Located in the heart of the British capital, Hyde Park is one of the eight royal parks in London and a very popular spot to visit among tourists and locals alike. The massive park covers an area of almost 350 acres and houses some of the most famous landmarks in the city like the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, the Serpentine Lake, and the Speaker’s Corner.
Hyde Park in London is also one of the largest city parks on earth with over 4000 trees, a gigantic lake, beautifully manicured flower gardens, as well as a meadow. The park is also home to several fascinating structures and buildings like the Serpentine Bridge, Achilles Statue, and the Joy of Life Fountain. One can also experience the renowned Speaker’s Corner which you can visit on a weekend to hear some of the most famous orators of the city.Head to London Hyde Park to not only spend time amid lush greenery away from the bustle of city life but also to engage in a variety of recreational activities. You can enjoy swimming, cycling, boating, skating, and several other recreational sports at the park.
Hyde Park has several interesting and historically prominent structures that make for interesting attractions when you visit here. It is also famous for the Speaker’s Corner which has been an important site for eminent orators in the past to deliver free speech.
Adorning the London Hyde Park is this classical stone gateway with its signature scroll-topped columns. The Apsley Gate was built in the years between 1826 and 1829 and was designed by Decimus Burton who was just 25 years old at the time. He was also the man behind the famous design of the grand triumphal arch which can be seen today in a roundabout opposite Hyde Park. The Apsley Gate is made of Portland stone in a light creamy shade and is decorated with neo-classical friezes that were inspired by the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum.
Witness this awe-inspiring statue of the Greek hero of the Trojan War, Achilles that also pays homage to Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and also a soldier and politician. The statue that stands almost 18 feet tall was the first statue to have been installed at the park and was done so by order of King George III. It was unveiled in June 1822 and you can see the Achilles statue at Hyde Park Corner near the Queen Elizabeth Gate. The sculptor Sir Richard Westmacott built it with metal melted down from 33 French cannons that were captured by Wellington during his French campaigns.
The Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park is a unique feature where you can listen to some of the most eminent orators in the city as they express their thoughts. It is essentially a traditional site for public speeches and debates ever since the 1800s when the park was a hotbed for local demonstrations and protests. You can find the Speaker’s Corner on the northeast edge of Hyde Park, near Marble Arch and Oxford Street. It is believed that the space had been graced by famous personalities like Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and George Orwell who delivered free speeches here.
This was an old oak tree that held special significance during local protests almost two hundred years ago. The Reform League used the tree as the focus of their demonstrations during their campaigns to give all adult men the right to vote. The tree had caught fire during one such protest after which it was charred down till a small stump was left. This then became the focus of such rallies and a symbol of the right of people to assemble. The place where the Reformer’s Tree once stood is commemorated today with circular black and white floor mosaics.
Also considered one of London’s most notable landmarks, the Marble Arch was originally designed with the intention of making a grand gateway to an expanded Buckingham Palace. It also symbolized the city’s exuberance after Britain emerged victorious in the Napoleonic Wars. However, the arch could not live up to its original expectations and did not turn out to be quite as grand as intended. The model of the original design after it was commissioned by King George IV, can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum today. It was primarily because of rising costs and the patron king’s sudden death, that the arch fell in favor and turned out to be less elaborate than originally intended.
One of the most popular spots in London Hyde Park is this spectacular garden that features rose planting mixed with herbaceous to bring about a mixed bed of seasonal wonder that emits strong fragrances in the air. Located at the southeast corner of the park, the Rose Garden was designed based on the concept of horns that sounded someone’s arrival into Hyde Park from Hyde Park Corner. If you visit here during the summer months, you will be greeted by a large number of visitors who come here to admire the flowers in full bloom. The garden also features a grand pergola and two fountains- The Boy and Dolphin Fountain and the fountain statue of Diana the Huntress.
Among the most popular features in Hyde Park is this unique memorial fountain that was opened by Her Majesty the Queen of England in 2004. The memorial has been built by employing the latest in technology and talent. For instance, each of the 545 Cornish granite pieces used in it has been shaped and pieced together by modern computer-controlled machinery. The interesting design of the fountain reflects Diana’s life and symbolizes her qualities and frankness. You can even cross over and go right to the heart of the fountain by three bridges built around it.
The stunning bronze sculpture is located near the Diana Memorial Fountain on the south side of The Serpentine. Inspired by the Egyptian goddess of nature, the statue was designed by Simon Gudgeon, a British sculptor, and was then installed in the park in 2009. Gudgeon had donated the statue to the park with the intention of raising funds for The LookOut, an educational outreach project here. You can see at the base of the sculpture, one thousand plaques that were dedicated to the supporters and donors of his appeal.
Pay homage to the millions of victims of the dreaded Holocaust at this memorial instituted at Hyde Park in London. The Holocaust Memorial is fundamentally a garden of boulders that is surrounded on all sides by white stemmed birch trees. Located on the east end of the Dell, this was the country’s first dedication to the people who lost their lives in the Holocaust. The memorial was built in 1983 by the Board of British Jews and was designed by Richard Seifert.
When you visit London’s famous Hyde Park, you can also witness the 7 July Memorial, a permanent dedication to the victims of the ghastly London bombings on 7 July, 2005. The memorial was unveiled by Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in a ceremony in 2009 which was attended by senior political figures as well as the families of all 52 people who were killed that day. Located in the southeast corner of the park, the memorial comprises 52 stainless steel pillars representing each of the victims.
Location: The park is located in central London, United Kingdom
Timings: The park is open from 5 AM to 12 midnight every day Timings for boating on The Serpentine: 10 AM – 4 PM (during the winter), 10 AM – 8 PM (during the summer).
Best time to visit: The best time of the year to visit Hyde Park is during the summer months from March to May when the temperatures range between 32 degrees F and 91 degrees F which is ideal for enjoying all the outdoor activities that the park has to offer. Several special events like half marathons, bird watching tours, and other educational activities for children are held around this time.
If you want to enjoy the scenic beauty here, the autumn season is also a good time to visit around the months of September to November. If you are here around Christmas time you can witness the popular annual swimming tournament that is held at the lake in Hyde Park.
There are several places of historical interest that you can see at Hyde Park like the Apsley Gate, Achilles’ Statue, the Reformer’s Tree, the Rose Garden, the Marble Arch, Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, the Holocaust Memorial, and many more.
It will take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes to take a complete tour of the park depending on your speed of walking. And if you explore every attraction present in the park it will take around 2-3 hours of your time.
Hyde Park has several cafes, restaurants, and kiosks where you can enjoy anything from snacks, beverages, and ice creams to complete three-course meals. These include the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen, the Serpentine Lido Café, Will to Win Sports Center Café, the Lodge Café, and refreshment points.
Hyde Park organizes a wide range of events here including everything from local community events to high-end music concerts. While some of these are free to attend, others are paid events which you can book beforehand.
Yes, Hyde Park is free to visit.
You can get to Hyde Park by Tube, bus, private car, or walking. It is well connected from all parts of the city by public transport: By Tube Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line) Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line) Lancaster Gate (Central Line) Marble Arch (Central Line) By Bus North : C2, 6, 7, 10, 16, 19, 23, 36, 52, 73, 82, 98, 113, 274, 390, 414 South : 2, 36, 137, 148, 159, 436 West : 9, 10, 14, 19, 22, 52, 74, 94, 148, 414 East : 8,15, 23, 30, 38,274