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We’ve all heard tell of the British capital’s famous green spaces, which stretch over 4,900 acres (1980 hectares) in total throughout Greater London. Hyde Park, which used to be Henry VIII’s personal hunting ground, is probably the most well-known, and the largest of four royal parks in the area. There are also plenty of things to do in Hyde Park and we've listed some of them right here in this post.
The park itself provides the perfect respite after the madness of London’s city streets, and the area around Hyde Park is known for London boutique hotels, with Knightsbridge to the south, Mayfair to the east, Bayswater, and Paddington to the north, and Kensington to the west.
- Things to do in Hyde Park
- 1. Speakers’ Corner
- 2. Marble Arch
- 3. Animals in War monument
- 4. The Serpentine Lake
- 5. Sports
- 6. Serpentine Galleries
- 7. Hyde Park Bandstand
- 8.Festivals and Events
- 9. Kensington Palace
- 10. Princess Diana memorial sites
- 11. Albert Memorial
- Don't forget travel insurance
Things to do in Hyde Park
1. Speakers’ Corner
Speakers’ Corner is an area in the northeast corner of Hyde Park, London. It’s a historically significant spot, being the site of open-air public debates and speeches since its creation in 1872. It’s the world’s most well-known free-speech zone and has been frequented by the likes of Karl Marx, George Orwell, Vladimir Lenin, and William Morris among many more.
Today it is still a creative space for people to talk freely and passionately. Head to the site on Sundays from midday onwards to see people speaking on any number of subjects – always a fun activity.
2. Marble Arch
Next to Speakers’ Corner is Marble Arch, a large white marble structure built in 1827 by John Nash. It was originally the state entrance to the courtyard of Buckingham Palace but was moved to its current location in the 1960s. It now stands at the junction of Park Lane, Oxford Street, and Edgware Road, and anyone can walk beneath its arches.
3. Animals in War monument
While you explore this corner of the park, make sure to check out the Animals in War monument, on the edge of Park Lane. A unique installation created by sculptor David Backhouse and unveiled by Princess Anne in 2004.
The site commemorates animals that have died or suffered during British wars throughout history. It remembers the dogs that sniffed out mines and dug out bomb victims, mules that had their vocal cords cut in the Burmese Jungle in the second World War to keep silent, and message-carrying pigeons. Even glow worms that soldiers used as a map-reading light source in World War 1.
4. The Serpentine Lake
The Serpentine is the beautiful 40-acre lake that winds snake-like across the central section of the park. It’s long been the center of activity in Hyde Park, thronging with geese and waterfowl, surrounded by picnickers on striped deck chairs (which you can hire cheaply).
Throughout the warmer months, you can explore the lake on a hired boat or pedalo, or go for a swim in the lido.
As well as boating and swimming on the Serpentine, Hyde Park is a great place for sporting activities. From a simple game of frisbee to horseback riding, a game of tennis to hiring a public bike – the park has loads of sports facilities to make use of. Putting, cricket, and football are other Hyde Park activities you can enjoy.
6. Serpentine Galleries
Located on either side of the lake are the Serpentine Galleries, open for visitors to explore every day except Monday with free entry. Each gallery showcases cutting-edge artworks from internationally famous artists, as well as a new temporary pavilion structure each summer by a different architect. This temporary pavilion hosts a series of music, performance, and film called Park Nights during its three-month opening. As well as the gallery space, you can also visit the restaurant and shop.
7. Hyde Park Bandstand
The oldest bandstand in England exists in Hyde Park, built in 1869. It was originally located in Kensington Gardens but was moved in 1886 to its current location in the southeast extremity of the park near the area called Hyde Park Corner.
Because of its octagonal top, it has excellent acoustics, and concerts would take place here three times weekly during the 1890s.
8.Festivals and Events
Hyde Park is famous for its action-packed calendar of events. From November to January, Winter Wonderland takes place. The park is transformed into a free-entry magical Christmas market complete with fairground attractions, ice-rinks, circuses, ice sculptures, and heaps of Bavarian food and drink to enjoy.
Plenty of other concerts and events take place throughout the year, as well as the large eclectic lineup of British Summer Time Hyde Park with comedy, live music, film, food, and much more. If you’re attending one of these events, it’s best to get your booking in early to a nearby hotel such as the Bayswater Hotel London so you’re right near the action.
9. Kensington Palace
Strictly speaking, Hyde Park is only on one side – the area on the other side of the Serpentine lake is known as Kensington Gardens. This is where you’ll find Kensington Palace, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with a number of other members of the royal family.
Some parts of the palace can be explored by visitors, and there are museum exhibitions including one on the life of Queen Victoria. While you’re here, get high tea at The Orangery, a grand 18th-century building created for Queen Anne.
10. Princess Diana memorial sites
Kensington Palace was the former home of Princess Diana, and there is a series of memorial sites to the late Princess of Wales throughout the gardens and park. The Princess Diana Memorial Fountain was designed to reflect her life and personality, and visitors are allowed to paddle in the water.
There’s also a giant wooden pirate ship playground inspired by the stories of Peter Pan, to remember her love of children and encourage childhood imagination. As well as this, a seven-mile walk passes through Hyde Park and three other royal parks in memory of Diana, which you can find if you follow the plaques on the ground.
11. Albert Memorial
One of the many statues and memorials in the park is a particularly ornate one you can find just in front of the Royal Albert Hall on the south side. It is dedicated to Prince Albert, who died aged 42 of typhoid fever. Gilded bronze statues, decorative friezes, and marble sculptures adorn the top of this decadent representation of Albert’s life and passions, designed by George Gilbert Scott.
Now that you know what to do in Hyde Park London, what's on top of your list?
Don't forget travel insurance
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. Travel insurance has you covered in case (part of) your trip gets canceled, you get sick or hurt abroad, and sometimes even when your electronics break or get stolen. I always make sure I'm covered every trip I go on.
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1. Hyde Park is a London institution with Royal authority: King Henry VIII, he of the many wives, confiscated the land from monks who were living in Westminster Abbey in order to turn it into a royal hunting ground. Fun-loving King Charles I opened it to the public almost a hundred years later.
Hyde Park is famous for its speaker's corner and for being the largest park in the central park & the royal parks of London.
How long does it take to go around Hyde Park? Hyde Park covers 350 acres – that's a lot to walk around on foot! Depending on which part of the park you want to prioritise visiting, it's best to allow two to three hours for your visit.
And Hyde Park is one of the best known of all the Royal Parks, as one of the biggest and most fascinating places to visit. With over 300 acres of space to explore and discover, Hyde Park is one of London's most treasured green spaces and the home for a variety of great attractions.
- Hyde Park Serpentine Lake. Taking the kids boating on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park is a great way for families to bond during the sunny summer months. ...
- Diana Memorial Fountain. ...
- The Science Museum. ...
- Fun in the Garden. ...
- The Natural History Museum. ...
- Hamleys Toys. ...
- Carnaby Street. ...
- Portobello Road Market.
Hyde Park is a Grade I-listed major park in Central London. It is the largest of four Royal Parks that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace.
Both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are free to all visitors and are open year-round. Hyde Park is open from 5 a.m. to midnight, while the gardens open at 6 a.m. daily (closing times vary by time of year). Several bus lines service the area.
Hyde (plural Hydes) An English topographic surname from Middle English for someone living on a hide of land.
Richmond Park, at almost 1000 hectares (2500 acres), is the largest Royal Park in London and is home to around 650 free roaming deer.
Hyde Park is open from 5:00 am until midnight all year round.
Hyde Park entry ticket is free for children who are below the age of 5 years. Children who are above 5 years in age are charged an entry fee in Hyde Park of $8. Family entry ticket price is $30.
The Tate Modern was the most visited free tourist attraction in London in 2020, welcoming roughly 1.4 million visitors.
At Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, child tickets are available for guests 12 years and under. Whilst the event is suitable for children of all ages, children must be accompanied at all times by a person 16 years or over.
Re: How to visit Hyde park? There are no buses in the park - and to be honest, few highlights (or lowlights either). To get around either walk or (as long as you respect the fact that the park's designed for walkers) cycle or ride a horse along (and ONLY along) designated cycleways and bridleways.
Yes, you can take your own food in but plan what to take as you won't find places to sit down and eat unless you are buying their food. There are lots of food stalls and bars but if you are into healthy eating they won't tick the box! We had a couple of snacks, the churros with hot chocolate sauce was lovely.
The Royal Parks also advise people use plastic cups and bottles where possible, as broken glass is a danger to others. You're only really allowed to play ball games in certain areas of Hyde Park, so as not to disturb or harm others.
The South Carriage Drive Playground is an exciting and adventurous play space that sits on the southern boundary of Hyde Park along South Carriage Drive. The playground has views over open sports fields, tree lined avenues and the Serpentine. The playground features climbing frames, a swing set and slide.
When to Visit. Hyde Park is free to enter between the hours of 5 a.m. and midnight every day, all-year round. Boating on The Serpentine is open from April until October 31st, from 10 a.m. to around 4 p.m. (during the winter) and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (during the summer).
Hyde Park, the largest in London's Royal Parks, is also one of the largest parks in the world. It takes you from the centre of the city to the outskirts of nature, the fresh air of a village as a paradise. With a total area of 250 hectares, the park deserves its name among the largest city parks in the world.
Running under Hyde Park Corner is a road tunnel built in the 1960s to relieve congestion on the roundabout above, and sitting slap bang in the middle of Hyde Park Corner, surrounded by war memorials is a gigantic ventilation shaft to extract car pollution from below.
The Elfin Oak is the stump of a 900-year-old oak tree located in Kensington Gardens, London, carved and painted to look as though elves, gnomes, fairies and small animals are living in its bark.
Central Park. Central Park, probably the world's most famous park, is more than double the size of Hyde Park, at 3.41km2 to Hyde Park's 1.42km2 (that's without including Kensington Gardens). It also has its own zoo — and yes, two of London's parks also have zoos, but Hyde Park isn't one of them.
But Hyde is not just about events, it has so much more to offer its 12.8 million visitors each year. The famous Apsley Arch, which welcomes visitors from the Hyde Park Corner area, has been cleaned and restored.
Originally an enclosed deer park used exclusively for private hunting, Hyde Park is now a popular urban forest with over three thousand trees, with the most common species being the London Plane and Sweet Chestnut.
Valuing and mapping London's urban forest
London has more than 8 million trees, covering around 21% of the capital's land area.
37% of the 3,174 in Hyde Park trees are London Plane's (Platanus × acerifolia), making it the most common tree within the park. The second, third and fourth most common trees are, respectively, common lime (Tilia x europaea), sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) and english oak (Quercus robur).
hazel tree, birch, laburnum, Judas tree, cotoneaster, Indian bean tree, Cornelian cherry tree, oak tree, silver maple, and sugar maple. Tower of London: black poplar, acacia, honey locust, ginkgo, London plane, Norway maple, sycamore, rowan, and bird cherry .