When it comes to staying in a Kensington hotel, location is vital. Choose a place that will put you near the gardens and parks that define the area.

Located in the heart of central London, Kensington makes up part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which is known for its shopping, affluence, high-end hotels, and also as a major museum district. If you book into an excellent Kensington hotel you'll have plenty of opportunity to explore.

With a history that dates back to the Domesday Book in the early 1000s, there is so much to learn, and staying in the area will give you easy access to a huge variety of historical sites. Be sure to take time to visit some of the magnificent gardens that abound around your Kensington hotel, then head to the Memorial Park followed by a stroll around several of the smaller gardens in the area.

The Gardens

Located right next to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens were once the private gardens of Kensington Palace. Separated from Hyde Park by Queen Caroline in 1728, the Gardens are only open for the daylight hours, where as Hyde Park is open from 5am until midnight. While here, make sure you explore the Italian Garden, which boasts many classical sculptures and four lovely fountains. Take time to explore the exterior of the palace and the buildings that were created for the Great Exhibition of 1851. For those who love a touch of the unusual, seek out the ornately carved oak stump, the Elfin Oak.

The Memorial Park

For those staying in a Kensington hotel with children, the Kensington Memorial Park is perfect for whiling away a summer afternoon. Opened in 1926, by the Duchess of Argyll, the park was thought to be a great way to memorialise those who lost their lives in World War One. If you fancy getting active on your London break, then this is a wonderful place to do so. Fancy a game of tennis? Then you're set! Or perhaps a game of football or a cricket friendly? Done. The park also boasts formal areas and a children's playground. But the real draw here in the summertime is the water play area. This play area is perfect for children and has an array of sprayers, pumps, and soakers to frolic in.

Smaller Parks

Once you have spent some time in the large, well-known parks and had a play in the water of the Memorial Park, you may find pleasure in just wandering around some of the smaller parks around your Kensington hotel. Some of the lovely lesser-known parks do make for a wonderful place to pass an hour to two. Pop into Barlby Gardens, with its quiet nature and lovely greenery, or visit Redcliffe Square Gardens, which was part of the Gunter Estate in the 1860s, but was given to the Borough in the mid 1900s. For a wonderful suntrap, head north to Sunbeam Gardens, which is a small, hidden treasure. If you find yourself near Portobello Road , stop in at Athlone Gardens for a seat in the pretty garden with its shrubbery and well-groomed lawns.

Tips For Shopping Online

1. Many online shopping sites offer discounts if you use a "coupon code". These codes are often found online simply by entering the words "coupon code" along with the manufacturer or name of the website you will be buying from. They could offer a percentage off or free shipping just by entering within a simple code which can be easily found by investing a few minutes searching for it.

2. Always save copies of your orders and receipts from online purchases. Many stores will redirect one to a page after you've submitted your order detailing anything that was bought, customer information, the prices, etc. You should either print a copy of this or save a copy to your computer in case any issues arise before the end of the return period. Make sure to save any emails regarding your items' status or correspondence with the company regarding your orders, too.

3. If you are looking at purchasing coming from a seller for the first time, take a moment to carefully examine their past customer reviews. As a general rule this will provide you with an approximate idea of what sort of goods and services you should expect yourself. Anyone who has been rated lowly time and time again should be given a large swerve.

4. For those who have questions while shopping, search for a live chat function around the online store. Many big brands (and even some boutique stores) now have this functionality. You are able to chat immediately with a customer service representative to fix any issues or answer any questions prior to buying. That can provide you with a lot of reassurance.

5. Read customer testimonials before you buy anything. People are delighted to complain about bad service online, so try to find sites and testimonials which can be terrible so you know what you're getting into. You need to take bad reviews with a grain of salt, but if you see many, you know there exists a problem.

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