London Tourist Attractions: Kensington Palace
The history of the gardens started in the late 1600’s when King William bought the Nottingham house. The house was remodeled into a palace and the 12 acre garden was expanded into 100 acres through Hyde Park.
This palace is has been a home to royalty since the early 1800’s. It is still known as the royal residence and there are some public areas that tourists can visit. The palace was opened to public view in 1899.
The palace was remodeled and improved numerous times while Queen Anne and George the I and George the II were in power. In the late 1890’s the house was beginning to falter, and they talk of demolishing the building. Queen Victoria insisted that it be restored which was completed in the late 1800’s.
The infamous Red Saloon which is located on the first floor is the place where council meetings are held. Portions of the palace have been restored.
There is quite a collection of clothing including a dress collection and hats and handbags. The apparel on display dates back to Queen Elizabeth the II.
Nearby are the Kings and Queens apartments, which house some originals works of art and many family portraits dating back to Queen Mary the II.
The Victorian rooms are open to public view. The rooms are furnished with personal belongings of Queen Victoria and her husband Albert.
The exterior of the palace is an architectural legacy as well as beautifully landscaped gardens.
The palace’s gardens blend into Hyde Park. George the II’s wife Queen Caroline initiated the project and was at the forefront to assure that the landscaping project went well. Between the palace and Hyde Park there are over 600 acres of gorgeous gardens.
The palace is surrounded by a mile long lake, Serpentine and is a popular spot for boaters and nature lovers. There are also several ponds around the palace for feeding ducks and where children can play.
There are sculptures galore including peter Pan, an Elf and a statue of Queen Victoria, done by her daughter. The gardens are elegantly landscaped.
There are many ornate and elaborate fountains and peaceful paths to walk down. The park is available for flying kites, roller skating, biking and hiking.
Most recently, a memorial to Diana was done and placed in the park. It is a large black granite sculpture surrounded by flowers.
Another memorial there is Albert Hall which was completed in the 1870’s for the Queen. It holds a theatre for concerts and plays. It is beautifully designed with a domed glass roof.
London is such a beautiful city, it you are there for a limited visit, it will be difficult to see it all in one trip!