From its classy café culture and stylish apartment living to its iconic cultural landmarks and classic architecture, South Kensington’s Parisian feel in quintessentially English surroundings gives the area a unique appeal.
South Kensington: London’s Cultural Heartland
Guide to London Neighbourhoods £14.99Add to cart
All the information you need to pick the right London neighbourhood to live in. Includes top 10 areas for professionals and top 10 areas for families, and for each area: neighbourhood highlights, average rents updated each month.
South Ken – as it’s affectionately known to locals – proves that you don’t have to stick to the banks of the Thames to visit London’s internationally renowned cultural destinations. This refined west London neighbourhood is home to the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Albert Hall – a concentration of architectural splendour and enriching experiences that makes it one of the most visited parts of the capital.
The semi-pedestrianised Exhibition Road is a vibrant mix of brightly coloured cafés and restaurant canopies, creating a continental feel that’s influenced by the nearby Lycée Français schools, French Consulate and Institut Français – earning the area the nickname “Little Paris”.
South Ken’s classy housing stock suits European-style living, with traditional stucco terraces adapting to the modern euro-family apartment lifestyle – and with Hyde Park on the doorstep, attractive green space is in plentiful supply.
- Underground: South Kensington and Gloucester Road stations serve the area. Both are in Zone 1 on the District and Circle lines, with South Kensington also on the Piccadilly line.
- Average property value: £1,316,432
- Property price range: £325,000 – £4,500,000
- Average flat price: £1,242,306
- Average house price: £3,416,667
- Average rental value: £1,751 per week
- Rental price range: £315 – £17,000 per week
- Primary schools: There are several Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’ primary schools locally – including: Servite RC Primary School, Oratory RC Primary School, and Our Lady of Victories RC Primary School.
- Secondary schools: The Oratory School (boys, ages 11 to 18, with girls in the sixth form) is rated Ofsted ‘outstanding’ and St Thomas More RC Language College (co-ed, ages 11 to 16) is rated ‘good’. The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle (co-ed, ages three to 18) attracts many French families to the area.
- Private schools: Private schools outnumber state schools in this salubrious part of London.
- Local private primary schools include: Glendower Preparatory School (girls, ages four to 11), Falkner House School (girls, ages two to 11), Hyde Park Preparatory School (co-ed, ages two to 11), Thomas’s Kensington (co-ed, ages five to 11), Redcliffe Gardens School (boys, ages three to eight, girls, ages three to 11).
- The private all-through school is Queen’s Gate School (girls, ages four to 18).
- Open space: Once part of Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens is one of London’s eight Royal Parks covering an area of 265 acres. Hyde Park itself is home to a large wetland area, gardens, children’s playgrounds, sports facilities and historic treasures.
- Leisure and the arts: South Ken is one of the world’s most culturally rich neighbourhoods, with three world-renowned museums: National History, Science, and Victoria and Albert. The Royal Albert Hall is one of the world’s most iconic music and theatre venues. Concerts are also held at the Royal College of Music. Exhibitions and lectures are regularly held at the Royal Geographical Society.
The terraces of large townhouses – often situated around garden squares – that define South Ken’s residential property scene have largely been divided into flats and maisonettes, or lateral conversions spreading across several buildings. There are also purpose-built mansion flats and some smaller houses.