Italian Gardens
Italian Gardens

Welcome to Kensington Gardens

Once upon a time, this park was the private playground of the nobility. 

Key information

Opening times (pedestrian gate)
6am - 9:45pm

Food & drink available

Frequently asked questions

Please find some of Kensington Gardens' most frequently asked questions below. If you can’t find the information you need then you can get in touch by using our contact form.

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The park opens from 6am and closes at dusk each day, which varies throughout the year. This week's opening hours, and any public notices relating to temporary closures (due to park events or maintenance, for example) can be found on the Kensington Gardens web page.

2024 opening times
You can view the 2024 opening times for Kensington Gardens here.

Kensington Gardens is well served by a range of different public transport services:

The closest mainline station is London Paddington - located approximately 500m north of West Carriage Drive. The station is served by services from GWR, Heathrow Express and TfL's Elizabeth Line.

You can travel to Kensington Gardens via the Central (Lancaster Gate or Queensway) and Circle (Bayswater) underground lines. Each of these is just a few minutes walk from the park.

There are plenty of options for getting to the park by bus. Use an online planner from TfL or Google to prepare for your journey.

Cycling to Kensington Gardens has never been easier. There are a wealth of marked cycleways passing through and around the park, and there are several cycle hire points around the park. Full details of both can be found on the TfL website.

Kensington Gardens is approximately 107 hectares (265 acres) in size - large enough to hold 20 Royal Albert Halls! The park's perimeter is approximately 2.7 miles long if you ignore the Long Water, and approximately 3.3 miles long if you include it. You can view or download the park map here.

The gardens with their magnificent trees are the setting for Kensington Palace, the choice of William III and Mary II for their London home. Queen Victoria was born in the palace and lived there until she became queen in 1837. She was responsible for commissioning the Italian Gardens and Albert Memorial within the park grounds.

More information on the park's history can be found here.

Kensington Gardens has a number of parking spaces along West Carriage Drive as shown on our park map. It is also easy to access Hyde Park's Triangle and Diana car parks on the opposite side of the road. Vehicle gate times are shown on the park web page.

Disabled parking
There are disabled parking spaces in each of the locations above. Parking is free of charge for Blue Badge holders, but is subject to a 4-hour time limit. Two disabled car-parking spaces exist at Queens Gate.

Car parking in Kensington Gardens is chargeable from 8:30am to 6:30pm, every day of the week - including Bank Holidays.

Payment methods
The parking machines in our car parks accept both cash and cashless payments.

Monday to Saturday: 70p per 15 mins / £2.80 per hour / £11.20 for the maximum stay of 4 hours.
Sunday (and Bank Holidays): 50p per 15 mins / £2.00 per hour / £20.00 for the maximum stay of 10 hours.

Motorcycles can be parked for free, up to the maximum stay of 4 hours.

The Royal Parks do not process parking fines (or Excess Charge Notices - ECNs) in-house. These are managed by NSL Parking Services. You can pay your ECN online or by phone using an automated service on 0343 2082089.

Full details can be found here.

Yes, cycling is permitted within Kensington Gardens, but only where stated (e.g. The Broad Walk, Mount Walk, Studio Walk and the Albert Approach Road). Other paths across the park where cycling is not allowed have clear 'no cycling' signage at ground level. Please be considerate and give space to other park users and the park's wildlife. Pedestrians have priority at all times.

You can check permitted cycleways on OpenStreetMap.

There is a 20p charge to use the public toilets in the parks. We have recently installed a contactless system which accepts credit/debit cards, prepaid cards and mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Cash is no longer accepted.

Kensington Gardens has two main cafés - Italian Gardens Café and Broad Walk Café. There are also several smaller refreshment kiosks dotted throughout the park. View the Food and Drink section for full details of each outlet, along with their latest menus.

You can find their locations on the park map.

Laid out as a historic garden with tree-lined avenues and ornamental water features Kensington Gardens has no dedicated facilities for organised sport. However, its network of quality paths attracts plenty of recreational runners and there is plenty of room for friends and families to enjoy informal games. The park is also home to the start (and finish) of the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. This seven-mile long self-guided walk passes through Hyde Park, The Green Park and St. James's Park before returning to the start at Kensington Palace.

Discover more here.

Generally, dogs do not need to be kept on a lead in Kensington Gardens. However there are several exceptions to this, such as the edge of Round Pond and Long Water, around the Italian Gardens fountains and the North and South Flower Walks. Other areas where dogs are not allowed are listed in our Dogs in The Royal Parks policy document.

Commercial dog walkers
Please note, that if you want to use the Royal Parks for commercial dog walking purposes, you must have a Commercial Dog Walking Licence issued by The Royal Parks charity.

No. Feeding birds and animals in the parks does more harm than good. You can learn more about why this is, and how you can help us in caring for their wellbeing here.

Getting in touch with park offices is quick and easy and all enquiries are handled by our dedicated Visitor & Park Support team.

Simply complete the short online enquiry form and your question(s) will be passed to the most appropriate staff member. To ensure an efficient service, please check that you have provided the following information:

  • Park 
  • Subject
  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your enquiry

You can also contact the park offices by telephone using the following numbers:

Contacting the police in an emergency
For police assistance, please call 101 for non-emergencies, and 999 for emergencies. You can also report a crime online.

To report lost property, please contact our Visitor and Park Support Team via their online contact form with the following information:

  • Your contact details
  • A description of the item
  • Date and time when the item was lost
  • Location (if known) where the item was lost

If the property has been found by staff or handed in to us we'll let you know.

To report criminal activity in the park you should contact the police. For non-emergencies call 101, and for emergencies call 999. You can also report a crime online.

A limited number of Commercial Licenses for 121 personal training are available for Kensington Gardens. Group fitness is not permitted.

Detailed information about fitness training licences can be found here, along with an online application form.

If you are filming/photographing by yourself on a mobile phone or action camera for purely personal use then no you don't need a permit to film/photograph in the park. However, for all other purposes you will need to obtain a filming or photography permit from The Royal Parks charity. Full information and online application forms can be found here.

Yes, we welcome informal picnics in the Royal Parks. Please read our guidance document for maximum group sizes and what is and isn't permitted. Please note that barbecues are not allowed.

Every year, we welcome hundreds of small and medium events to the Royal Parks, including walks and runs, large picnics, concerts and community sports. Applications for such events are considered by our dedicated Parks Events team. To find out more, and submit an application click here. At least six weeks’ notice is required.

We welcome the use of our park bandstands for small public events such as music festivals, dance or group fitness workshops or theatrical performances. Applications for such events are considered by our dedicated Parks Events team. To find out more, and submit an application click here. At least six weeks’ notice is required.

For the safety of visitors and protection of park wildlife, public swimming is not allowed in any of the lakes and ponds of the Royal Parks. The only exception is the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park which is manned by lifeguards and open during summer months.