High street Kensington is a posh and wealthy location in west London and tries to beat Oxford high street in the race of urban fashion coupled with its architectural beauty and relaxing picturesque garden.
Both streets are have something unique to offer, Kensington High Street with its proximity to Kensington Palace and Oxford Street well known for its department stores. You can certainly lose yourself in the many fashion stores both London high streets shopping locations offer.
Kensington High Street is recognized as the main shopping street of Kensington in London. Amongst the 35 major centers, this area is identified as a major destination in Greater London. In 1682, Francis Barry purchased a piece of land in Kensington and began the development of houses.
From the 1690s to 1893, this high street was completely developed around a residential terrace. Several rich and reputed personalities in London opted for luxurious and large-sized residences in the surrounding. This terrace was positioned between Wright Lane and Adam & Eve Mews.
A Little History Of Kensington High Street
Kensington High Street is one of the wealthiest locations in Western London. Since the 19th century, three major departmental stores, Barkers of Kensington, Derry & Toms, and Pontings have ruled over the market.
Baker brought his first individual land in Kensington High Street in the 1870s and soon proved it inadequate for his business and continued with the purchase of more land in 1871 to enhance his clothing department. After this, he continued to explore his business in different dimensions.
Later in 1906, Baker introduced Pontings to the market and brought Derry & Toms in 1920 but used to run all the entities separately. Later in 1930, a new project started in a large building but could not be completed until 1958 due to the 2nd World War.
After this, the company shifted Derry & Toms and Barkers into the Art Deco palace. And on top of Derry & Toms, a roof garden was established, considered Europe’s largest roof garden spread within an area of 1.5 acres.
It comprises 3 different gardens having more than 500 varied species of plants. The garden was mesmerized by the natural beauty of ducks and flamingos. Restaurants are the add-on for this location and the highest tea-serving destination in Kensington.
In 1957, Baker’s group established the House of Fraser and gradually started to collapse. Pontings was closed in 1971, and later in 1973, Derry & Toms started to condense Bakers from 600000 square feet to 140 000 square feet. But howsoever, Bakers continued till January 2006, and finally, 135-years old business collapsed for good.
After this, part of Baker Premises was occupied by an American company, Whole Foods Market, which was recognized as UK’s 1st organic supermarket in 2007. The rest of the space was considered for existing office space headed by Associated Newspapers.
Kensington High Street was even recognized as the site for BIBA in the 1960s and 1970s. But the advent of recession in late 1970 led to BIBA’s collapse in 1975. The left-behind roof garden of Derry & Toms is still present and is known as Kensington Roof gardens, which has also since closed. It was occupied by Richard Branson’s Virgin from 1981 to 2018.
Kensington High Street’s figure as a shopping street has been demolished with the entry of Westfield London, which was introduced in the contemporary market in late 2008 away from shepherd bush. Now experiments are conducted to make the place a suitable option to shop. Kensington High Street is a perfect home for the British music industry that was ruling the market.
Kensington High Street Shops
You can find everything on High Street Kensington, from cafes, charity shops, clothing stores and boutiques, hotels, and grocery stores. We have covered shops on Kensington High Street in a separate post. Some of these include stores like Mark and Spencers, H&M, Lovisa, Accessorize, Decathlon, Boots, Whole Foods, TK Maxx, Currys, Snow and Rock, and many more.
Things To Do Near Kensington High Street
There are plenty of amazing places to eat on Kensington High Street, from cool pubs to cafes and restaurants, bars and more. We have covered multiple things to do in Kensington, below are a few more things to do nearby. In addition, you also have Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park nearby.
- Shopping on Kensington High Street: It offers pedestrian shopping experiences from the high street to international brands and boutiques.
- Kensington Palace: It is a royal residence established in 1605 and is considered the official London home of the duke and dutchess of Cambridge, Gloucestershire, and Kent.
- Design Museum: It is a destination where people are explained about design incorporated using tools, drawings and prototypes, and speculative designs connecting people’s lives and passions.
- Sambourne House: Sambourne House is the former residence of Victorian illustrator and photographer Edward Linley Sambourne, who survived from 1844 to 1910. This house displays insight into personal lives and is an example of an aesthetic interior.
- Holland Park: It is widely known as the largest park located in the Royal Borough of Kensington. It includes a children’s play area, an in-built sports zone, and a cafeteria.
- Leighton House: It is the former home of Frederic Lord Leighton, a Victorian artist. The house is mesmerizing with Leighton’s collection of paintings and sculptures.
Getting To High Street Kensington
The nearest station is High Street Kensington station which has the circle and district lines. For additional help, see map below for directions to Kensington High Street.