To travel cheaply and quickly around London, you need to obtain a status of enlightenment that most practitioners get to after years of sitting on Tube trains, studiously examining the individual line maps in a state of meditation known as ‘boredom’. But if you’re staying in a hotel near Kensington Gardens and need a shortcut home in a hurry, you’ve come to the right place. Below is a comprehensive guide of the tube stations near Kensington Gardens, meaning you can always get to and from your intended destination.
Tube lines: Central (red) only.
Exit for: Kensington Gardens, the Diana Memorial Playground, Kensington Palace, Whiteleys shopping centre. The distance to Kensington Gardens is minimal – just exit south and cross the road.
Get on for: Fast access to central London, including direct links to Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Holborn.
Useful info: The enormous spiral staircase can be somewhat daunting – better take the lifts if you’re likely to find that to be a problem.
Titbit: Queensway is an unusual survivor of the buildings designed for the Central London Railway by Harry Bell Measures, with a flat roof created so that a commercial property could be developed above – a hotel in this case.
Tube lines: District and Circle (green and yellow respectively).
Exit for: Shopping at Whiteleys, good restaurants, lively bar scene, Portobello Market, Kensington Garden, which is located within a five-minute walk headed south.
Get on for: Direct trains to London Victoria for Southern and South-Eastern rail services, as well as Victoria Coach Station. Going clockwise on the Circle line, there is access to Regent’s Park and Baker Street for the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
Useful info: The station has all of the usual facilities, including ticket halls open from 7:15am on weekdays.
Titbit: When the railway line was initially constructed, it involved demolishing two houses in nearby Leinster Gardens. The owners were compensated and a facade was put back in to maintain the illusion of terraced housing. See if you can spot which houses are the fake ones. (Hint: look at the letterboxes!)
Tube lines: Bakerloo, District and Circle (brown, green, yellow respectively). Also Hammersmith & City (pink line).
Exit for: Portobello Market, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Paddington Bear statue and shop, Little Venice, Regent’s Canal, Edgeware Road’s cafe culture, national rail trains from Paddington Station. Kensington Gardens and Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel are just ten minutes away on foot.
Get on for: Access to Kensington and the Museum Quarter via the District & Circle lines, access to Regent’s Park via the Circle line. Direct trains to Oxford Circus for the London Palladium and Hamleys, and Piccadilly Circus in the heart of the West End.
Useful information: Paddington is the main terminus for services from London Heathrow, making it a useful transportation hub for those coming in or out of the country and needing to get to the capital. Although the central line does not run through Paddington Underground, it is only a short walk to Queensway which runs an exclusive central service often used by people wanting to get straight to the centre of town.
Titbit: Paddington Station is, of course, best known as the place where Michael Bond’s character Paddington Bear is found by a London family, with a note reading ‘please look after this bear, thank you’. Other famous characters who have passed through in fiction include Mrs McGillicuddy in Agatha Christie’s 4.50 from Paddington, and Sherlock Holmes.
Notting Hill Gate
Tube lines: Central, District and Circle (red, green and yellow respectively).
Exit for: The Gate Theatre, restaurants and bars, Kensington Temple, Kensington Gardens, Notting Hill Gate Cinema, Portobello Market. Kensington Gardens is a ten minute walk away in an easterly direction.
Get on for: Trains on the central line to the heart of London’s West End.
Useful information: This station contains the usual facilities including escalators, pay phone and wifi.
Titbit: Fans of the Richard Curtis film Notting Hill will undoubtedly recognise the station and surrounding area, particularly the famous Portobello Road where much of the filming took place.