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Planning a trip to see our epic Swan Lake in-the-round at the Royal Albert Hall? This is the perfect opportunity to discover one of London’s most beloved neighbourhoods at the same time. From world-class museums to palaces and gardens, there are plenty of things to see and do in Kensington to make your trip to the ballet memorable.

Start with a Swan Lake-inspired museum visit

Before experiencing Tchaikovsky’s iconic score performed live by the English National Ballet Philharmonic, take a moment to be inspired and  immerse yourself in the world of music. The Royal Albert Hall’s neighbour, The Royal College of Music, invites everyone to delve into more than 500 years of music-making through their museum collection.

You can also picture yourself in the royal ball of Swan Lake’s Act 3 with a visit to Kensington Palace. Located in the heart of Kensington Gardens, this royal experience is an unmissable stop on your Swan Lake-themed day out. Discover the birthplace of Queen Victoria, and walk through the magnificent King’s State Apartments and Queen’s State Apartments.

If you’re visiting the Victoria & Albert Museum nearby (also known as the V&A), why not head to the Theatre & Performance collection, featuring objects and memorabilia from across ballet and the performing arts. Or for more royal ball inspiration, visit the Fashion and Jewellery collections, some of the finest and most comprehensive in the world.

The Serpentine in Hyde Park @ Marco Cilese

Picnic in the park

Kensington has plenty of stunning green areas to enjoy the warm days of June, making this area perfect for a picnic! Bring your favourite snacks and enjoy the green areas of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. If you feel like going for a walk, don’t miss The Albert Memorial and the Italian Gardens. You could even bake Swan Lake or ballet-themed sweets for your picnic!

Add a touch of Swan Lake to your park stroll

Grab a pedal or a row boat in the Serpentine, Hyde Park’s recreational lake, and find yourself immersed in the middle of an actual lake! For the full experience, play the Black Swan pas de deux on your phone and let yourself be transported to the world of Swans. The boat hire in Hyde Park is open all year round, and daily from April to October.

A nigh-time view of the Royal Albert Hall @ Igor Sporynin

Discover more about the Royal Albert Hall

Learn more about London’s beloved stage and its 150 years of history. Join a Royal Albert Hall tour and get ready to experience Swan Lake in-the-round in its magnificent auditorium. Pictures are welcome and you can tag #ToursRAH to document your full experience.

Whether you’re attending a matinee or evening performance, there’s always time for a tea break! The Royal Albert Hall hosts an Afternoon Tea where you can choose a classic, vegan or children’s menu.

Get a glimpse of English National Ballet history at the Royal Albert Hall

If you have a closer look at the photo gallery displayed in the corridors, you might spot some of English National Ballet’s Swans, including an iconic photo of Diana, Princess of Wales with artists of the Company at the premiere of Swan Lake in-the-round, in 1997.

Princess Diana
Diana, Princess of Wales with some of the white swans corps de ballet in 1997. @ Peter Nicholls / Shuttershock

Find fashion inspiration!

A short walk from the Exhibition Road will take you to the pretty and quiet Walton Street. If you want to take a short break from the hustle and bustle of Central London, this is the place to go. This long street is filled with independent shops and boutiques, as well as coffee shops and restaurants for a pre-show meal.

If you’re looking  for clothing or accessories from more popular brands, head to Kensington High Street, where you will be able to find a wide selection of familiar stores, as well as your favourite food chains.

Swan Lake in-the-round © Laurent Liotardo
Fashion inspiration: the party from Swan Lake in-the-round © Laurent Liotardo

Swan Lake in-the-round runs at the Royal Albert Hall from 12-23 June 2024. Book your tickets here.