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Linley Sambourne House

From 1875 to 1910, this was the home of (satirical magazine) Punch cartoonist and amateur photographer, Edward Linley Sambourne. Visit this preserved Victorian home at weekends, when a costumed actor guides tours at 1pm, 2.15pm and 3.30pm.

18 Stafford Terrace W8

Website

Behind the shops of Kensington High Street lies a maze of old streets, full of interesting details. Look out for Victorian mouldings, Georgian coal-holes and a near-endless list of Blue Plaques, marking famous residents who lived and died here.

Tube: Kensington High Street

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

Kensington

Riders And Squires

All your needs for playing polo or riding horses, or just for looking the part, from boots and hats to saddles and body protectors. There’s also some good country gear, such as hats, walking sticks and picnic essentials.

8 Thackeray Street W8
Tel: +44 (0)20 7937 4377
www.ridersandsquires.co.uk

Maggie Jones’s

Strangely, it’s hard to find traditional English food in London but this quaint place services such staples as steak & kidney pie and traditional puddings like spotted dick. It’s named after the late Princess Margaret, who married Antony Armstrong-Jones, now Lord Snowdon.

Cornwall Gardens W8
Tel: +44 (0)20 7937 6462

Kensington Square

One of the oldest squares in what is now London, this was laid out in 1685 when the edge of the city was still a mile away. There’s a convent, church and a plethora of blue plaques to spot, from novelist William Makepeace Thackery, to philosopher John Stuart Mill.

Kensington Square W8

The Orangery

A supremely elegant setting, in the well-groomed grounds of Kensington Palace, the Orangery is the perfect place on a sunny afternoon to sit and watch London go by. If you really want to feel like a princess, enjoy some pink champagne.

Kensington Palace
Tel: +44 (0)20 7376 0239

St Sarkis Armenian Church

Not the most beautiful church in London but an odd one to find hidden away behind Kensington High Street. It is modelled on a bell tower in the monastic precinct of St Haghpat in Armenia, and the altar inside is of marble, onyx and lapiz lazuli. And the square it is in is lovely, too.

Iverna Gardens W8

Kensington Roof Gardens

On the sixth floor, overlooking Kensington High Street, this sprawling garden - complete with pink flamingos - is part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin empire. Visiting the Babylon restaurant is the best way to enjoy this unique space.

99 Kensington High Street W8 (Entrance on Derry Street)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7368 3993
www.roofgardens.com

Leighton House

Built to Lord Leighton's own design in 1866, this house is stuffed with a rich collection of Arabian artefacts, typifying the Victorian love of the eclectic. Much of it was collected by the great explorer, Sir Richard Burton, who (in disguise) was the first non-Muslim to visit Mecca.

12 Holland Park Road W14
Tube: Kensington High Street

Bluecoat Boy & Girl

High on a wall behind the church – over the old school doors marked ‘Boys’ and ‘Girls’ – these two statues have marked St Mary Abbots Charity School since 1712. The scroll the boy holds says: ‘I was naked and ye clothed me.’ The girl looks slightly shocked. My Bluecoat page.

Kensington Church Street W14

Tube: Kensington High Street

www.stmaryabbotschurch.org

St Mary Abbots Church

Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott - architect of the Albert Memorial - and built in 1872, this Victorian Gothic church has the tallest spire in London. Isaac Newton and anti-slave campaigner William Wilberforce both worshipped here, as did children’s author Beatrix Potter.

Kensington Church Street W14

Tube: Kensington High Street

www.stmaryabbotschurch.org

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