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.
Yet another of the famous landmarks in the city, this beautiful fountain attracts a lot of visitors for its serene surroundings. The fountain depicts two bronze figures holding hands as they seem to dance on the surface of the water. They are surrounded by four bronze children appearing to emerge from the water. Located next to Aldford Street North Gate, alongside Park Lane, the fountain was designed by T. B. Huxley-Jones in 1963. Several decades later, the area around the fountain was further enhanced in its beauty when 60,000 daffodil bulbs were planted here to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
Located on the eastern edge of Hyde Park in London, the Serpentine is a 40-acre lake that was created in the 1730s upon the orders of the then Queen Caroline, wife of King George II. The curved shape of the lake resembles a snake and its curves are responsible for its unique name. In reality, the Serpentine refers to just the eastern side of the actual lake while the western half is known as Long Water which lies in the neighboring Kensington Gardens. There are several recreational activities you can enjoy at the lake such as swimming and boating. If you are here around Christmas time, you can witness the famous Peter Pan Cup, a 100-yard swimming race that was first held in 1864.
Constructed in the typical British style of architecture, this bridge is a wonderful sight to behold at Hyde Park in London. The multi-arched bridge is an iconic structure in the city that carries West Carriage Drive over The Serpentine. It also forms a sort of boundary between Hyde Park to the east and Kensington Gardens to the west. Based on the design of architect John Rennie, the bridge was erected in 1820.
This is a contemporary art gallery located in Hyde Park which is popularly referred to as Serpentine North. It is located at around a distance of five minutes’ walk from Serpentine South which is situated across the Serpentine Bridge. The gallery comprises approximately 900 square meters of gallery space, apart from a shop, restaurant, and social space. It was originally created in 2013 when a Napoleonic War gunpowder store known as The Magazine was transformed. This is the most recent of the two galleries that remained in Hyde Park, while the original Serpentine Gallery lies in Kensington Gardens.
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations was located at this site in 1851, which is near the south side of Hyde Park. It was organized by Prince Albert but the event, unfortunately, lasted only five and a half months. However, during the time that it lasted, it showcased the industrial and cultural advances that were characteristic of the reign of Queen Victoria. The exhibition welcomed over six million visitors and its exhibits were then showcased in a massive temporary glass structure that was later called the “Crystal Palace”. When you visit the Crystal Palace today you can take a virtual tour and learn about the amazing exhibition it once housed.
Location: The park is located in central London, United Kingdom
Timings:The park is open from 5 AM to 12 midnight every dayTimings 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.