Kensington Gardens, which lies just across the road from Kensington Court, is perhaps the finest Royal Park in London. It’s home to Kensington Palace and the Peter Pan Statue – and a stone’s throw from the Princess Diana Memorial in Hyde Park.

To have this incomparable park on our doorstep has to be one of the great bonuses of living in Kensington Court. It’s like having the free run of a grand estate – which of course is what it originally was, when King William set it up. It’s beautifully maintained, with regular seasonal plantings – some of which, sadly, are immediately stolen. It is constantly being improved. In recent years we have seen new and refurbished cafés. The South Floral Walk has had an attractive face lift with its new gates and circles. Interesting art, like the Bronze Oak Grove, is added to its ever-changing landscapes.

​You can get a glimpse of this seasonal beauty in the 4 short videos below.

But challenges lie ahead. The Royal Parks recently became a charity and its government department is inexorably reducing its funding.

One way we can help, albeit in a small way, is to join the Friends of Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens. It is both a watchdog and a cheer-leader for the two Parks, as its enthusiastic chair, Sue Price, explains. The Park Trustees need extra money to maintain the standards we expect. So they allow commercial initiatives like Pop Concerts or Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. But these interfere with the enjoyment of the park by regular users – and it takes time and money to restore the parkland once they are over. It’s a fine balance. The Friends see their mission as ensuring that this balance is kept. But they also help. This year they have been able to give the 2 Park Managers £5000 to use as they see fit. For a fuller, fascinating account by Sue Price of what the Parks have to deal with and the events the Friends organise, click here.

It costs £15 p.a to be a Friend. Among other things, membership brings a discount card which gets you 20% off at all but one of the cafés and kiosks in the 2 Parks. So one coffee a week and you’ve paid for your membership! Their website is: and their email: