The Garden Guide

Kensington Roof Garden

Photograph ©
Photograph ©
Photograph © Charlotte Weychan
Photograph © Charlotte Weychan
Photograph © Charlotte Weychan
London's oldest and best roof garden, still known to many as 'Derry and Toms Roof Garden', recalling the name of the department store which commissioned the garden. The garden covers 1.5 acres and are 100ft above street level. It has ponds, bridges, walks, trees, shrubs and sitting areas, with a pronounced Arts and Crafts character. There is an English Woodland Garden with nearly 100 species of tree, Spanish Garden with fountains and Walled Tudor Garden. The Roof Garden has been owned by Sir Richard Branson since 1981.

99 High Street, Kensington, London, Greater London, England, W8 5SA

Open to the public unless there is a private event. Telephone before making a visit. Call 020 7937 7994 Monday to Friday, or 020 7368 3993 on Weekends.


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  • about 6 years by Charlotte 5 / 5

    Absolutely fabulous gardens and well worth eating in the restaurant too, which overlooks them (set menus which don't break the bank, but do book ahead!). Quite extraordinary to find this haven in the middle of London and the gardens are beautifully maintained. Lovely in May when the wisteria is out, but a real treat on any sunny day.
  • over 6 years by Greg Ralph 5 / 5

    I decided on five stars - simply because the gardens still exist. I do agree with William that Planners could easily insist that all new buildings incorporate Roof Gardens. Overseas they have swimming pools and tennis courts - London could become known for its roof gardens perhaps?
    I do have very clear recollections of this fabulous and quite unique feature of London, on a few occasions when my parents took me to London from Wales during the fifties.
    I actually have a small souvenir booklet of photographs which I have kept - so Derry & Toms must have made a significant impression on me at the time.
    It is wonderful that the gardens still exist albeit in a modified form. It is testament to the preservation order system, I suppose, that commercialism was not allowed remove them.
    Hopefully they will be further protected and not allowed to fall into disrepair.
  • over 8 years by William003 4 / 5

    Kensington Roof Garden us good and its old - it was Biba's Roof Garden when I first saw it in the 1970s. But why hasn't London got more roof gardens like this? In fact why don't all the new buildings in London have roof gardens?
  • over 8 years by Leah 4 / 5

    I forgot to mention that I would also recommend the restaurant (Babylon)- nice place, good food, good views (certainly over London, but possibly over part of the garden as well - I forget). I wondered if I had been a bit stingy with 3 stars in my review of couple of minutes ago so this time I give 4 to we average at 3.5, which I think is about right!
  • over 8 years by Leah 3 / 5

    I got the feeling that this garden may have suffered in the interests of commercialism. It is attached to a restaurant and night club owned by Virgin and is hired out for events so has been kitted out with seating areas etc... Still - well worth a visit - it is extraordinary that the whole garden is on a roof above Kensington High Street. I have never seen a roof garden on anything like this scale before! And what a good use of what would be otherwise dead space in central London.

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