tube station can also be considered part of South Kensington, as well as the institution area around Exhibition Road, which includes such famous names as the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, Imperial College London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal College of Art, the Royal College of Music and Baden-Powell House. Although the postcode SW7 mainly covers South Kensington, some parts of Kensington and Knightsbridge also fall under this postcode.

Neighbouring the equally affluent centres of Knightsbridge, Chelsea, and Kensington proper, South Kensington covers some of the most exclusive real estate in the world. It is home to large numbers of French expatriates (mainly employed in the financial City centre), but also Spanish, Italian, and Middle-Eastern citizens. A significant French presence is evidenced by the location of the consulate, the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle - a large French secondary school opposite the Natural History Museum - and the French Institute, home to a French cinema. There are also several French bookshops and cafes in the area.

Notable residents have included:

  • Sir Henry Cole (1808–1882), Campaigner, educator and first director of the Victoria Museum lived at 33 Thurloe Square.
  • Charles Booth (1840–1916), Pioneer of social research lived at 6 Grenville Place.
  • Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1853–1917), Actor-manager lived at 31 Rosary Gardens.
  • Virginia Woolf (1882–1941), British writer, and her sister Vanessa Bell (1879–1961), painter and interior designer, lived at 22 Hyde Park Gate until 1904.
  • Francis Bacon (1909–1992), Irish-born British artist lived at 7 Cromwell Place and 7 Reese Mews.
  • Benny Hill (1924–1992), British comedian lived at 1 & 2 Queen's Gate.
  • Nicholas Freeman, OBE, (1939–1989) Controversial Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea lived in Harrington Gardens, near Gloucester Road.
  • Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909–97), liberal philosopher
  • Sir Francis Galton (1822–1911), English Victorian polymath, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician.
  • Charles Crichton English director and script writer.
  • Dakota Blue Richards actress
  • Mika singer

Main Streets in the Area

The main streets in the area are:

  • Fulham Road
  • Brompton Road
  • Old Brompton Road
  • Onslow Gardens
  • Onslow Square
  • Queens Gate
  • Harrington Road
  • Harrington Gardens
  • Courtfield Gardens
  • Courtfield Road
  • Collingham Road
  • Collingham Gardens
  • Wetherby Gardens

Neighbouring Areas

South Kensington has Neighbouring areas of :

West Kensington Kensington Knightsbridge

Earls Court South Kensington Chelsea

Brompton Chelsea Chelsea

The nearest Underground stations are South Kensington (Circle, District and Piccadilly Lines) and Gloucester Road (Circle, District and Piccadilly Lines).

Nearest railway station: Victoria station

Other Districts within RBK&C:

Districts Belgravia · Brompton · Chelsea · Earls Court · Holland Park · Kensington · Kensal Town · Knightsbridge · Ladbroke Grove · North Kensington · Notting Hill · South Kensington · West Brompton

Attractions

Attractions:

Albert Memorial · Chelsea Physic Garden · Holland House · Kensal Green Cemetery · Kensington Palace · National Army Museum · Natural History Museum · Olympia · Royal Albert Hall · Science Museum · Victoria & Albert Museum

Theatres:

Chelsea Theatre · Finborough Theatre · Gate Theatre · Royal Court Theatre

Royal Parks:

  • Royal Parks
  • Brompton Cemetery
  • Kensington Gardens

Street markets

Portobello Road Market

Exhibitions:

Earls Court Exhibition Centres 1 & 2 www.eco.co.uk

Olympia Exhibition Centre www.eco.co.uk

H R Owen Sports Cars

With over 65 years experience and offering friendly expert advice, H R Owen deal in a range of exclusive cars, including Rolls Royce, Ferrari, TVR, Lotus and Land Rover. This branch specialise in sports cars.

Lamborghini

Opened in July 2000 in South Kensington, Lamborghini London is the South of England’s largest official Lamborghini dealership. The factory trained sales team is on hand to ensure that they find you the car that’s right for you, advising on new vehicle specification as well as introducing you to the widest range of pre-owned Lamborghini. They offer a full range of approved finance options from Lamborghini Finance with a dedicated business manager on-site to ensure they find the plan to suit your individual requirements.

Squares and streets

Belgrave Square · Cadogan Square · Chester Square · Hans Place · Lowndes Square · Pembroke Square · Redcliffe Square · Sloane Square · Sloane Street · Thurloe Square · Wilton Crescent

Schools

Schools:

State schools

Secondary schools

Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School (Voluntary Aided, comprehensive, boys, maths and computing)

Holland Park

Holland Park School (LEA Community, comprehensive, boys and girls) Holland Park

Saint Thomas More Language College(Voluntary Aided, comprehensive, boys and girls, languages)

Knightsbridge

Sion-Manning RC School for Girls (Voluntary Aided, comprehensive, girls, arts) - Nottinghill

Primary schools

Holy Trinity CE Primary School Knightsbridge

Oxford Gardens Primary School Nottinghill

Middle Row Primary School Nottinghill

Coville Primary School Nottinghill

St Mary Abbots Primary School Earls Court / South Kensington

Thomas Jones Primary School Nottinghill

Park Walk Primary School Chelsea/South Kensington

Independent schools

Ashbourne Independent School (non-selective, boys and girls) Kensington

Collingham College (selective, boys and girls) South Kensington

David Game College (non-selective, boys and girls) Nottinghill

Duff Miller College (selective, boys and girls) South Kensington

Instituto Español Vicente Cañada Blanch (Independent, non-selective, boys and girls) Nottinghill

Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle (Independent, selective, boys and girls) South Kensington

Mander Portman Woodward School (selective, boys and girls) South Kensington

More House School (selective, girls) Knightsbridge/Sth Ken

Queen's Gate School (selective, girls) South Kensington

Southbank International School (selective, boys and girls) Nottinghill

Further Education colleges

Kensington and Chelsea College Chelsea

St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College Nottinghill

Private Schools:

Ashbourne Independent Sixth Form College Kensington
The Boltons Nursery School Chelsea

Hospitals

Hospitals:

Cromwell Hospital www.cromwellhospital.com

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