A Holland Park Walk

Route & what to see


A 5 mile circular walk from High Street Kensington tube station (or Holland Park Station). It includes areas to the north & south of the High Street and Holland Park itself.

From Kensington Station go right along the High Street
The railway was extended to Kensington in the 1860s. The vestry hall was built in 1851 becoming a library in 1889 and a bank in 1960. Bernard George designed the former Derry & Toms in 1929-31 and Barkers store in 1933.

Right at Young Street
There is a plaque to author William Thackeray on the right

Go anti-clockwise around Kensington Square
This was developed by Thomas Young in 1685 but only became popular when William III had nearby Nottingham House converted to Kensington Palace. It was then occupied by courtiers and royal servants. There are some attractive houses in this square which also gives a view of the Kensington Roof Garden. Numbers 11, 12 & 13 were used as a war supply depot in WWI.

Exit at Thackeray Street and go right along Ansdell Street
This would have been an area of services for the square.

Go left at St Albans Grove then first right along Stanford Road and left at Eldon Road.
Christ Church was built to the designs of Benjamin Ferrey in 1850-1.

At the end go down the steps to the right into Kynance Mews. Go left along the mews and left at Launceston Place. At the end go left at Victoria Grove and continue along St Albans Grove ahead. Go right at Kensington Court Place and continue along Kensington Court.
This was developed by Jonathan Carr in 1883 and the west side was added in 1896. It had its own electricity supply and generating station designed by REB Crompton (see plaque).

At the High Street cross and go left. Go through the arch to the church.
St Mary Abbots was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1872 to replace a 1690s church. It has one of London's highest steeples (264'). The school replaced an earlier building on the High Street designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor. The former churchyard serves as a playground and park.

Exit to the right along Kensington Church Walk and go left at Holland Street
On the left is the unusual Gordon Place

Continue along Holland Street and go right at Hornton Street then left at Observatory Gardens
These award-winning buildings of the 1870s replaced a house once occupied by Sir James South. He had an observatory designed by I K Brunel (see plaque).

Go right up Campden Hill Road and left along Aubrey Walk
St George's Church was built in 1864. The site of the West Middlesex Water Company's pumping station of the 1850s has been redeveloped. Aubrey House was built in the 1690s on the site of a medicinal well. It housed a ladies school 1830-54 and became the home of the Alexander family in 1873. Numbers 15 - 19 were built by Raymond Erith at the request of the Misses Alexander in 1951.

Go right at Aubrey Road, left at Holland Park Avenue (station is just ahead) then first left into Holland Park
The houses here were built in the 1860s.

Enter the park on the left
This area is the Sun Terrace

Continue ahead then take the middle path to the pond & statue.
This statue of the third Lord Holland, Henry Fox, is by GF Watts.

Continue along the Azalea Walk ahead then bear left across the North Lawn
Holland House was built in 1608 as Cope Castle. It was badly damaged by WWII bombing and purchased by the LCC in 1952. The surviving east wing was converted to a youth hostel in 1955-7 by Sir Hugh Casson.

Follow the path around to the front of the house
This provides the backdrop for an open air theatre in the summer (founded in 1964).

Continue along the path
To the left is a sports field and a view of the former Commonwealth Institute (built 1960-2) now home to the Design Museum. On the right is the cafe with indoor & outdoor seating. Ahead is the stable block with toilets & information

Continue through the covered walkway lined with murals
On the right is the Iris Garden and the circular Ice House, used for exhibitions. This was built in 1770 and is unusual in being wholly above ground. The Orangery ahead is also used for exhibitions. Adjoining is the Belvedere Restaurant, a former granary.

Walk through the formal gardens
Lady Holland grew the first dahlias from seed in England in 1790.

Exit at the far corner then go left along the path
The Yucca Lawn is on the right

Take the path to the right to the Kyoto Garden and walk through this.
This was opened in 1991 (see plaque). There had been a Japanese Garden in the Edwardian period.

On exiting go to the right then across the junction to the Wildlife Pond. Go left along the Chestnut Walk then left at the end. Take the middle path then cut across the West Lawn to the other side of the Orangery. Bear right towards the tennis courts and exit into Abbotsbury Road. Go left then first left around Ilchester Place. Go right along Melbury Road.
This area was developed on the farmland of Little Holland House and has a number of artist's houses including those of Luke Fildes and William Burges [
more info]

Go left into Addison Road and first left along Holland Park Road
More artists lived here including Lord Leighton

Go right at Melbury Road and right along Kensington High Street. Cross and go left then second left around Edwards Square. Go right then first left at Pembroke Square. Go right at Earls Court Road then left along Stratford Road. At the end go left into Marloes Road
On the right is the former workhouse which became a hospital before being converted into flats.

Go left at Scarsdale Villas and first right along Allen Street. Just past the church go right then second left through Adam & Eve Mews. Go right along the High Street back to the station.

london-footprints.co.uk 2017

Buildings of England London 3: NW by Cherry & Pevsner
Walking London and Village London by Andrew Duncan
Walking London's Parks and Gardens by Geoffrey Young
Guides to the park are available from the Information Centre
There is a 'Friends of Holland Park' group [
An illustrated Pitkin Guide is available for St Mary Abbots church
Linley Sambourne House is just off the route in Stafford Terrace [
Kensington Roof Gardens (entrance at 99 Derry Street) are open to the public when not in use

[places to visit] [ice houses] [walks list]