Out & About in South Kensington

South Kensington has plenty of great attractions for you to visit outside from boating on the Serpentine, walking tours around Albertopolis, Queen Caroline's temple, the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, ice cream in Kensington Gardens, a trip to Princess Diana's Memorial Playground and so much more....

Wildlife Garden

1st April - early Nov
10am - 5pm
Natural History Museum
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Explore nature in the flourishing Wildlife Garden, a tranquil haven for plants and animals in the heart of the city. The garden is home to thousands of British flora and fauna.

Albert Memorial

Daily
2pm, 3pm
Kensington Gardens
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Located in Kensington Gardens, it is one of London's most ornate ornaments. Public tours are available between March and December.

South Kensington Farmers' Market

Tuesdays
Imperial College London
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Every Tuesday, the market is open to all, providing great-tasting locally-sourced provisions on the Queen's lawn.

Boating in Hyde Park

April-31st Oct
10am til sundown
Hyde Park
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Hyde Park has a fleet of rowing and pedal boats on the Serpentine and the UK's first Solarshuttle, a magnificent vessel which glides across the lake powered only by the sun. The Solarshuttle carries up to 40 passengers and the pedal and row boats hold up to 6 persons each.

Kensington Garden cafes

Kensington Gardens
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The Broadwalk Cafe and Playcafe serves a great range of pizza, salads, wraps and sweet treats as well as a children's menu.

Family Explorer Trails: Creative Quarter

Get out and about this summer with the Mayor’s new London Curriculum Family Explorer Trails which includes the 'Creative Quarter' in South Kensington. Taking you on a circular trail starting at the V&A, up Exhibition Road and through the Royal Parks.

The Sunken Garden

Kensington Palace
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The beautiful Sunken Garden was planted in 1908, transforming part of the gardens previously occupied by potting sheds into a tranquil ornamental garden. Today, the garden continues the tradition of rotational flower displays in the spring and summer.

Princess Diana Memorial Playground

Daily
Kensington Gardens
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Explore and adventure in the playground with a huge wooden pirate ship which is the centrepiece of the Diana, Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground.

Princess Diana Memorial walk

Daily
Hyde Park
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The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk takes visitors through four of the most beautiful parks in the world, including Hyde Park and Kensington Palace.

Kensington Gardens

Daily
Kensington Gardens
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Tree-lined avenues and flower beds provide a stunning back drop to Kensington Palace.

London's secret gardens

A suggested route where you can enjoy a ride through some of London's hidden gardens and get a glimpse of some of the Parks including Hyde Park along your way.

Hop on a Santander bike

Why not hop on a Santander bike and explore South Kensington - take a ride through the Parks, pass Kensington Palace, around the Serpentine and arrive at the Museums.

Discovering Britain: Albertopolis Walk

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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Take a self-guided tour and explore how London’s quarter for the arts and sciences was created. Discover more about it's great institutions and magnificent buildings.

Queen Carolines Temple

Daily
Kensington Gardens
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Explore Queen Caroline's Temple which is a classical style summer house overlooking the Long Water, east of Lancaster Walk, Hyde Park.

Princess Diana Memorial fountain

Daily
Hyde Park
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A unique fountain memorial to Princess Diana designed to reflect her spirit of life and love of children.

Free

The Italian Gardens

Kensington Gardens
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The Italian Gardens is a 150-year-old ornamental water garden located on the north side of Kensington Gardens near Lancaster Gate. It is believed to have been created as a gift from Prince Albert to his beloved Queen Victoria.

Kids

Thrills, Chills and Trills: Family Concert

27th October
2pm
Royal College of Music
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Join us at the Royal College of Music for a fun family concert exploring Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique. Introduce your family to the full sound of an orchestra as dynamic presenter Fraser Trainer and the RCM Philharmonic take audiences on a spooky musical journey involving a love story, a spinning ballroom, a day in the countryside, a nightmare and a Witches' Sabbath.Suitable for ages 4+

Orchestral Masterworks: Symphonie fantastique

26th October
6:15pm
Royal College of Music
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A lovesick Berlioz composed his epic programme symphony in 1830 after becoming infatuated with the charismatic Irish actress Harriet Smithson, and the quintessentially romantic masterpiece has delighted concert audiences ever since.

John Wilson Conducts Ravel and Vaughan Williams

25th October
7:30pm
Royal College of Music
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We welcome BBC Proms favourite and alumnus John Wilson to the conductor’s podium to direct the RCM Symphony Orchestra in an unmissable evening of celebrated concert works. Revered for his original arrangements and thrilling performances with the John Wilson Orchestra, the esteemed conductor will bring three very different classical compositions to life.

RCM Chamber Choir

19th October
7:30pm
Royal College of Music
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In 1855 prolific opera composer Rossini came out of retirement to produce a number of chamber and sacred works, the most remarkable of which is arguably Petite messe solennelle. In this evening concert, join Michael Rosewell and the RCM Chamber Choir in a moving performance of this beautifully sombre mass.

Capriccio Stravagante

17th October
6:15pm
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In this evening of early music, newly appointed leader of the Academy of Ancient Music Bojan Cicic directs the RCM Baroque Orchestra from the violin. Farina's Capriccio Stravagante is the highlight of the programme – an extraordinarily clever composition that uses the string instruments to mimic other instruments, such as the trumpet and organ.

Orchestral Masterworks: Discover Workshop

11th October
7:30pm
Royal College of Music
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Visiting conductor Martyn Brabbins takes some time out from the English National Opera to introduce and direct this sweeping symphonic work. Making the most of the full orchestral sound of the RCM Philharmonic, this evening offers the chance to discover Shostakovich’s dark and brooding symphonic masterpiece, composed in the wake of Stalin's death and still every bit as compelling 65 years later.

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

5th October
6:15pm
Royal College of Music
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We're delighted to welcome musicians from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe to the College for a week long residency. Here violinist Mats Zetterqvist, trumpet player Nicholas Thompson and Principal Clarinet Romain Guyot join together with RCM musicians in a performance of Brahms' richly textured Symphony no 2.

RCM Big Band: British Bebop and Beyond

4th October
7:30pm
Royal College of Music
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Explore the exciting sound of British Big Band from the 1950s and beyond. The unique style hints at American bebop trends with influences of great composers like Johnny Dankworth, Tubby Hayes and Stan Tracey. Join the RCM Big Band as they put on a colourful and varied programme that’s guaranteed to delight and entertain.

RCM String Band: Poulenc and Parry

2nd November
7:30pm
Royal College of Music
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The finely honed talents of the RCM String Band are complimented by the powerful sound of the Flentrop Orgelbouw organ in this evening chamber concert.

Guitar Festival

4th November
11am
Royal College of Music
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The RCM presents some of the finest players on the international guitar scene in a one-day festival of concerts, masterclasses and lectures celebrating all things guitar. This is a fantastic chance for guitarists of any age and ability to pick up tips from the experts on how to improve their playing and to hear solo and chamber music performances from RCM guitarists past and present.

Big Fat Brass

6th November
7:30pm
Royal College of Music
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Big Fat Brass is back with a new programme of works from Billy May’s iconic album, superbly brought to life by the RCM Brass Ensemble. The American composer and trumpeter found critical acclaim when he released Big Fat Brass in 1958, and his inventive arrangements of big band classics promise an uplifting evening for all.

Free

Exhibition Road Day of Design

23rd Sept
10-5pm
V&A
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A special event on Exhibition Road to celebrate 10 years of London Design Festival at the V&A. Bringing together events by Brompton Design District, Design Museum, Imperial, Natural History Museum, Science Museum & the V&A, this fun-filled day of design, workshops & talks for everyone.

RCM Swing Band: Kings of Swing

8th December
7:30pm
Royal College of Music
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Meet the 'King of Swing' in this toe-tapping programme exploring the music that made swing an international phenomenon. Join Mark Armstrong and the RCM Swing Band as they perform works from the famous 1938 Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall concert alongside music from other major figures of the era.

Harlem Quartet in Residence

30th November
7:30pm
Royal College of Music
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The Harlem Quartet has been praised for its 'panache' by The New York Times and celebrated for 'bringing a new attitude to classical music' in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Now, as part of its three-year residency, the string quartet brings its authentic playing style to the RCM stage for a thrilling evening of classical and jazz works from all corners of the globe.

International Festival of Viols

26th-27th November
10am: 2pm: 6:15pm
Royal College of Music
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Our annual festival returns with two days of masterclasses, lectures and an evening concert of English consort music. Performers and researchers including Professor Vittorio Ghielmi, Professor Reiko Ichise, Richard Boothby and Dr Sam Stadlen lend their considerable expertise to this year’s festival.

The Marriage of Figaro

26th November-1st December
7:00pm
Royal College of Music
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Esteemed baritone and RCM alumnus Sir Thomas Allen returns to direct a rousing performance of Mozart’s comic opera The Marriage of Figaro. Experience an entertaining new production of this classic tale which has all the ingredients of a modern rom com: love, revenge and deception. Will our hero finally get his bride – or will the marriage of Figaro descend into mayhem?

The Gift of Music

3rd October
6:15pm
Royal College of Music
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Our Gift of Music series with a celebration of some of the most striking donations received by the Royal College of Music in recent years, This early evening concert includes the manuscript for Britten’s Two Insect Pieces, which was written for Sylvia Spencer, oboist of the Sylvan Trio.

Orchestral Masterworks: Elgar's Cello Concerto

22nd November
6:15pm
Royal College of Music
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The RCM Philharmonic, under the direction of Martin André, opens this Orchestral Masterworks programme with a rousing rendition of Brahms' merry medley of student drinking songs: the ever-popular Academic Festival Overture.

Jac van Steen conducts Fauré

14th-15th November
7:30pm
Royal College of Music
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Esteemed Dutch conductor Jac van Steen leads the RCM Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in this all-French programme featuring a symphonic poem, a nocturne and a requiem. Gentle but powerful, Fauré's undeniably beautiful Requiem provides an exquisite centrepiece for the evening.

Free

Multiply

15th Sept - 1st Oct
10-5.30pm
V&A
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This collaboration brings an interactive modular maze-like installation in The Sackler Courtyard at the V&A. This pavilion will delve into two of the current global challenges – housing and climate change - with a fusion of modular systems and a responsible choice of materials as a vital solution.

The Shining

29th October
Doors 8:15pm Film 9pm
Natural History Museum
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Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of an isolated historic hotel. Wintering over with Jack are his wife and young son Danny, who possesses "the shining", psychic abilities that include him seeing the hotel's horrific past. After a winter storm leaves the Torrances snowbound, Jack's sanity deteriorates due to the influence of the supernatural forces that inhabit the hotel, placing his wife and son in danger.

Radical Kitchen 2018

Every Thursday until 27th Sept
1pm
Serpentine Galleries
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Building on the Radical Kitchen: Recipes for Building Community and Creating Change programme launched in 2017, the Serpentine is hosting a second season of its lunchtime gatherings in the Serpentine Pavilion, this year designed by the award-winning architect Frida Escobedo.

Race for Nature

20th Oct
8.30-11am
Natural History Museum
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Take part in a 10k run in a special habitat: beautiful Hyde Park. Race for Nature and raise money for the Museum's vital work in tackling our world's biggest environmental challenges. Runners of all abilities are welcome to join. Dressing up as something inspired by the natural world is all part of the fun.

Final Weeks

The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake)

19th June - 23rd Sept
Serpentine Galleries
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Artist Christo has created a temporary sculpture in Hyde Park, titled The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake), which will float on the Serpentine Lake this summer. It is an opportunity for visitors to experience the work of one of the most pioneering artists working today.

Discovery Days

Check site for dates
11am - 3pm drop in
Hyde Park
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Hyde Park's expert education team run a range of free and exciting nature-inspired activities for families. You could be pond dipping, helping your children discover an underwater world, sweep netting in the meadow or bug hunting at the minibeast hotel.

Free

Garden History Tours

Every Tues, Thurs, Sat 2nd - 29th Sept
12pm, 4pm
Kensington Palace
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These FREE tours will allow you to get up close and personal to the magnificent statue of Queen Victoria, admire the iconic Gold Gates and pause and reflect by the enchanting Sunken Garden, the planting of which takes inspiration from the dresses of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Free

Serpentine Pavilion 2018 Designed by Frida Escobedo

On til 7th Oct
10am - 6pm
Serpentine Galleries
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Architect Frida Escobedo, has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2018. Harnessing a subtle interplay of light, water and geometry, her atmospheric courtyard-based design draws on both the domestic architecture of Mexico and British materials and history.

Free

Discovery Day - Wild Water

8th Aug
11am - 3pm, drop-in
Hyde Park
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There’s a nature trail to follow and plenty of arts and crafts to keep your little ones entertained including pond dipping, creating a water creature and trying their artistic hand with a massive pond mural.

Discovery Day - Hair Raising Halloween

25th Oct
11am -3pm
Hyde Park
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Drop in any time between 11am and 3pm to take part in a host of free and exciting Halloween themed activities, exploring a hair-raising nature trail, creating a magical potion using herbs and plants from the garden and making your own bat mask or drawing your very own mini monster

Ghost Busters

29th October
Doors 6:30pm Film 7pm
Natural History Museum
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Three former parapsychology professors set up a unique ghost removal service in an old firehouse building in New York City, where they are called upon to rid the city of paranormal phenomenon at everyone's whim.... for a price.

The Silence of the Lambs

28th October
Doors 8:15pm Film 9pm
Natural History Museum
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Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer to apprehend another serial killer, known only as "Buffalo Bill", who skins his female victims' corpses.

Imperial Lates: The XX Factor

7th March 2019
6pm-9pm
Imperial College London
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To mark International Women's Day join us for an evening with the femmes radicales of science awaits. Inspirational women everywhere are pushing the boundaries higher, further, faster and challenging what it means to be a women in the modern world. Join us not only to celebrate amazing achievements, research and innovations, but be part of the conversation about equality across the sciences and the arts.

Imperial Lates: Smart Fashion

21st February 2019
6pm-9pm
Imperial College London
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During London Fashion week, join us for (cat)walk through what you might be wearing in the future with a chance to try on the latest wearable technology, new textile materials and intelligent clothing. With digital embroidery workshops, AI fashion consultants and technology trends in trendy technology, dress smart for an evening of smart dress.

Imperial Lates: Xmaths

6th December
6pm-9pm
Imperial College London
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Countdown to Christmas with a festive evening celebration by numbers where you can tackle mind bending puzzles and make your own maths inspired tree decorations. Join our world leading mathematicians for a warming beverage and learn hear how they visualise the equations they mull over, why the idea of inherent maths genius is a myth, and how maths is being applied to understand everything from black holes to how people behave in crowds.

Imperial Lates: Infectious

15th November
6pm-9pm
Imperial College London
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As we turn back the clocks for autumn, come and see how we can try and avoid those winter bugs! Explore other various anti-microbial resistant infections, talk to our researchers and then why not create your own bacteria in our Breakout area, screen print your own infections and bring your creations to life with 3D pens.

Imperial Lates: Greenovate

18th October
6pm-9pm
Imperial College London
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Living office furniture, zero-carbon beer and roving self-powered turbines to collect plastic from the oceans. With opportunities to print your own green wall paper designs, shape the future with our ideas workshop, and discussiosn on how we tackle London’s air pollution, come look at a vision for a more sustainable world.

Evenings of Discovery Return with new Imperial Lates Series

Dates vary
6pm
Imperial College London
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An exploration of infection, a science fashion show, and a celebration of pioneering women form part of a new series of evening public events.

Lee Ufan: Relatum - Stage

From Feb 2018
Serpentine Galleries
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Artist Lee Ufan brings new public sculpture to Kensington Gardens. Comprised of two, angled, mirrored, steel sheets and two different-sized stones, Relatum – Stage will merge the natural and industrial in an installation that reflects the surrounding environment of the Park.