Famous for flamingoes – Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof GardensEver since they were first opened in 1938 the Kensington Roof Gardens, on the roof of what used to be Derry and Toms, has been a haven of calm above busy Kensington High St. Built at a cost of £25,000 and boasting more than five hundred species of plants and shrubs, they’re now Grade II listed as a place of specific historical interest by English Heritage.

Kensington Roof Gardens

The gardens are divided into three areas, of which the formal Spanish garden is the largest and most attractive. Based on the Alhambra in Granada, it has a real continental feel.

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

There’s a Moorish style retiring room.

Kensington Roof Gardens

And it even produces its own grapes.

Kensington Roof Gardens

The Tudor garden is made up of three courtyards with red brick walls and four tudor style arches.

Kensington Roof Gardens

Beyond the Tudor Garden is the English woodland and wildlife garden, best seen in spring when thousands of narcissus, crocus, snowdrops, and bluebells come into flower. Some of the trees are seventy-five years old including the American Red, Mulberry Tree and Japanese maple and are subject to a tree preservation order.

Kensington Roof Gardens

The flamingoes live near the tiny lake in the English Garden, pottering around happily oblivious to visitors. (You can spot one lurking in the picture above if you look carefully.)

Kensington Roof Gardens

The Roof Gardens now belong to Virgin Media and are open to the public but if you’re planning to visit it’s best to phone ahead and make sure they’re not closed for a private function.

Kensington Roof Gardens

17 thoughts on “Famous for flamingoes – Kensington Roof Gardens

  1. If I didn’t know that the Roof Gardens definitely exist, I would find this post hard to believe. Gardens like this, on a roof, in London? Mad.

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  2. How lovely to come across this post while catching up on some blog reading. We used to be taken to the roof gardens by my aunt as children when we visited her. 45 years on I still have strong memories of the tudor garden and of how quiet and peaceful it was. I’ve not been since I was at college, time for another visit me thinks.

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