Your Guide to London Kennington
Where is Kennington?
Kennington, in London, is a fantastic place to stay: England's biggest cricket ground The Oval, and the Imperial War Museum, are only the more obvious landmarks! With attractive parks, great local shopping, lots of cafes and restaurants, this is definitely a great area to explore! Kennington is just south of the River Thames in the London Borough of Lambeth, with Kennington Tube Station sitting just inside Zone 2 and a short tube journey from central London. Great news for drivers too- the London Congestion Charge doesn’t apply in Kennington!
History of Kennington
‘Kennington’ is thought to come from the Saxon word meaning ‘town of the King’. Edward III gave Kennington manor to his oldest son Edward ‘the Black Prince’ in 1337, who built a large royal palace between what is now Black Prince Road and Sancroft Street. Until a few years ago, the Prince of Wales owned hundreds of houses in Kennington, as well as The Oval Cricket Ground. Kennington Park and St Mark's Church now cover the site of Kennington Common, which was a place of public executions until 1800. It was also the South London Speakers' Corner and one of the earliest London cricket venues, used for major cricket matches from as early as 1724!
With the expansion of London in the 18th century, the area became a sprawling residential suburb. During World War II, Kennington was heavily bombed and this led to huge changes in the character of the area. Today, Kennington (like many other parts of south London) contains charming Georgian and Victorian houses in quaint garden squares along with other, poorer areas. It’s a fascinating place of contradictions and there’s plenty to see and do. The whole of London is on your doorstep if you stay here.
The Positives of Kennington
Kennington has fantastic transport links that will take you around the whole of London. Kennington Tube Station lies on the Northern Line, in zone 2, and the Elephant & Castle Tube Station is close by too! The fantastic bus links from here will even take you straight into the West End. If you want to travel further afield, it won’t take you long to get to Vauxhall Train Station either! As well as being really accessible, Kennington is a lively, affordable part of South London with some wonderful cafés, restaurants and shops. It’s great for people travelling on a budget as there is so much choice here. And some of London’s biggest attractions are surprisingly nearby!
Need to Know Kennington
Kennington isn’t as exclusive as some parts of London and a few areas may appear a little rundown. But charming Georgian and Victorian housing sits happily alongside these less expensive premises, and it gives the place a feeling of diversity, history and character. It’s an interesting place to stay, and an area without pretentiousness. And there’s definitely plenty of choice for the budget traveler in terms of affordable hotels too!