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A visit to London wouldn't complete for me if it didn't involve a daily stroll (at least) in Hyde Park. We owe this huge green lung which covers 142 hectares to Henry VIII who bought Hyde Park from the monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536 for his hunting purposes. A century later Charles I changed the appearance of the park and granted access to the general public in 1637. Other renovations were carried out under the reign of George II and his wife Queen Caroline who created Kensington Gardens in 1728 by taking 300 acres from the park and the Serpentine in the 1730.
Today Hyde Park is the venue for many leisure activities like walking (guided walks are regularly organised), horse riding, rollerblading, rowing and many more. This is where I first came "face to face" with a squirrel as I was going back to the hotel. Be careful not to get lost in the park, it's very easy, believe me. Lost is not quite the right word but I certainly didn't arrive where I was supposed to! There are so many crosses and alleys that you should look carefully which one to take if you don't want to end up with burning feet at the end of the day.
- Horse Riding
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Beautiful Hyde Park
I enjoy strolling along beautiful parks and Hyde Park was my favorite. There are so many things to do and enjoy at the park. It’s a really nice way to relax from the busyness of London City especially when the weather is nice.
I love trees and open spaces and Hyde Park is full of them. There are sign posts to indicate your location. The park is huge and you can easily wander around aimlessly. There is a horse trail, benches and plenty of open spaces to lay out on a hot summer day with a nice picnic.
You’ll find the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain here, along with a few restuarants.
Finally made it to Hyde Park. It was a cold Novemeber day but Liz and I braved the cold and explored the park. Despite the cold and wind the park was full of people. Fortunately along our walk we found a place to have Hot Chocolate and escape the cold weather.
The Prince Albert Memorial
“Never can I forget how beautiful my darling looked lying there with his face lit up by the rising sun, his eyes unusually bright, gazing as it were on unseen objects and not taking notice of me. I stood up, kissed his dear heavenly forehead and called out in a bitter agonizing cry: ‘Oh! my dear darling!’, and then dropped on my knees in mute, distracted despair unable to utter a word or shed a tear.”
— Queen Victoria (1819-1901) about her beloved husband, Prince Albert (1819-1861)
The romance of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria is one of the great love stories of history.
When the Prince Consort died from typhoid at Windsor Castle on 14.December.1861 he was just 42 years and the lovers had been married only 22 years. Her Majesty was beside herself with grief; she wore her widow’s weeds until her dying day, 40 years later.
To remind her subjects of Prince Albert’s many contributions to Great Britain the Queen commissioned a memorial monument.
In 1872 she selected Sir Gilbert Scott to design this Neo-Gothic extravaganza. Sir Gilbert was inspired by miniature medieval shrines. Officially known as the Prince Consort National Memorial, the 180-foot tall structure stands in Kensington Gardens; it was completed in 1876, and unveiled by Queen Victoria.
Two sets of white marble allegorical sculpture groupings surround the monument.
The first, at foot of the steps leading to the canopy, is four groupings representing Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas; each continent is represented by native figures and a large animal: Africa, a camel; the Americas, a buffalo; Asia, an elephant; and Europe, a bull.
The second, at the corners of the canopy, is four groupings that represent manufacturing, commerce, agriculture and engineering. Around the base a frieze includes painters, poets sculptors, musicians and architects, reflecting Albert's passion for the arts.
In the 1990s a £10 million conservation effort was carried out to help repair decades of neglect, and damage caused by pollution.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Hyde Park on a sunny day
Decided at the last minute to come up to London and suddenly thought that neither of us had actually walked through and around Hyde Park. We were in for a treat. It was a sunny day and the roses smelled wonderful. We took the memorial trail which eventually led us to the Diana memorial where lots of people were paddling in the water. It was a truly lovely day.
Speakers Corner in Hyde Park
Hyde Park used to be a royal hunting ground, venue for duels, executions, horse racing and once a large potato field during WWII. Now it is for sunbathers, joggers and boaters on Serpentine Lake.
On Sundays, head for Speakers Corner. Where scholars, crackpots, philosophers, eccentrics, religous freaks and all manner of people will air their views on a multitude of subjects. It's great fun and sometimes you can learn a lot or not, but it is Free!
Take a picnic and enjoy the afternoon!
- Arts and Culture
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In all my visits to London I've never really had a good walk through Hyde Park, I'd been on the edges of it but never really through it so I decided on my 1st day back in London, a warm sunny May afternoon, that I would have a nice leisurely day and stroll through Hyde Park.
Kensington Gardens are right next door to Hyde Park so I started there, walking through the Italian Gardens and along the Long Water until I got where Hyde Park starts, walked around the entire Serpentine, a large pond with a variety of bird life, paddleboats and rowboats that you can rent and a section for swimming although I'm not sure I'd want to with all that goose poop in the water.
Towards the end of the Serpentine I came across the Diana Memorial Fountain where you can have a rest, sit along the edge of it and dip your toes in the water.
In the northeast corner of the park, near Marble Arch, is Speaker's Corner. I've never been to Hyde Park on a Sunday, but I've heard there are a variety of speakers talking about whatever interests them that day.
A Green Oasis in London
Its amazing that there is so much grass in central london. Hyde park is one of those places.
Well worth a wander, its actually great to get away from the traffic noise for a bit.
2 of the famous parts of the park are Speakers Corner, where anyone has the right to publicly air his views (if he dares), and rotton row, which is still maintained as a central london bridle path for excercising your horses.
The first time I was in Hyde Park was a weekend and there was actually a horse show on at rotton row, guess who did not have a camera with him :(
Wonderful and relaxed stroll
It was a nice and quite warm sunny day - a perfect day to go to Hyde Park. We saw soooo many nice, interesting, weird things. Let me explain the "weird" here. We came across people who fed animals. I was excited because I saw squirrels. But unfortunately, squirrels were not the only ones nibbling the food. There were also RATS! I couldn't believe my eyes. Did people not notice they were feeding rats?!? I have never been so close to rats before. Brrrrrr!
Anyways, it was wonderful to enjoy in the fresh air, sun and the first spring flowers.
Strolling along Hyde Park
By the western end of Oxford Street you will find Hyde Park that is the largest and most legendary of Londons parks. At the northeastern corner of the park (By the end of Oxford Street) you will find speakers corner wich was established several centuries ago by parliament as a forum for the common man to express their views. With some luck (that we however did not have, visiting London) you can hear people staning up and speaking.
The park offers a good opportunity for a nice break from the thriving London surrounding it.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- National/State Park
One of London's finest historic landscapes covering 142 hectares (350 acres). There is something for everyone in Hyde Park. With over 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow, horse rides and more it is easy to forget you're in the middle of London.
- Hiking and Walking
Just another walk in the park
This is Hyde Park, with some 350 acres of green space. It's a great escape from inner city life, and has quite a history. It was acquired by Henry VIII in the 16th century, and for a while served as a private hunting ground. Since then, it's been the site of many national celebrations, horse racing and dueling too. I couldn't find any duels on my visit though. And I was looking for one too ;-)
Nowadays, it's a place for some quiet famly time, maybe a picnic or to play a game or two. It also hosts fairs and other special events.
Admission is free. Make a trip to Hyde Park, and just relax for a while.
i can't describe this place,u have to be there to believe it.Just take a walk there and you will have forgotten that you are in the most busiest city of the world.Comin from mumbai which has lack of open spaces n parks for me its a treat.The beauty n peace this place has.You could read a book,have a smoke,sip some coffe,lay on the bench n look at the cloudy sky,lie on the grass n watch the world go by.Stare at beautiful cherry trees.Squirrels ,piegons and other birds they are freindly enough to come to u.Beautiful...please visit.
Enjoy Hyde Park
Hyde park is the perfect place to relax, have pic-nic or just walk and talk. It's full of students, couples, joggers so you will always meet somebody to talk to. When I stayed in London our hostel was just a block away from the Park and we spent most of our time there. Great memories!
the Popular Whereabout to Hang around
Hyde Park is probably the most popular and one of the two biggest parks in London. There are several areas you can explore on your own if you a tourist, student or just a resident londoner. It is just huge! Surrounded by several tube stations, Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner from the east, Bayswater and Lancaster from the North, and Knightsbridge from the South. It is also joined to the famous Kensington Gardens and Palace which also make it within a walking distance to Notting Hill Gate, and Kensington High Street. If you want to walk the park from the east to the west, it'll probably take you up to 45 minutes. Huge, didn't I tell ya?
Areas to explore:
- Speaker's corner: every Sunday, a bunch of speakers grab their wooden or metal ladders to stand on and start giving some speeches on politics, religion or any trivia. Well it's a Sunday tradition I guess. My mother used to tell us a lot about it when we were kids, very interesting, ha? Located opposite Marble Arch tube station.
- Diana's Memorial: in memory of princess Diana
- the Serpentine: a river-like lake where pedals and lots of ice-cream shops are available.
- the Compass: close to the speakers' corner, in a shape of a tree, made of small stones, to give a direction to different destinations in the park (7 destinations I think).
- a huge tree struck by thunder flash!
- Hyde Park also hosts several events, such as music concerts or fundraising events, from Make Poverty History and others.
- Public toilet
- ice-cream, food stalls
- pedals in the Serpentine Lake
- Police security usually roams around
For more information on the history and milestones of Hyde Park, see this link here
It's just a nice place to hang around whether you're a single, have a family, or just wanna walk around:^)
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