Hyde Park is one of London’s largest and most well-known parks. The park connects with Kensington Gardens and the two combined cover 630 acres (253 hectares). Together they form the centrepiece of a network of parks known as “London’s Green Lung.” Once the private hunting grounds of King Henry VIII, today the park is filled with heritage sites, monuments and events to attend all year-round.
Stop by Speaker’s Corner to hear orators debate and discuss the issues of the day. This is the site where public executions used to take place. Saddle up for a guided horse ride along Rotten Row, where London’s upper class once gathered to see and be seen. Rent horses and book tours at the nearby stables.
From March through October, rent a rowboat and glide across the expansive Serpentine Lake, which separates Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. During warmer months, take a dip in the Serpentine’s special swimming area.
Explore the numerous memorials within the park. Of particular note are the Diana Memorial Fountain, the Holocaust Memorial and the 7 July Memorial. The park is also home to some whimsical statues such as Broom Broom, the Drinking Horse and a family of Jelly Babies.
Hyde Park offers something for all ages and interests. Take part in sports ranging from tennis to football or enjoy a relaxing drink and meal at one of the park’s restaurants and bars. Deck chairs and bicycles are available for rent and there is a free driving service offering park tours for those unable to walk. In summer, the park hosts a variety of concerts and festivals, while in winter the park features a Winter Wonderland of carnival rides, an ice rink and Christmas markets.
While Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens function as one unified park during daylight hours, Kensington Gardens closes at dusk and Hyde Park remains open until midnight. Centrally located, Hyde Park is close to five Tube stations and offers limited parking for a fee.