Thursday, May 30, 2024

Walking with Keilyn: Marylebone to Kensington Gardens... and beyond

Kyoto Garden
A small piece of Japan in London.

Wednesday May 29, 2024.

Another half-term for the girls and another walk for Keilyn and myself.

Normal beginning with a taxi to Watford underground station, from where we caught a train to Harrow-on-the-Hill, where we switched to the Chiltern Flyer to Marylebone. Various signal and points issues had disrupted the Metropolitan, Circle and District lines, so this was our backup route.

Harrow-on-the-Hill station
Harrow-on-the-Hill underground station.

Arriving at Marylebone station we left the station and walked along Daventry Street towards Edgware Road, where we turned on to Edgware Road, before turning right and headed down Praed Street.

Real Time by Maarten Baas
'Real Time' by Maarten Baas.

Our first stop was at the corner of Eastbourne Terrace, where we stopped to watch the 'Man in a Clock', which is an installation by Maarten Baas, a Dutch artist. The work is called 'Real Time' and has a man perpetually cleaning the clock face and wiping off the clock hands and then repainting them, every minute. It is fun to stare at.

Leinster Gardens false buidlings
Leinster Gardens facade.

Continuing down Craven Hill our next stop was Leinster Gardens, where I convinced Keilyn to knock on the giant black doors. Her face when she discovered that they were not real was priceless, as she exclaimed, "It's fake!"

Leinster Gardens rear
Behind the Leinster Gardens facade.

We stopped for a coffee and a hot chocolate at The Central Pantry, before heading to Porchester Terrace, so that I could show Keilyn the rear of the false buildings.

The Round Pond
The Round Pond.

From here we headed down Porchester Terrace and, after crossing Bayswater Road, entered Kensington Gardens. A slow walk along the tree-lined path brought us to the Round Pond, where coots, ducks, geese, moorhens and swans made a raucous sound, as visitors got too close to their young.

Kensington Palace gates
Keilyn at Kensington Palace.

We headed towards the Queen Victoria Statue and entered the grounds of Kensington Palace, taking photos of the palace, its gates and the statue of William III of Orange. Following Studio Walk we found ourselves on Palace Green with its various embassies and armed police protection.

Barkers building Kensington
The beautiful Barkers building, Kensington High Street.

We left here and joined Kensington High Street and searched out a shop to replenish our water supply and grad some more snacks. Suitably stocked we continued along the high street, passing the impressive Barkers building and Japan House, before we found ourselves on Melbury Road.

It was along this road that we to see two more things of interest. 

Gnome Garden bar
The gnomes have a bar.

The first was a Gnome Garden, which, as its name suggests, is a Gnome Garden... pure and simple. However, the effort and time put into this small front garden was impressive and Keilyn and I kept spotting different things on each inspection.

Tower House
A late Victorian townhouse, with a tower.

The second point of interest, for me especially, was the Tower House, built by William Burges and now owned by the guitarist Jimmy Page.

Holland Park
The perfect view to enjoy with our lunch.

We then headed up Ilchester Place and entered Holland Park, where we used the facilities before walking through the Orangery and sitting on some benches, by the Dutch Garden, to have our lunch. The rest was welcome and the sun had really begun to shine, dispersing the cloud that had fought against its heat.

With lunch finished we headed to the Adventure Playgrounds, where I sat in the shade, while Keilyn took to the swings, zipline and climbing apparatus. 

Kyoto Garden Holland Park
A truly tranquil place to wander through.

We then went off to explore the rest of Holland Park, particularly the Fukushima Garden and the Kyoto Garden. The colours in the Japanese Gardens were beautiful and with the heron standing on a rock, by the pond filled with giant Koi, it took on a tranquility that I wasn't expecting, especially considering the amount of visitors.

Kyoto Garden Holland Park
I think the crows were inviting the heron to join the murder.

We then took a stroll through the woodland, thankful for the shade, all the while looking out for the wildlife.

Kensington Gardens Ice Cream
Ice cream time.

Following our feet we ended up back on Kensington High Street and decided to head back towards Kensington Gardens, in search of ice cream. Sure enough the Colicci Cafe was open, so ice creams were purchased.

The Serpentine
A beautiful day for messing about in the water.

With Keilyn now running point we made our way along the Flower Walk towards West Carriage Drive and until we were walking along the south bank of The Serpentine. Again, plenty of wildlife with their young hugged the shallows or sat sleeping in the sun on the paths.

Wellington Arch
Wellington Arch.

Before long we found ourselves in Hyde Park and, after passing through Screen at Hyde Park Corner, found ourselves at Wellington Arch, before crossing Duke of Wellington Place and entering Green Park.

Bomber Command Memorial
Bomber Command Memorial crew.

We stopped and sat for a break in front of the Bomber Command Memorial, before continuing our what had now turned into a green walk, towards Green Park station.

A few last photos and then it was down to the depths and the relative cool of the underground to catch a train to Baker Street, where more refreshments were purchased, before we boarded a train home.

 Distance travelled:

  • Car - 0.0 miles
  • Taxi - 0.9 miles
  • Train - 8.6 miles
  • Underground - 27 miles
  • Walking - 8.1 miles


  1. Love the clock and the Barker's building and Jimmy's house. A good stretch of the legs.

    1. There are so many great buildings and fascinating things to discover in and around the Paddington and Kensington area that we will be going back again, soon. Walking back through the parks was a real joy.