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

Created for regal enjoyment, but now for public pleasure

Marvel at the scale of the royal landscape laid out by successive monarchs and their notable landscape gardeners, where the English Landscape Garden transitioned from the European renaissance movement.

At the centre of Kensington Gardens is the Round Pond, with a ‘goose foot’ of avenues spreading out from it, bisected by other avenues of trees. The areas between are filled with meadow, scrub and informal open woodland, providing a wide range of habitats for wildlife.  

Take in the awesome spectacle of the tree avenues, where veteran trees ground the visitor in times past, and cherry blossom and magnolia glades give energy to new life and renewal each spring.

Enjoy the intimacy of the Victorian Flower Walks and high horticulture at the Italian Gardens. Visit Peter Pan’s enchanted fairy garden and learn to ‘grow your own’ at the Allotment.

Kensington Gardens has something to inspire at every turn

For Victorian horticultural splendour, stroll through the 400m long South Flower Walk with its mixture of specimen trees and shrubs typical of the era. In shade and shelter the walk is punctuated with colour and scent throughout the year. Magnolias in spring, a wealth of flowers and seasonal bedding in summer, flowering trees, shrubs and fiery red stems that light up a grey winter’s day. You’ll find plenty of inspiration and ideas for your own garden. Or just sit awhile on the numerous benches and enjoy the birdsong.

Kensington Gardens landscape

The shorter North Flower Walk provides a more informal rhythm and balance of trees, shrubs and perennials set within gently undulating landform. Scattered timber sculptures lend a playful feel to this garden.  Bulbs and flowering lawns provide periodic display and food sources for pollinators. Admire the cherry blossom and seek out the bright yellow flowers of the Forsythias shrub, named after William Forsyth - a former Superintendent of Kensington Gardens from 1784 – 1804.

Stop at the Italian Gardens for Mediterranean inspired planting around the modern café, complete with olive grove, gravel garden and climate resilient plants. This contrasts with the richly planted high horticulture of the formal seasonal beds and lead urns around the Victorian pump house at the head of the fountains.  

For the child at heart, seek out the Peter Pan statue at the edge of the Long Water nestled amongst an ethereal woodland of dreamy naturalistic plants. A perfect haven for the fairies that come out to play after park closing time.

Perhaps ‘grow your own’ is more your thing? At the allotment a series of raised beds highlight the wide range of fruit, vegetables and herbs one can grow whether you have a veg patch or a sunny windowsill. The allotment is a wonderful, welcoming place to exchange tips with like-minded growers. Be sure to visit on harvest open day and meet the volunteers who run it. 

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are welcome in Kensington Gardens, except in the Diana Memorial Playground, and they need to be on a lead round the Round Pond, Long Water, the Italian Fountains and the two Flower Walks.

Be inspired. Get closer to nature.

Join us for an upcoming event and go behind the scenes with hands-on experiences. 

  • Kensington Gardens Italian Gardens in summer

    Italian Gardens

    The Italian Gardens are a beautiful ornamental water garden on the north side of Kensington Gardens, featuring an elaborate mix of four main basins.

  • Kensington Gardens allotment

    The allotment

    You can wander in anytime to enjoy and relax at the allotment, as well as pick up some useful tips for growing your own fruit and vegetables.