Linley Sambourne House & Leighton House Museum

Our destinations took us to a most desirable area just off Kensington High Street to visit two very different properties owned by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Linley Sambourne House – a treasure house stepping back into the late 1800s. We were split into small groups and commenced with an audio visual presentation narrated by Lord Snowdon, related to the family. Our excellent guides brought the house to life going back to the time of Edward Linley Sambourne, his wife, two children and their servants. The rooms were crammed full of ornaments, paintings, drawings, William Morris wallpaper, stained glass, Benson lights. Wonderful that such a gem has been preserved.

Leighton House Museum was built for the classical painter and president of the Royal Academy, Frederic, Lord Leighton in 1864. The Arab Hall, in the photo, is the centrepiece of the house, designed to display his priceless collection of over a thousand Islamic tiles, mostly brought back from Damascus. Many of Leighton's paintings and sculptures are displayed throughout the house, along with works by Burne-Jones, Alma-Tadema, Millais. An interesting, enjoyable London visit with a wealth of shops, restaurants and cafes close by.

Linda Niven