The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea has the top property prices and private sector rents in the country. Add the highest residential density in London and you have arguably the best housing market in the UK.
In the late 19th Century a large number of towering terraced stucco houses were built in the area for wealthy London merchants. At the turn of the 20th century a second wave of red brick mansion flats were erected as the trend moved away from grand mansions to more efficient living space. Nearly all of the enormous stately houses were split into flats as the demise of the domestic servant made them unviable. Many of these have spent much of their life since conversion as hotels and cheap rented flats.
The economy hotels and bedsit flats are vanishing as property developers devour the area for conversions to smart London flats. Historically, Earls Court has always been known as the poor relation to South Kensington but this is changing as the cache of Chelsea starts to overspill and gentrify its borders. Whilst still being less expensive than its neighbour, Earls Court has recently attracted a large number of smart new restaurants, bars and shops. The refurbishment of the main tube station is now finished.
Green and Pleasant Land
The SW5, 7 and 10 area contains some of the most expensive and interesting properties in London. From the multi-million pound houses of The Boltons to the numerous mews properties and to the seemingly endless supply of stylish flat conversions. There are over 100 garden squares in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, bringing a welcome contrast to the densely built up London landscape. These garden squares are a major element of the character of Earls Court and Kensington and their charm and frequency always surprise the unknowing visitor. Some of the most beautiful examples are Earls Court Square, Barkston Gardens, Bramham Gardens and Nevern Square. The only public garden square is Redcliffe but Kensington Gardens is never far away for those not lucky enough to have the private garden facility the squares offer.
Exhibition and Cromwell Road are dominated by the major museums. The Science, Natural History, Geological and Victoria and Albert Museums were built following the Great Exhibition of 1851 and have become rightly famous all round the world. From the Royal Albert Hall to Earls Court, the area has been a central focus of major music concerts for many years. At the other end of the scale, the old coffee houses and bars that played host to Hendrix, Dylan and Paul Simon are still going strong.
Waitrose, Marks & Spencers, Sainsburys in addition to the 24 hour Tesco superstore are all located in the area. Numerous restaurants have cropped up recently including Flora Indica, Garnier, Maroush, The Gourmet Burger Company, and the old favourites continue to thrive and include Star of India, Noor Jahan, the Atlas Pub and the Troubadour. If you are a fan of Spanish food you have a choice of three restaurants and include Tendido Cero, Cambio de Tercio and Capote y Toros. Whether you take it away or eat out in style there’s something for every palate.
One of the strongest features of SW5, 7, 10 is how easy it is to get to anywhere in central London. In a ten minutes walk from Earls Court tube station you can be shopping on High Street Kensington, browsing the museums of South Kensington or strolling through a royal park or two. The area has no less than 4 major tube stations serving 3 different lines and 1 overland station.
- West Brompton Station (Zone 2) – District Line, London Overground and National Rail Services
- Earls Court (Zone 1) – District and Piccadilly Line
- Gloucester Road (Zone 1) – District, Circle and Piccadilly Line
- South Kensington (Zone 1) – District, Circle and Piccadilly Line
Heathrow is only a 30 minute cab ride away in most traffic times and if you are in rush hour, the Piccadilly Line runs straight there in less than 45 minutes.
Earls Court/Lillie Square Development
The demolition of Earls Court exhibition centre has almost finished and the Earls Court Masterplan will then be underway. The development proposes the transformation of the Earls Court Project Area into four new urban villages and a High Street. The villages will include approximately 7,500 new homes, work spaces and offices. Further information on the plans is available at www.myearlscourt.com
There are over 100 garden squares in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and are one of the defining features of London, bringing a welcome contrast to the densely built up London landscape. British garden squares were mostly built in Georgian and Victorian times for people to live in and to enjoy in a personal, private way. Originally the gardens were a private amenity for the residents of the houses in the square. Many of the gardens squares in Kensington and Chelsea remain private with use restricted to residents only. The upkeep of these squares is paid for through a levy on top of residents council tax. Others are now open to the public, serving as small parks. These architectural and horticultural arrangements created an ordered set of streets and leafy open spaces which were delightful to live in and still make a huge contribution to the quality of life in our city.
Garden squares are a major element of the character of Earls Court and Kensington and their charm and frequency always surprise the unknowing visitor.
Next year the annual Open Garden Squares Weekend will be held on 18th and 19th June 2017 allowing access to many of London's private squares.
For more information visit the Open Squares Website