Kensington & Chelsea

The term Kensington and Chelsea actually has two uses. The first is as the name of a constituency; a geographical area that elects politicians to the Government of the United Kingdom. The constituency of Kensington and Chelsea is considered to be one of the safest Conservative – sometimes referred to as Tory – seats in England and is one of the most prestigious seats since it’s creation for the 1997 General Election.

The constituency covers southern and central areas of the like named London borough Kensington and Chelsea; though interestingly not all of the borough is covered by the constituency. It does, however, cover both the centres of the towns of Chelsea and Kensington. The seat was first created for the 1997 election, and was predictably won by the Conservative candidate Alan Clark despite Labour winning the overall election. The reasons for the strong Conservative voting in Kensington and Chelsea are much debated, with the wealth of residents – which leads to traditionally Conservative voting patterns – largely accepted as the main reason.

At the last general election in 2005, former Cabinet minister Malcolm Rifkind – another Conservative – took the seat, taking an astonishing 57.9% of the vote, a total vote count of 18,144. The seat has never been held by any part but the Conservatives since it’s creation, and with such a huge majority – the closest party to Rifkind were the Liberal Democrats, who received 5,726 votes – it is unlikely at present that this trend will be upset.

Secondly, the term Kensington and Chelsea also refers to a borough of London. The Kensington and Chelsea borough is on the western side of central London, and is one of the most affluent areas of England’s capital city.

Kensington & Chelsea LondonThe borough is, like it’s neighbour the City of Westminster, home to some of the most recognisable names and attractions in London itself. The world famous department store Harrods is within it, as well as many designer name boutiques. It is a famed shopping area for those with money to burn, and house prices and general socio-economic wealth within the borough is high.

Notting Hill and it’s famous carnival also take place within the borough, as is the main campus for the prestigious Imperial College London. The area is extremely densely populated, with the 2001 census revealing a population of some 158,000 in an area of approximately 12 square kilometres.

The borough is also a feast for any museum lover. The much celebrated decorative arts museum, the Victoria and Albert (often abbreviated to V&A) is within it’s boundaries. The V&A contains around four million artefacts, celebrating around 3,500 years of human creativity. Other museums include the National Army Museum, the National History Museum, the Science Museum and Leighton House Museum.

Kensington and Chelsea borough also has an interesting mix of religions and ethnic groups. Several notable churches, such as the Brompton Oratory and Chelsea Old Church, are within it’s boundaries. There are also several mosques, a Sikh Central Gurudwara and a Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue.  The area is around 79% Caucasian, and the life expectancy for females living with in the borough is 84.4 years – the highest in the United Kingdom.

Discover Chelsea and Kensington, the two of the most exclusive and fashionable regions of London. Explore museums, shopping at Knightsbridge, and see famous attractions during a private walking tour to Kensington and Chelsea!