Holland Park is a hot spot in Kensington that attracts tourists and families because of its charming appeal as Royal Borough’s largest park, spanning over 54 acres.
- The park hosts entertainment and concerts in the open-air theatre on the grounds, which sits underneath a temporary canopy.
- The Kyoto Garden was a gift from the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991 and represents the friendship between Great Britain and Japan where visitors can find Japanese maple trees, koi carp, and a peaceful bridge.
- The Design Museum, where visitors can view over 1,000 pieces of contemporary design.
What to See and Do
Opera Holland Park
Holland Park comes alive during the summer nights when opera is performed at the open-air theatre and where performers and an orchestra put on stunning performances. The setting is spacious and has a warm ambience for those who are looking to celebrate the arts and enjoy live entertainment in a beautiful outdoor setting.
Leighton House Museum
This museum is unique because it’s the former home of the Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton, and is currently open to the public. The stunning architecture shows off the beautiful craftsmanship and design of the 19th century and is considered to be a private palace of art. The intricate designs and elegant wallpaper make it an incredible place to tour and photograph.
This garden has a D-shape and features a large sculptural sundial, which is the focal point of the spot. Chestnut trees, a large lawn, and benches are present to welcome visitors and cool off in the shade.
Kyoto Garden is a peaceful place to visit to enjoy the natural scenery and is tranquil because of the soothing sounds of the quaint waterfalls and the manicured landscape. The lush trees and flowers create a beautiful oasis that offers an escape from the city and is rich in colours with the different types of natural elements present in the garden.
Did You Know: (4 Interesting Facts!)
- A house in the park has been featured in a movie, Absolutely Fabulous, and was used as the main character’s home.
- In World War II, part of Holland Park was damaged after a bomb was dropped on a house on the grounds, destroying most of the building. The remains are still present and are now used as the backdrop of the park’s theatre.
- Famous visitors visited Holland House in the 19th century with guests that include Thomas Macaulay, Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, and Lord Byron.
- Plenty of stores are nearby where visitors can walk to local districts that include Notting Hill, Westbourne Grove, Shepherd’s Bush, Portobello Market, and Kensington High Street.
- 1940 – Holland House suffered from damage when bombs were dropped by Germany.
- 1952 – The ruins from the bombing and the surrounding area was purchased by the London County Council.
- 1991 – The Kyoto garden is gifted to Britain by Japan to thank the country for their friendship.
- 2013 – The Holland Park Ecology Centre, which is operated by the borough’s Ecology Service, begins to offer environmental education programs to children with nature walks, outdoor activities, and talks available.
- 2020 – The Design Museum occupies the park and is free to the public with contemporary art on display.
Facilities and Accessibility
The opera theatre can be accessed without using steps through the East and West Gates for visitors with wheelchairs.
A limited number of wheelchairs are also available through the park to assist visitors in navigating the different areas of the grounds. On-site stewards are available to help patrons get to their seat when attending the opera.
Touch Tours are available for the blind to physically touch the props, costumes, and backdrops on the stage of the opera. Audio-description services are also available with a live commentary with the use of headsets for blind or partially-sighted individuals.