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South Kensington, in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, is home to a group of residents with quite an array of backgrounds; Middle-Eastern families used to dominate the area but now it is much more diverse. South Kensington is still heavily reliant on foreign investment; the French, American and the rest of the world buy property here. It is known as a prestigious neighbourhood; however it does not have as high of a price tag as other areas surrounding it such as Knightsbridge and Mayfair.
The area is home to the most expensive street in the UK, and one of the most expensive in the world, Kensington Palace Gardens. This private gated street onlooking Kensington Gardens provides one of the most exclusive spots to have a home in the world.
South Kensington is bordered by Kensington Gardens and High Street Kensington to the North, Knightsbridge to the East, Chelsea to the South, and Earls Court and Kensington to the West. Fulham Road is the southern border dividing South Kensington from Chelsea. Kensington Gardens, which is home to the Serpentine Gallery and the Round Pond, lies West of Hyde Park and is only separated by a bridge running over the Serpentine Pond.
The area is mainly made up of towering white stucco, Italian style houses, with the large majority having being converted into flats. Single homes are a rare find; however mews houses populate various semi-pedestrianised back roads throughout South Kensington. Although it is currently very difficult to find a freehold in this neighbourhood, leasehold reform is taking pace changing the laws and increasing the possibilty of freehold purchases.
The average property in South Kensington goes for around £2.2 million, with an average flat costing around £1.5 million and an averaged terrace at about £4 million. You can purchase a three bedroom triplex that is currently on the market for £10,250,000, or about £2,049/sqft. Prices in South Kensington are typically less than Mayfair on a square footage basis, however the properties are generally larger and therefore only slightly below the average pricepoint.
South Kensington is much more residential than Mayfair and Knightsbridge. The area has many restaurants and cafes on main roads, but most likely not right outside your doorstep. Bumpkin, on Old Brompton Road, is a popular restaurant with the locals. Bakeries, including the ever vibrant Hummingbird as well as popular cafes such as Jaks in Walton street often exhibit a queue on the weekends.
South Kensington may lack the shopping amenities of its neighbours, with the exception of Fulham Road. but the area offers a number of local restaurants and the highest concentration of gyms, yoga and pilates studios of the whole capital,
South Kensington also offers a wide range of
Many notable residents have lived here, including Francis Bacon, the well known British artist, who resided on Cromwell Place, and Benny Hill, a British comedian, lived on Queen’s Gate.
Many hotels have populated South Kensington, partially because the area is so attractive to tourists. Royal Albert Hall proves to be a major attraction, along with the vast number of museums populating the area, which include the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert, the Science Museum and the Geological Museum.
Overseas students frequent South Kensington due to the number of colleges in the area even though most cannot afford to live here. The Royal College of Music, Goethe Institute and world famous Imperial College populate the area close to Kensington Gardens. The students flock to this area near Exhibition Road during school season. The French Institute dominates the section spanning from Cromwell to Harrington Road, and the College of Psychic Studies is located on Queensberry Place. The Collingham School, Duff Miller, Mander Portman Woodward, Queens Gate and St. James Independent School are also in the area.
One of the most desirable sections is between Old Brompton Road and Fulham road, which is
tucked away from the colleges and tourist areas and relatively much quieter. Garden squares are highly sought after in the area. Thurloe Square, The Boltons and Onslow Gardens and Square are some of the most exclusive and aesthetic, boasting views of substantial green areas and a residential feel despite being close-by to the amenities of Old Brompton Road and Fulham Road. It is in a convenient location being right near South Kensington tube stop, and it is just far enough to retain a residential feel with a private garden. Queensgate,
Public transportation is acceptable in South Kensington, with the main two tube stations being South Kensington and Gloucester Road. They both serve the Circle, Piccadilly and District lines. There is easy access to central London, with a straight shot to Heathrow Airport on the Piccadilly tube line.
Overall, South Kensington provides a family-friendly, residential setting that is close to an array of museums, colleges, and Kensington Gardens.