Places to see in London Kensington
If you’re venturing south of the river, you can expect the best of multicultural London, and Kennington is the place to be. In amongst the grandeur of the old townhouses you can find the White Bear Theatre Bar (probably the most paradoxical theatre in the UK) and cafés and restaurants from around the world, with a large representation of Jamaican and Caribbean food. The park is a great place to chill out with friends on a nice day, and if you’re in for an intense but fun history lesson, the Imperial War Museum has reopened its doors to the public. The Oval House Theatre offers some excellent artistic fare and a great atmosphere to grab a meal and indulge your arty side.
Recommended Attraction in Kennington
But our one must-do activity, especially if you’re not from this green and pleasant land, is to have a gander at the Oval Cricket Ground. Cricket is probably the most quintessentially English sport, having had a rather slow battle with rugby for millennia. Its rules are baffling and its pace slow, but catching a cricket match at England’s biggest cricket ground is pretty much the single most English thing you could possibly do.
Kennington Attractions List
All the attractions in Kennington are within easy walking distance of each other, which makes the area easy to explore. The below itinerary has a selection of some of the best things to see in Kennington. Make sure you use our Kennington hotel booking service to book yourself an affordable place to stay.
Starting at the north of Kennington on Lambeth Palace Road you’ll find Lambeth Palace – one of the most recognisable sights on the bank of the River Thames. The Palace has been the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury since 1200AD. The Palace was originally closer to the waterfront and the Archbishops came and went using the archiepiscopal barge.
Address: Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7JU
Phone: 020 7898 1200
This is the world's first Museum of Garden History (in the restored church of St Mary-at-Lambeth). It’s a wonderful museum if you’re interested in plants and gardens, not least because of its strong connections with the Tradescant family who are buried in the churchyard. The Tradescants were gardeners to royalty, collectors of curiosities, travellers and importers of exotic plants.
Address: 5 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB
Phone: 020 7401 8865
Captain William Bligh is also buried in the churchyard here. He was a distinguished sailor in His Majesty's Navy and in command of HMS Bounty in 1787, bound for the West Indies, to transport breadfruit plants as food for the slaves of the plantations. The HMS Bounty was cast adrift following a mutiny on board (hence the famous ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’) and Bligh navigated the 23 foot vessel back to safety at Timor in the Dutch East Indies.
Address: Lambeth Road, Lambeth, London SE1 7DQ
This is the Imperial War Museum –one of London’s top attractions. It examines war from many different perspectives and there are numerous awe-inspiring collections and exhibitions to see here.
Address: Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ
Phone: 020 7416 5000
Most of the best cafés, shops and restaurants can be found here on Kennington Lane. It’s a lively area that’s definitely worth exploring.
Address: Kennington Lane, London SE11 5QS
There’s a well-established and lively gay scene around Vauxhall Cross. The best-known venue is this one - the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, where numerous performers began their careers (including Lily Savage!)
Address: 85, Albert Embankment, London, OL9 6AA
This is Imperial Court - one of the most prominent buildings in Kennington. It was built in 1836 to house the Licensed Victuallers School, and from 1921 to 1992 it was the headquarters of the NAAFI (The Navy, Army and Air Forces Institute). Imperial Court is now an apartment block, but you can still see the NAAFI badge at the top of the building.
Address: 225 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5QN
This is 287 Kennington Road and it’s the house where Charlie Chaplin lived. It’s one of several Chaplin family residences in Kennington.
Address: 287 Kennington Road, Kennington, London SE11 6BY
There are two fringe theatres in the Kennington area and this is one of them. The White Bear Theatre Club was voted ‘Best Fringe Venue’ and ‘Best Up-and-Coming Theatre’ in 2001. There are plays most evenings and tickets are excellent value.
Address: 138 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4DJ
Phone: 020 7793 9193
This is Vauxhall City Farm. It started out in 1977 with local people working voluntarily to transform derelict land into an oasis of country life in the heart of London. The farm continues to rely on volunteers and the support of friends. Come and visit the animals that live so near to Big Ben and are at home in the hustle and bustle of inner London!
Address: 165 Tyers Street, London SE11 5HS
Phone: 020 7582 4204
The Oval takes its rightful place amongst London’s premier sporting venues. It’s known throughout the cricketing world and is home to Surrey County Cricket Club. It plays host to both international and domestic matches. You may be lucky enough to experience a match here during your stay in Kennington – or perhaps have a guided tour?
Address: The Kia Oval, Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SS
Phone: 0844 375 1845
This is the Oval House Theatre which hosts a wide range of plays, exhibitions and other events. It can be a good place to spot new talent. Pierce Brosnan began his career here!
Address: 52-54, Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SW
Phone: 020 7582 7680
Kennington Park is lovely throughout the year and has the added bonus of an excellent cafe. It first opened in 1854 and was previously called Kennington Common. Facilities also include a paddling pool, flower gardens, a basketball court, cricket nets, tennis courts and football pitches. There's a dog-free play area for children – and don’t miss the Charlie Chaplin adventure playground!
Address: Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4BE
Phone: 020 7926 9000
You’re now at the east of Kennington, and this is the Cuming Museum (which is like a miniature British Museum). Between 1780 and 1900 Richard & Henry Cuming collected over 100,000 objects from all over the world. Henry left his collection to the people of Southwark, and the Cuming Museum opened in 1906.
Address: Old Walworth Town Hall, 151 Walworth Road, London SE17 1RY
Phone: 020 7525 2332
This is St Peter's Church and it’s the best preserved of the churches designed by Sir John Soane, one of England's greatest architects. The son of a bricklayer, Soane was the architect of many famous buildings, including the Royal Hospital in Chelsea and the interiors of 10/11 Downing Street.
Address: 308 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5HY
Phone: 020 7735 3403