Situated in the heart of central London, where Marble Arch marks both the boundary of the vast green space and the start of the city’s most famous shopping street, and where some of the most romantic hotels in London overlook expanses of trees and authentic London streets, there lies Hyde Park. A large expanse of parkland which boasts a lake, a multitude of footpaths and sports pitches, and hosts a number of events throughout the year which range from live music performances to festivals and more.
But alongside the exciting events which are hosted within the boundaries of Hyde Park on an annual basis, Hyde Park is also a peaceful place to visit and somewhere that tourists and locals alike can wander, walk, run, or sit and enjoy the fresh air within touching distance of the surrounding cityscape.
The most popular points to visit in Hyde Park
If you know of Hyde Park, you will almost certainly have heard of Speaker’s Corner. A location within the park which is situated virtually on the doorstep of the hotels and accommodation around Hyde Park London’s outskirts, Speaker’s Corner has been a popular spot since the 1870s – during which time it was used as a platform for those sparking debates and citing their views on anything from politics to education. And the use of Speaker’s Corner hasn’t really changed even today, with people from all over the world exercising their right to free speech on this platform which acts as a sort of everyman’s stage.
Princess Diana’s memorial
As you wander around Hyde Park, there are a number of things you may find that you stumble upon – not least because the park’s geography is vast and runs as far as Kensington Palace on the Western border of the park. In between Speaker’s Corner and Kensington Palace you will come across a number of different attractions and things to see – including the Princess Diana memorial statue which includes a fountain and a large pirate ship playground inspired by the late Princess’ love of children.
Because Princess Diana lived within Kensington Palace during her time in the Royal family, the placement of the memorial on the outskirts of Kensington Gardens is particularly prominent, making this one of the most popular points in the whole of Hyde Park – and something that people travel from far and wide to see.
The Serpentine is a long and thin lake which stretches from the North West to the South East of the park and separates the tourist heavy side which plays host to Winter Wonderland and other attractions from the Western border with Kensington Palace and the gardens.
This lake hosts a number of events of its own, with the restaurants near Hyde Park often filled with visitors who have enjoyed a pedalo ride across the lake or taken part in one of the swimming events which sees hundreds of athletes compete with swans and other birds to own a corner of the water’s surface. In terms of its size, the lake covers a 40 acre expanse of the park and is surrounded on all sides by deck chairs which can be hired in the summer, making this a popular site with those who live in and are visiting London during the warmer months.
Not far from the fountain and play area that is dedicated to Princess Diana, you will find the famous Peter Pan statue which is positioned exactly where a baby Peter Pan first makes his appearance in the iconic tale of the boy who never grew up. This status was designed and commissioned by the author himself, JM Barrie, and stands today as testament to the incredible power of this story in British culture and fiction.
A contemporary art gallery which spans across two different structures, the Serpentine Gallery is a celebration of the art and creative endeavours which break boundaries and defy the conventions of traditional artwork. These galleries are visited by hundreds of visitors every day and help to bridge the gap between old and modern London – with the free entry and accessible nature of the galleries making them a great attraction to pop into and explore for yourself.
Events that are held in Hyde Park
Of course, it’s not just the attractions themselves that drive visitors towards Hyde Park, but also the range of events which are held and hosted within the boundaries of the park on an annual basis. Live music performances and concert during the summer invite visitors to sit outside on blankets and deck chairs and revel in the beauty of London’s most natural and impressive green spaces. Alternatively, and if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, why not visit during the festive period and see for yourself how Winter Wonderland unites London under a ceiling of lights and fairground rides.
Hyde Park has long been a place where events bring people together, and as such the park is also known to have hosted marches and demonstrations, as well as all manner of private celebrations and parties – spilling out into the surrounding restaurants once the park closes for the night.
For all those staying locally at the Hotel Park Grand London Hyde Park, this famously vast green space in the centre of London is more than just a patch of grass with a lake and a few sports fields. It is somewhere that breathes life and diverse celebration in the heart of London city, and is managed on behalf of the Royal Parks association who utilise and maintain these parks for the enjoyment of both local residents and visitors from all over the world, all year round.
Next time you visit London, make sure that Hyde Park is on your to-do list – even if only for a morning jog or a walk with a takeaway coffee. With so much to see within the boundaries of the park, you certainly won’t get bored anytime soon.