The formal landscapes of Kensington Gardens that provide a magnificent setting for Kensington Palace, mean it would be easy to overlook the variety of pleasures the park brings to diverse audiences. Reading in a deckchair by the Round Pond in the summer, to wildlife spotting in the meadows or general recreation and picnicking on the lawns is just the beginning of the park’s appeal.
History and architecture students will find much to admire, not least Queen Anne's alcove and the Albert memorial. Children are well catered for, with two playgrounds, including the fantastic Diana, Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground, where youngsters climb, play and let imaginations soar. For generations children have been entranced by the Elfin Oak: a tree stump exquisitely carved with dozens of tiny figures.
There is an Education and Community Engagement programme in the park, and a varied programme of cultural events throughout the summer. There are three refreshment points in the Gardens. Wildlife is actively encouraged within the formal layout and design of Kensington Gardens, with managed meadows and habitats for bats and birds in several locations, including a new heron nest by the Longwater.
Kensington Gardens is a highlight on the itinerary of many walking trails such as the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. The series of Royal Parks guided walks show a different side of the parks, and you can join the Park Manager on a Saturday morning for some practical horticultural activities.