London is renowned for its outstanding Royal Parks, which provide the perfect place for peace, quiet and outdoor space to relax in, whenever you need a change from the busy pace of life in the city. 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. If you’re planning to stay at the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park soon, then read on to find out what there is to see and do in the nearby Royal Park.
Discover the history of Hyde Park
The area that came to be known as Hyde Park has been an important part of London for centuries and was used as a royal hunting ground as far back as the early sixteenth century. But its history goes even further back to the 900s when the land that became the park was a rolling area of meadow fields, owned by monks at Westminster Abbey. It was only with the changes enforced by Henry VIII that the grounds were seized from the monks, and turned into a vast hunting area, setting the tone for what the park would become in later years.
The park you see today by the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park began to come into form much later on, under the keen eye of Queen Caroline in the eighteenth century. She took the approach of dividing the former royal hunting ground into two parks, forming both Hyde Park and the neighbouring Kensington Gardens. She was also responsible for designing the unusual and natural shaped artificial lake, the Serpentine.
While the park has had further evolutions over the more recent centuries and decades, much of the spirit of the park remains the same, and Hyde Park is a place to enjoy open-air in London in a unique way. If you’re looking for Hyde Park accommodations, it’s well worth dedicating plenty of time exploring the beautiful park.
Explore its monuments and memorials
Like many other Royal Parks, Hyde Park is filled with a variety of monuments and memorials to important figures, both royal and non-royal, and a great way of learning more about the park is by taking a leisurely walk around to see as many of these as possible.
You’ll find some stunning memorials throughout the park, including near the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park side, as well as elsewhere.
One of the most poignant and popular memorials to visit is the Diana Memorial Fountain, dedicated to the memory of the late Princess Diana. As well as being a worthy tribute to the princess, the fountain is also a wonderful place to enjoy some serenity and contemplation, with a complex and beautiful path that travels throughout the fountain.
Guests with Hyde Park accommodations can also explore some of the other fascinating monuments in the park, including the 7 July Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial, both dedicated to some of the most appalling atrocities committed, and serving as an important reminder to remember. There are also plenty of more light-hearted monuments, including the lovely Boy and Dolphin Fountain, which forms an impressive centrepiece in the Rose Garden, and the charming Pan Statue.
Visit the Speakers’ Corner
The Speakers’ Corner has long been an important part of Hyde Park and reflects the role of the park as an important aspect of community life in the capital. London has a long tradition of encouraging open and free speech, as well as the right to protest, and Speakers’ Corner formed out of the tradition of allowing people of all backgrounds to make their case in public, often in Hyde Park. In the nineteenth century, the Speakers’ Corner, and the right to hold meetings and speak freely in public parks became enshrined in law, and Speakers’ Corner came into being more formally.
Over the years, it has welcomed all kinds of speakers to the area, from luminaries such as Karl Marx and George Orwell to ordinary members of the public, and lesser-known figures. If you’re visiting Hyde Park from Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park, you’ll still see lively speakers and crowds watching here, and it’s always interesting to listen in for a while.
Wander through the Rose Garden
Within Hyde Park, you’ll find a number of lovely landscaped gardens and areas, each skilfully designed and maintained through the year. One of the finest is the Rose Garden, which can be found near the south-east corner of the park.
Though it is a relatively recent addition, having been designed in 1994, the garden is always a stunning sight. Filled with a beautiful variety of flowers artfully designed into the shape of a horn playing out, you can see an incredible diversity of roses, as well as many other types of blooms here. It’s best seen during the early summer when the roses are at their best, but it’s always a perfect place for calm and contemplation, throughout the year.
Meet the diverse wildlife
As well as having the chance to see all kinds of wonderful plants and magnificent monuments around the park, Hyde Park’s wildlife is a stunning attraction of its own. The park is home to a great range of creatures, both large and small, and a curious fan of natural history will always find plenty to see and discover here.
You’ll find an exceptional variety of colourful butterflies, drawn to the rich wildflower meadows in the park, as well as a great range of songbirds. The park also sees its fair share of game and wildfowl, as well as more unusual visitors, such as black swans. And if you’re interested in learning more about the park’s captivating wildlife, you can find out more in the Look Out, the purpose-built eco-friendly refuge.