Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, is one of the Royal Parks of London, lying immediately to the west of Hyde Park. Most of it is in the City of Westminster, but a small section to the west is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It covers 275 acres (1.1 km²).
Charles Bridgeman created the Serpentine in the 1730s by damming the eastern outflow of the River Westbourne from Hyde Park for Queen Caroline. The part of the Serpentine that lies within Kensington Gardens is known as "The Long Water". At its north-western end (originally the inflow of the River Westbourne) there are four fountains and classical sculpture known collectively as the Italian Garden.
Kensington Gardens are generally regarded as being the western extent of the neighbouring Hyde Park from which they were originally taken, with West Carriage Drive (The Ring) and the Serpentine Bridge forming the boundary between them. The Gardens are fenced and more formal than Hyde Park, and were long regarded as the smarter of the two parks.
The land surrounding Kensington Gardens was predominantly rural and remained largely undeveloped until the Great Exhibition in 1851. Many of the original features survive along with the Palace, and now there are other public buildings such as the Albert Memorial (at the south-east corner of Kensington Gardens, opposite the Royal Albert Hall), the Serpentine Gallery, and Speke's monument.