London Culture

    With some of the world's leading museums and galleries within its locale, South Kensington is the beating heart of London's vast cultural offering.

    From The Ampersand Hotel in Kensington it is only ever a short walk to London's greatest cultural institutions. Whether your passion is for Pucci, Puccini or Plesiosaurs, our helpful staff can point you towards all the big shows as well as interesting back streets full of private galleries and architectural gems. Here's a sampling of our top six cultural fixes - all within a two- to 20-minute walk from the hotel.

    Natural History Museum: Unearth the great mysteries of life and the universe at this world-leading cathedral to natural history. With over 70 million items in its vast Gothic vaults, all life - and afterlife - is here. Particularly famous for its dinosaur skeletons. Cromwell Road;

    Victoria and Albert Museum: The world's greatest museum of art and design is just a five-minute walk from The Ampersand Hotel. From pearl-encrusted ballgowns and art nouveau glass to Japanese prints and Islamic metalwork, there is a niche to intrigue everyone. The shop is a destination unto itself. Cromwell Road;

    Science Museum: Interactive gizmos, awesome space rockets and a 3D Imax cinema make the Science Museum a failsafe visit for kids. There's plenty for adults too, this perfectly curated museum making light work of big bangs, climate changes and astrophysics, among other things. Exhibition Road;

    Christie's South Kensington: The busiest fine art and antiques saleroom in the UK, Christie's South Ken holds over 100 sales a year, with a focus on interiors, single-owner sales and specialised collections - with not all of them expensive. Pouring over the goods you will find England's star decorators. At 85 Old Brompton Road; www.christies.com

    Royal Albert Hall: The Ampersand is well placed for a visit to the Albert Hall. The iconic circular hall, built to fulfill the vision of Prince Albert in 1871, showcases an ever-changing programme of events and exhibitions, many of them music-led. The Summer proms - an eight-week series of classical music concerts - are particularly popular. At Kensington Gore;

    Proud Gallery: If you like your history 20th century and your culture popular, the Proud Gallery is the place to catch cool photography exhibitions and buy photographic prints by some of the hippest names working today. At 161 King's Road; www.proudonline.co.uk