Hyde Park isn’t just any park; it’s 350 acres of regal splendor that once belonged solely to the monarchy. Henry VIII, during his spare time from wife-swapping, snagged it as a hunting ground. Today, the only hunting you’ll be doing is for the best picnic spot.
Welcome to our visitor’s guide to Hyde Park, one of London’s most iconic green spaces, where the grass is green (unless its the height of summer), the lake sparkles, and where history meets cheeky squirrels (yes, squirrels!).
Best Things to Do and See in Hyde Park
Hyde Park, offers a range of attractions for both locals and tourists alike. Here are some of its most popular attractions:
The Serpentine: This large, picturesque lake offers boating, open-air swimming, and a lovely backdrop for a stroll. There’s also the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen, where you can grab a bite by the water.
The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain: A beautiful circular water feature that pays tribute to the life and spirit of Princess Diana. It is very popular with children, and adults, during the summer months.
Speaker’s Corner: Nestled in the northeastern edge of Hyde Park, London, Speaker’s Corner stands as a symbol of democratic freedom and open expression. A legacy from the Victorian era, this unique spot has become a historical soapbox for orators, activists, and ordinary citizens to voice their opinions, debate critical issues, and champion causes. On any given Sunday morning, you might find a diverse array of passionate speakers discussing everything from politics and religion to society’s latest quirks. The tradition asserts that, here, everyone has the right to speak and be heard, as long as they remain within the boundaries of the law. This iconic space celebrates not just the power of speech, but also the enduring spirit of London’s commitment to free expression and public discourse.
The Rose Garden: A fragrant and visually stunning collection of roses, nestled in the southeast corner of the park.
The Joy of Life Fountain: A lively bronze fountain featuring two figures and a stream of water.
The Italian Gardens: A 150-year-old ornamental water garden located at the north side of the park, gifted by Prince Albert to Queen Victoria.
Statues and Memorials: Hyde Park contains several notable statues and memorials, including the Achilles Statue, the Hudson Memorial Bird Sanctuary, and the Boy and Dolphin Statue.
Serpentine Gallery: Located on the south side of the Serpentine, this renowned art gallery showcases contemporary artworks from both new and established artists.
Picnic in the Park: With so much green space to enjoy, why not hire a deckchair and enjoy the sun, or lay on a blanket and have a picnic.
7 July Memorial: A somber reminder of the 52 victims who lost their lives in London’s terror bombings in 2005.
Rotten Row Horse Riding : Rotten Row is a famous bridle path where you can often see horses being ridden. Its name is derived from the French ‘Route du Roi’ or ‘King’s Road’.
Lido Bar and Café: A popular spot for refreshments, especially during the summer months when the adjacent swimming area is in use.
Hyde Park playground: There is a fantastic playground, with swings and slides, at the northern edge of the park.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: A seasonal event, this is London’s premier winter festival that includes an ice rink, circus, Christmas markets, and other festive activities.
Concerts and Events: Hyde Park regularly hosts live music events, including major concerts, as well as community and charity events. The Rolling Stones, Beyonce and many more have performed here.
Flora and Fauna
Hyde Park is not just a treasure trove of activities, but also home to various plants and critters. From cherry blossoms to rose gardens, nature enthusiasts will have a field day. And for our furry and feathered friends, there are squirrels, birds, and more. Remember, feeding them crisps and biscuits is a no-no. Let’s keep them healthy!
There are even parakeets resident in the trees here that you can feed.
How to get to Hyde Park
Getting to Hyde Park in London depends on your starting location and your preferred mode of transport. Hyde Park is centrally located and is easily accessible from many parts of London. Here are some general directions:
- By Tube (London Underground):
- Hyde Park Corner Station (Piccadilly Line): Located at the southeastern corner of Hyde Park.
- Knightsbridge Station (Piccadilly Line): Close to the southern boundary of Hyde Park.
- Marble Arch Station (Central Line): Located at the northeastern corner of the park.
- Lancaster Gate Station (Central Line): Sits on the northern side of the park.
- Queensway Station (Central Line): A little further north but still a short walk to the park.
- By Bus: Numerous bus routes pass by or have stops near Hyde Park, including lines 2, 9, 10, 12, 16, 36, 52, 73, 74, 82, 94, 148, 274, 390, and 414.
- By Car: While driving in central London can be challenging due to traffic and parking restrictions, there are pay-and-display parking areas in and around Hyde Park. Do note that Hyde Park is within London’s Congestion Charging Zone.
- By Bike: London’s public bike-sharing scheme, Santander Cycles, has several docking stations around Hyde Park. You can rent a bike from any location and drop it off at a docking station close to the park.
- On Foot: If you’re already in central London, Hyde Park is within walking distance from many prominent locations, including Oxford Street, Mayfair, and Kensington.
Hyde Park Opening Times
The park is open daily 5am-midnight.