London can be a hectic place. Millions travel from all over the world to visit the English capital so there may be times when all you need is a bit of time to chill.
Having a day away from the hustle and bustle of the main sights and the heart of the City can give you a real chance to see the true charm of London. This can be something simple like taking the Tube down to Putney by having a nice, long stroll along the River Thames or spending an afternoon at one of the many of art galleries spread across the city.
Tucked away between Shepherd’s Bush and the affluent Kensington area of London is Holland Park. Part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, this green space is a real jewel in the crown of the capital which can chart its history back to the 17th century.
Originally built by Sir Walter Cope, who would become the chancellor of the Exchequer under the reign of King James I, the park spreads across 54 acres around land which used to be the grounds of Cope Castle. It was renamed Holland House after the Earl of Holland’s wife Lady Rich inherited the property.
It did not, however, escape the impact of the second world war and was badly damaged during the conflict. The park has remained an ever-present feature in London since and in 1992 the Holland Park Kyoto garden was designed and built to celebrate the Japan Festival in London that year.
Nowadays, there are plenty of things around the park with facilities available for sports such as tennis and football alongside golf and cricket practice nets. If this is not really your thing then simply taking a stroll around the gardens can be a great way to while away the afternoon. Holland Park also has a number of animals such as pigs and English Longhorn cattle.
This attraction is one of the more understated parts of London and the perfect activity to see London in a much different light. So how do you get to Holland Park and is there much else to do around it? Here is our guide to venturing to this attraction.
Shepherd’s Bush is an ideal place to base yourself for a trip to Holland Park. Accessible on the Central Line of the London Underground or from the Overground or Southern Train the two main transport hubs are just a 20-minute walk away from the park itself.
This part of west London is one of the most up and coming with a host of bars and restaurants to suit whatever taste you have. This is a very diverse part of London and as such produces some the most beautiful international cuisine you will taste during your stay in the capital. Try out some Malaysian eats at Penang! or dip your toe into the realm of Polish food at Patio.
Looking to catch a film after a long day roaming the grounds of Holland Park? Shepherds Bush has you covered with the Underground station standing opposite a Vue multiplex cinema which screens all the very best Hollywood has to offer. Those looking for a nightcap can wander down to BrewDog and sample one of many craft beers the Scottish brewery has to offer.
How to get to Holland Park: From the Underground station, turn left and walk onto Addison Road and follow it along until you come to Oakwood Lane. Turn right onto this road and then just follow it until you reach Holland Park.
The affluent area of Kensington provides that extra bit of luxury for people wanting to properly unwind after a long day walking around Holland Park. Whether it be hotels, bars or restaurants, you are well catered when wanting a bit of evening entertainment once the gates of Holland Park have been closed.
Some of the finest eateries in all of London are situated in Kensington but do not expect to be getting a bargain. Chefs and restaurateurs take their food very seriously around these parts and there are a number of Michelin star outlets dotted across the area. After all, this is where the rich and famous also like to unwind.
Enjoy some luxurious five star dining at the Brunello restaurant, part of the Baglioni Hotel, with an Italian-style menu designed by renowned head chef Stefano Stecca. Tuck into some authentic Italian cooking and stick around for the wide array of wines and cocktails, expertly mixed by the Brunello staff.
Elsewhere you can indulge your carnivorous side with a steak from Blue Smoke Steakhouse in the Kensington Close Hotel & Spa or enjoy in Chinese cuisine and magnificent views of Kensington Gardens at Min Jiang. Catch a film at the famous Curzon Chelsea for a spot of arthouse or mainstream cinema to round off a wonderful day.
How to get to Holland Park: High Street Kensington Underground station is served by both the Circle and District. From the station head towards Wrights Lane and turn right onto Campden Hill Road then turn left onto Duchess of Bedford’s Walk and Holland Park is a stone’s throw away.
Notting Hill Gate
The mere mention of Notting Hill and everyone will instantly conjure images of the famous carnival and, of course, the film of the same name featuring the bumbling and charming Hugh Grant. Alongside all this, Notting Hill Gate is among the best places to stay when you are planning your visit to Holland Park.
A mere 20-minute walk away from the attraction and there is so much to do in this bustling and beautiful corner of the capital. However, like Kensington, Notting Hill is not so kind on the wallet considering the amount of high-class restaurants and bars dotted around this famous part of London. You can though enjoy some of the best cuisine and culture London has to offer in this upmarket area.
If you are aiming for the higher end of the restaurant experience spectrum then look no further than The Ledbury. This is a celebration of all things great about British food and securing a table here is a joy in itself. Chow down on some real classics which combine some stellar British produce such as Hampshire buffalo milk curd, smoked eel and Cumbrian lamb with more international flavours like Tokyo turnips and foie gras.
Should this not be to your taste then fear not as Notting Hill has got you covered. Indulge in some unique cocktails at the fashionable Trailer Happiness on Ladbroke Grove or enjoy a fresh sharing platter at The Shed or even treat yourself to a nice craft beer or margarita at Portobello Star.
If Holland Park does not fill your thirst for culture then you can always pop over to the nearby Serpentine Gallery. All of these areas will ensure that you are not stuck for things to do after your visit to the park.
How to get to Holland Park: Like with Shepherd Bush and Kensington, Notting Hill Gate is only a short stroll from Holland Park. From Notting Hill Gate Underground station, turn left onto the A402 and follow the road until you reach Holland Walk. Take a left here and then walk along until you see Holland Park.