Amongst the most sought-after areas of London, situated in the South West of London, between Chelsea and Hyde Park, Kensington is a very affluent area that welcomes many visitors throughout the year. Summer is especially popular with tourists flocking to the nearby museums, Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park.
Aside from the seasonal visitors Kensington is home to a large number of expatriates that have moved to the area from overseas, most notably from France. The exact number of French people in London varies greatly depending on who you ask - in April 2014 Boris Johnson claimed there were around 250,000 French people living in the capital while other British estimates quoted a higher number between 300,000 and 400,000.
Either way, there is certainly an undeniable French presence in Bute Street, South Kensington where there are numerous cafes, bakeries and restaurants all with a genuine French flavour, not to mention the Cine Lumiere cinema and the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle school.
It’s not just French expats who are moving to Kensington, over the years the area has been home to many stars of TV, film, stage and the music industry (including Rowan Atkinson, Richard Branson, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Elton John, J. K. Rowling and Freddie Mercury).
With the mix of nationalities and walks of life living in Kensington it is no surprise that the Royal Borough of Kensington has its own motto "Quam Bonum in Unum Habitaire" which translates as “How good to dwell in unity”.
To live amongst these big names comes at a cost, however you do get some of the most beautiful Georgian and Victorian houses in London that often boast large gardens and generous internal space.
Houses in Kensington have been selling for an average of £2.5m, whereas the average rental price for a 4 bedroom property in Kensington is in the region of £2,000 a week.
As mentioned above, Kensington is full of museums, gardens and cultural attractions, amongst them are the free-to-enter Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum. Other local landmarks include the Royal Albert Hall, Royal College of Music and Royal College of Art.
All of these ensure that there is a constant buzz of creativity and art in the Kensington air. During the summer there is plenty of green space to enjoy including the world famous Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
If you are thinking of moving to Kensington it is important to keep in mind that due to the huge appeal of Kensington, it will get very busy especially when there is a large event on at Hyde Park.
In August, the streets of nearby Notting Hill come alive with the Carnival that, according to visitlondon.com see around 50,000 performers in the parade and more than one million people attending over the carnival weekend. This naturally spill over into Kensington.
Kensington is a beautiful and affluent area of London, but it is not for those looking for a quiet escape. It gets very busy in the summer, with the many attractions that make it a great area to live, it is no surprise that so many people want to visit.
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