Kensington Gardens, with its magnificent trees, forms the setting for Kensington Palace, the choice of William III and Mary II who, in the 17th century, to escape the unhealthy air of Whitehall, made it their main home. There is an enduring image of children in Kensington Gardens, playing with model boats on the Round Pond, or gathered at the Peter Pan statue. The gardens now have an added draw for children, the hugely popular Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, opened in June 2000. Another royal association is the restored Albert Memorial, Queen Victoria’s commemoration of the life and work of her beloved husband, the Prince Consort.

Kensington Gardens once formed the grounds of Kensington Palace. These attractive gardens were one of the reasons that William III and Mary II bought the house when they came to the throne in 1689.

In the early-18th century the gardens were laid out in a Dutch style, bit now the gardens, which became a public park in 1841, have a more natural appearance. Although Kensington Gardens merge into Hyde Park to the east they have a different mood and are particularly good for children.

Just east of the palace is the Round Pond, created in 1728, and a favorite with model boat enthusiasts. Occasionally the Round Pond is fit for skating in the winter.

Close to the Long Water, which is a continuation of the Serpentine stands the famous 'Peter Pan' statue, created by Sir George Frampton in 1912. Ornamental fountains and statues lie to the north of here, including Jacob Epstein's 'Rima''. Henry Moore's 'Arch' dates from 1979.

To the south stands a statue of a horse and rider, known as 'Physical Energy', by the Victorian artist George Frederick Watts, and nearby is the summer house designed by William Kent in 1735.

In the north near Lancaster Gate is a dogs' cemetery, which was started in 1880 by the Duke of Cambridge while mourning one of his pets.

Features of the gardens include a sunken garden, the Orangery café, the Serpentine Gallery and the Albert Memorial.

Famous plant people associated with Kensington Park include: William Forsyth.

London, England

One of the major parks in London, Kensington park is both a recreation area, open space and beautiful garden. Take a nice long walk along the many paths through intimate gardens. When you get tired of walking, cross the street and find the nearest Tube station.

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