“ Hyde Park is a London Royal Park which Henry VIII acquired in 1536. A large area of open space in the city centre of 630 acres and a perimeter of 4 miles. It has the memorials at Marble Arch at the east side and Kensington palace at the west. Also withi „
Who says Hyde Park to me just gets a big smile back. Hyde Park brings back some good memories. Whether in Sydney's Hyde Park or the park in London, both have a magical atmosphere for me. I have been at the party Hard Rock Calling. With performances from The Police, The Bangles and Eric Clapton along with this beautiful park it was a successful party. The magic of Hyde Park London I will never forget.
Hyde Park was claimed in 1536 by Henry the eighth to use as a hunting ground. It is one of the Royal Parks of London. Here belong, for example, Richmond and Regent Park. Today is the official property of the royal family. The park is also named after Anna Hyde and thanks to the many monuments in the park you also learn about history. Very nice to have an afternoon to wander.
Location and accessibility
Hyde Park is in central London and is easily accessible by bus, taxi and subway. There are maps available in virtually any accommodation. You simply can not miss it. Around the park is the bridle path called Rotten Row and adjacent to Kensington Gardens. A tip: there are many good hotels and hostels around Hyde Park to find. The centrally located park is an ideal starting point to discover the centre.
The park is large and has many great attractions besides that it is a beautiful park. I will only tell about the major and my favourites here briefly.
Fountain for Princess Diana: The tragic death of Diana is still in my memory. The paparazzi, the driver and the accident in the Paris tunnel. The monument to the deceased Princess is a beautiful fountain in the shape of an oval ring. It was opened on July 6, 2004.
Holocaust Memorial: Do not really need detailed explanations, it is an impressive monument with names of Jewish people who did not survive WWII.
Speakers Corner: The most famous part of the park. Once people came here together and to hear other people to speak. There are plenty of information signs available that give you a picture of the past.
Apart from the many organised activities, this park is ideal for:
* Roller Skates
* Bird Watching
* Eating out
People who have difficulty walking or are in a wheelchair can also go to the park and enjoy all the beauty as I've experienced. There are plenty of toilets in the park. There are also several bars, cafes and other places where you can buy just a refreshment.
My experiences and conclusions
I've been here with the Hard Rock Calling concert, as is described in the introduction. From Victoria train station, I walk toward the park. The park is big enough and they are accustomed to world class events. There were plenty of places to eat and drink on the premises and the security was more than perfectly fine. The park itself with highlights including the memorial for Princess Diana and the Speakers Corner, is worth a half day walking around. The facilities are perfectly fine. A very nice, clean and well maintained park in central London. The atmosphere, the business people who have a break and yet the rest of the tourists.
To propose to my girlfriend, I took her on a surprise trip down to London and arranged to have a picnic in the park, where I would pop the question. And the experience did not disappoint.
Hyde Park is a beautiful space right in the centre of London's retail district. The park is situated in one corner next to Marble Arch and in another next to the Royal Albert Hall. The park is a perfect addition to any tourist's trip to see this country's capital.
There are plenty of secluded grassy areas for the more romantic setting (as I used with the picnic) and there are plenty of other features in themselves that make the park a good tourist attraction. There's Kensington Palace, the Diana Princess of Wales Playground, the Serpentine Gallery, the Round Pond, the Serpentine River, the Albert Memorial and plenty of places to play, jog, stroll or just sit back and relax.
Compared to the biggest park from my local town, this is a great place and well worthwhile for a break away from the hectic city life of London.
Hyde Park is one of the biggest parks situated within London, and is really a great place for those whom like to stroll / rollerblade along through the park on a hot day, relax in the sun, have a picnic under the trees, watch the wildlife, or even enjoy the plantation growing around you. Hyde Park is situated near a lake, and you can even go on the "pedal boat" rides, which are much fun. They usually contain around 2 people, and it is considerably reasonably priced, usually lasting for around 30 minutes to an hour per ride.
Hyde Park is also a very popular destination for concerts and events, due to the space which it contains. This landscape covers 350 acres! There are also some restaurants, take away outlets and food stands around for if you wish for a bite to eat / drink. I usually take along my own food though because especially if you are on a budget, the food / drinks can get quite expensive!
Hyde Park - Winter Wonderland 2007
At Christmas 2007, we decided to take the family to Hyde Park for the Winter Wonderland Experience. It had been very well advertised and the flyer portrayed an image similar to what you might expect in Austria or Germany during the festive season. The website looked impressive too, so how could we not go and enjoy the festive delights of London.
Hyde Park is One of London's finest landscapes, covering 350 acres of park land. In the summer months, there is something for everyone with over 4,000 trees, a lake, Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, a meadow, horse rides, abundance of street entertainers and the obligatory ice cream van; it is easy to forget you're in the middle of London. Bearing this in mind and with the advert looking so promising, I was eagerly looking forward to making that journey from Basingstoke.
This year (2007) during the 'Winter Wonderland' event from 19th November 2007 through to 6th January 2008, Serpentine Road, Hyde Park will be inaccessible to all traffic. A huge safety bonus for pedestrians like us with young children.
*** HOW TO GET THERE***
We left the car at Hillingdon Station and took the train straight through to the park. Children travel free into London at weekends so it was only my hubby and I that bought tickets. The ride in only took 40 minutes and the trains were all on time. Travelling on a Sunday was so much easier and there was hardly any crush to fight for a carriage or a seat, even the car park at the station was free on Sunday.
As a station, I would not recommend Hillingdon for cleanliness (the toilets were foul), but for speed and convenience it gets full marks.
With virtually no parking facilities I would recommend the following routes in:
Lancaster Gate & Marble Arch - Central Line
Hyde Park Corner & Knightsbridge - Piccadilly line
North London: 6, 7, 10, 16, 52, 73, 82, 390, 414
South London: 2, 36, 137, 436
West London: 9, 10, 14, 19, 22, 52, 74, 148, 414
East London: 8, 15, 30, 38, 274
*** OPENING TIMES***
The park itself is open from 5 am till midnight daily but the Winter Wonderland is open from 10 am until 10 pm. It was closed Christmas Day. There is easy access into the park for disabled and pram users but some rides might not be suitable.
Cameras and video recording equipment were allowed inside as far as I know. I wasn't stopped with my camera so I presumed it was permitted.
*** FIRST IMPRESSIONS*****
The toilets are situated just by the subway close to the park entrance. It was here we all headed first especially as this was one very cold afternoon. The toilets by the way are kept very clean and there is CCTV for your safety. You do not pay for using them either.
It was around 3.00 pm we arrived there and it was just getting dusk so hence the lights were about to turn on. You do not get the full wow factor until it's really dark and its then that the trees along the Serpentine Road will sparkle with thousands of neon Christmas lights high- lighting the avenue of Hyde Park. With its plethora of colours, the trees looked quite mystical and enticing.
There is no entrance fee to get inside and no security checks either which I found a bit daunting. However there are many police roaming about, mobile and static CCTV plus security guards watching your every move.
***** THE EXPERIENCE*****
The first point of call as you enter the park is the Ice Rink. Even David and Victoria Beckham were snapped on here by the tabloids and from the paper it looked good fun and very large. Oh dear, how deceiving press photos are and also the advertisements.
On approach there was a long covered marquee type outlet where people were grouping in order to put the ice boots on. You were allowed to use your own skates but speed skates were not permitted. The queue was horrendous and people were pushing and shoving. With only subdued lighting by the rink, little ones were being pushed and it was hard to depict where the queue started and ended.
Skating is booked in sessions of 1 hour. Sessions were available on the following times:
10.00 - 11.00
11.00 - 12.00
12.15 - 13.15
13.30 - 14.30
14.45 - 15.45 16.00 - 17.00
17.15 - 18.15
18.30 - 19.30
19.45 - 20.45
21.00 - 22.00
For £30.00 per session, Ice guides were available to escort you on the ice.
Each Ice guide looked after 15 skaters and was exclusive to your
group for the entire 1 hour session. If you were brave enough to go it alone then tokens had to purchase from the token booth which was situated next door to the ice rink. It cost 7 tokens per person and one token was equal to a £1. Please ask at the time of booking if you require a coach for the 2008 season.
There is no minimum age for children and wheelchair users were also permitted on the ice. If you hurt yourself though, they will not accept responsibility.
I decided at this point it just was not worth the effort to even get my kids on there, they were not fussed either and were quite happy to just view. Many people were crowding around the edges of the open air rink and viewing was quite difficult. The rink was very small compared to the website picture and advert in the Uxbridge Leader. There was hardly any room on the ice and it was not practical for complete novices like us, it would have been a disaster if we had managed to get on. Nearly everyone seemed competent and I felt that wobbly skaters would not have been welcome. Above the chattering, you could just hear the background music of a few Christmas Carols, nothing very festive so far.
From the ice rink there is a raised platform where Santa sits on selected times. We saw no sign of him, obviously too cold to sit on his golden throne all day. The platform looked pretty enough, just a shame there was no Santa there to greet the children. Once again this was token entry only but as with all the tokens, they are universal and can be purchased at the other booths situated around the Winter Wonderland.
Alongside where Santa supposedly sat was a miniature German market. With its quaint wooden huts and heavy aroma of mulled wine, the crowds accumulated round here for hot food and drink.
There was probably around 30 or so huts selling handy crafts, even deer fur jackets (didn't think that was allowed anymore), crazy woollen hats, wooden cuckoo type clocks, German food and hot beverages. Food and drink would set you back at least £5 a person and this place took cash, not tokens.
My little girl left her gloves on the train and of all the stalls selling woollen items; we could not find any that had children's gloves. In the end we bought handmade knitted socks and placed them over her freezing fingers much to her delight.
Coming out of the corner where the German "market" was situated were the rides. Not that many to get excited about, just a handful which included 2 virtual rides (watching a film inside a moving pod). The films were B movie and the Snowman. A large carousel, a children's smaller carousel, a miniature roller coaster for under 10's, a dragon ride, a bungee trampoline (dome), a haunted castle ride, a toboggan slide where you sit in a doughnut and slide down and an octopus for both kids and adults. After that there is nothing, the experience ends and the vast remainder of the park looks dark and uninviting. It took us less than 30 minutes to take a slow stroll through, it would have been quicker if it wasn't for the vast amount of visitors.
*** THE WHEEL ****
This must be the star attraction and admittedly it looked amazing in the dark. The entire 180ft wheel was dressed as a snow flake, bathed in beautiful white lights. It was very similar in appearance to the London Eye and had the same check in points but not the queue as with the Eye. This ride was also £7 per person, payable by token again and each gondola or pod held 6 people in each of the 40 pods. Yes the views were amazing but the ride is over so quick, unlike the London eye, this observation wheel does move at a speed you can feel but not as fast as a traditional fairground wheel. I saw no wheel chair users or prams on board a pod so better ask if you go there next year prior to paying for the ride.
*** TOKENS ****
All attractions except the German market needed tokens as payment to go on the rides. There were about a dozen token booths dotted around the park and all took cash or credit card as payment. There is no cash point in close proximity to the park so make sure you have enough cash with you.
In exchange for your money you were given a printed piece of small square paper similar to a receipt with a token value on it. We bought ours in batches of 2 per receipt. The majority of rides were a minimum of 4 tokens each; some smaller kid's rides were 2 whilst the wheel was 7 per person.
*** FOOD AND DRINK***
Apart from the German market, there was also an ice bar close to the rink but full to bursting, a few huts selling sandwiches, hot dogs and drinks and a marquee which was also packed the tent pegs with customers trying to keep warm. A sandwich cost £3 upwards and a hot dog around £4. With no seating and freezing temperatures it was not worth the effort.
We decided therefore to not fight our way through the masses and set the tom tom to pedestrian mode where it found us an "Ask" restaurant 1 mile from the park, a welcome relief.
If you really want to put yourself through it and visit the park next winter, you can pre-book tickets for attractions such as the rink and the wheel. To be honest the token booths didn't have masses waiting there, so I would buy when you get there are avoid the booking fee. However the details are for advance bookings as taken from the website for 2007 season:
Tickets available from:
0844 847 1771 0871 231 0824
When we were there, the majority of toilets in the park itself were locked. You had to use the public toilet just by the subway but close to the main gates. It was very clean and well maintained.
Once is definitely enough and we will not be returning again. There were not enough rides or attractions, as with most of London it's expensive, not that many festive lights and no sign of Santa.
If you live right on top of the park, then maybe have a stroll over there just to see how pretty the trees look when the lights go on, but if not then don't bother wasting your time and money. All in all it was very misleading and a huge disappointment to my children.
Wishing you all a happy new 2008.
Hyde Park is located, basically, in the middle of some of the busiest areas of London. Stepping through the gates magically transports you from the busy traffic, shops and rush of the city to lakes, long stretches of grass and trees and lots of wildlife!
Hyde Park covers a massive 350 acres and is therefore quite hard to miss! There are entrances to it all the way around. The Hyde Park website however states that the nearest rube stations are Lancaster Gate and Marble Arch (central line) and Hyde Park Corner and Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line). They advise against visiting by car due to limited parking spaces - in my opinion you should drive in London as little as possible!
What is there to do?
If you have children they will adore the park and definitely find something to do, whether its playing in one of the huge playgrounds, swimming, or feeding the ducks and squirrels!
The lookout is a facility which formerly was an observation centre and is now an educational centre that teaches about wildlife and nature.
Hyde Park is also home to numerous restaurants, the majority of which are sandwich bars and ice-cream places but there are also places available if you are looking for a three-course-meal!
The Serpentine Lido is available for swimming both for adults and children, to be honest Ive never been brave enough to go in (probably mainly because Ive never been to the park with my bikini on, and of course I wouldnt want to scare people by diving in wearing my underwear!), but hey if happen to go to the park prepared, go for it!
There are also various sporting activities you can participate in around the park, for example tennis, putting, bowls and horse-riding.
There are also regular events held in Hyde Park, the majority of which are free entry. These include sporting events, musical events, walks and tours, for example Music Village (28th-29th July) is a festival of world cultures with music, story telling and much more . Inspired Lunacy will be held 6th-8th August and is a combination of magic shows, circus and puppetry. A full list of events is available on the Hyde Park website.
What else is in the area?
Well if you are in the area you can always pop through to one of the other parks, such as Kensington Gardens for more excellent playgrounds for children and the Princess Diana Memorial. If you decide to venture into Regents Park you will also find London Zoo.
In Hyde Park you will be close to the brilliance that is Knightsbridge where you will find Londons most famous shop, Harrods, which is definitely worth a look if you have never been (just dont send me the bill afterwards!) There is also a Harvey Nichols on Knightsbridge and various other stores, including the nearby Tiffany & Co. Definitely the place to be if you have some cash to throw around!
To be honest there is so much to do in London and everything is only a short tube journey away, so the best thing to do if your just coming for the day is get yourself a travel card and then you can go backwards and forwards all day!
Why go there?
If youre in the area, its always worth a walk around, whether youre alone or with a group of friends. You will see people of all walks of life, for example groups of school children on outings, tourists frantically snapping pictures of each and every squirrel, groups of students, dog walkers struggling with twelve over-excited hounds, businessmen on their lunch breaks Hyde Park is one of those places where you really dont feel out of place being alone as so many people do it!
On a warm day, a walk through Hyde Park instantly lifts my spirits as everyone seems to be so much happier and care-free. I would definitely recommend you popping in if the buzz of the city is getting too much for you, just to give you some time to relax and have a breather!
Where to stay
If you are coming to London for the weekend or for a holiday you will be spoilt for choice for hotels! That doesnt mean to say that they come cheap unfortunately and expect to pay the highest rates for rooms, on average about £80 per person per night for a standard double/twin room, the closer to all the good stuff you stay the more expensive the rates will be.
Do I recommend?
Yes! Hyde Park is one of my favourite places to relax and I love the way even when its raining there are always people sitting there, chilling out eating their lunch under huge umbrellas, hopeful that the rain will eventually stop. On a sunny day its a lovely way to spend your lunch break, or for a picnic at the weekend.
If you happen to be in the area, I definitely recommended you dropping in just to get a break from the city!
Every year, I go to the Last Night of the Proms in Hyde Park, London. This year was my sixth year, and was every bit as good as the previous five. The event takes place on the second Saturday in September, and is part of the culmination of all the Prom concerts that have taken place over the summer, mostly in the Royal Albert Hall. For years, I dreamed of going to the Last Night at the Proms in the Albert Hall, but it was one of those things I never got round to doing. When a couple of friends suggested that we went to the Proms in the Park instead, six years ago, I jumped at the chance. From the very first visit, I was hooked, and now I order the tickets at the beginning of July, just to make sure! On our first visit, we were very naïve, and didn’t realise that you couldn’t buy tickets on the night! We presumed that you simply turned up and paid at the gate! Silly us! There we were, complete with picnic etc, and no tickets! However, many people had spares, and were selling them at face value, so we quickly acquired the four tickets that we needed. You need to be aware of touts, who buy spare tickets at rock bottom prices from unsuspecting customers who have too many, and sell them at vastly inflated prices. The second year that we went, we had a spare ticket, and a tout offered me £5.00 for a ticket I had paid £15 for! In no uncertain terms I told him I wanted what I’d paid for it, and soon found someone who, like us the previous year, had simply turned up. I didn’t want to make a profit, simply the amount I had paid for it. PAST PROMS The first year we went, it rained. We sat on black plastic refuse sacks, wore winter coats, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I can’t remember the acts that we saw, but I remember that first Ed Stewart, and then Terry Wogan, were the compares. I also have a very distinct recollection of a group of youngsters sitting in front of us, completely cov
ered by half a dozen umbrellas. They didn’t emerge all night, and from the wacky baccy smells that were emanating from under those brollies, I reckon they were away with the fairies for most of the night! The following year, we were much more prepared! The weather was warm and sunny, and we set off armed to the teeth. We had our four-man picnic table, and four crammed bags of goodies, including salmon sandwiches (crustless) smoked salmon, champagne (complete with cooler) and strawberries and cream (in a proper cream jug!) Since then, with the exception of last year (2001) when the event was somewhat subdued, owing to September 11th, we have tried to go one better each year. We have the picnic table down to a fine art, with lace tablecloth, candelabra and gourmet food, plus we have had 4 tee-shirts made, each with 2 lines of Land Of Hope and Glory printed on the backs! We just have to make sure we stand in the right order when the time comes! During the 5 previous years that I have been going, we have seen such acts as Georgie Fame, Alan Price, Jools Holland, The Chieftans, Julian Lloyd Webber and last year, Jose Careras. Each year there is something different, and each year, we enjoy it just as much as before. THIS YEAR AT THE PROMS IN THE PARK This year, we got there early (around 2 pm) to make sure we were closer to the front! As we have the table, we tend to sit on the edge of one of the fields, right next to the pathway, so we don’t interfere with anyone’s view. We began the afternoon by wandering down the road from Green Park Station, to the local grocery store, to buy some cream to go with the strawberries. For anyone who isn’t familiar with this part of London, the local grocery store isn’t your local Tesco or Asda, or even Marks and Spencer! Purchases are placed in green carrier bags of varying sizes, and most people want the bag rather than the contents! Indeed,
an American friend of mine came with us this year, and she told us to dump the cream, she wanted the bag! Oh…..the name……Fortnum and Mason! High priced cream, but hey…this was a special occasion! At 4.30 pm the gates opened and in we trundled. We couldn’t rush to find a space. We were carrying far too much in the way of refreshments! Once the table was erected, and the lace cloth put in place, we proceeded to unload the bags. I think I can safely say we outdid ourselves this year! We had the usual salmon sandwiches and 3 or 4 varieties of cheese to go with the real French bread (purchased in France and frozen for this event!) with real butter in a real glass butter dish. We also had a bottle of Champagne (chilled) and I managed to find some plastic wine flutes which looked just the business! We had a whole roast chicken, tiny tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumber and breadsticks with a variety of dips. We also had a whole pineapple (sliced) and the inevitable strawberries with the Fortnum and Mason cream (which we decanted into the glass cream jug. It was a criminal shame to actually eat all this food, the table looked so good! It’s all very well doing the food like this, but we had to pose (in our tee-shirts and Union Jack hats) whilst sitting at this table, for numerous photo shoots of passers-by who couldn’t quite believe their eyes! To be honest, it doesn’t really matter to us what musical acts are performing. Most of the fun of the Proms in the Park is the friendly banter, and interaction that goes on with those around you, and of course, the last hour, when we join up via giant screen to the Albert Hall, for the finale that everyone knows and loves. However, I have to say that this year was probably one of the most musically enjoyable Proms I have yet been to. We began the evening with the Bootleg Beatles, who had everyone rocking in the aisles. That was probably just a
s well, because it was a trifle chilly! We had several orchestral pieces from the BBC Concert Orchestra throughout the night, beautiful singing from Lesley Garrett, the opera singer. She not only sang popular opera songs, but also a selection from the famous London Musicals, like “On My Own” from Les Miserables. She was joined by the equally talented Argentinian opera singer, Jose Curras, who was absolutely brilliant. This year, the Park was wowed by the Ladysmith Black Mambaza singing group, who made 3 short appearances on the stage at various times during the evening. The whole evening was held together by Terry Wogan, who does a splendid job every year. His most famous quote in the years I have been going, was “Well at least it isn’t raining” just as the heavens opened! Of course the highlight of the whole night is always the singing of the patriotic tunes when we join up with the Albert Hall. It is a wonderful sight to see all the flags waving, and people on their feet for “Land of Hope and Glory” and “Rule Britannia”, as well as “Jerusalem” and “Auld Lang’s Syne”. At the end, as everyone files out to the various railway and tube stations, the party continues, with the playing of “It’s such a lovely day….I’m glad that I shared it with you”. We also get a wonderful fireworks display, which of course they miss out on at the Albert Hall. CONCLUSION The Last Night of the Proms in the Park is for me, a highlight of the year. I begin looking forward to the next one as soon as the current one is finished. Tickets go on sale in May for the current season’s event. I usually book mine just as term finishes in July, but it is best not to leave it too late, as there is a capacity limit of around 40,000, and every year it is a sell out. This year, I booked my tickets on-line, but yo
u can also book by ringing the Albert Hall and booking by credit card, or calling at the Albert Hall in person. I believe you can also book by Ticketmaster. This year, the price was £17.50 per ticket. There was a 50p booking fee, which meant the cost was £18.00. Considering the entertainment goes on from 5.30 pm until almost 11.00 pm, this is very little to pay for a jolly good afternoon and evening out. Of course, the weather plays its part. We have sat there in shorts and tee shirts, and we have been there dressed for winter. The umbrellas have been utilised, but thankfully not that often. If, like me, you enjoy community singing, and fancy seeing the Proms in an informal setting, I don’t think you can beat the Proms in the Park. Indeed, I think we get a better variety, and a better atmosphere in the Park, than they do at the Albert Hall. After all, 40,000 people can’t all be wrong, can they?
Hyde Park is one of the best things about London. It is a nice break to walk through it after the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street or Picadilly Circus both of which are within walking distance of the park.It is big,verdant,has a lovely lake- The Serpentine-several statuus,a restaurant ,cafe and attractive gasrdens-all bang in the centre of one of the world's most famous cities. As a squirrel lover, I used to go to Hyde park with a bag of peanuts and entertain myself watching the squirrels have a laugh at the gullible peron that made their job of gathering food a whole lot easier. There are many a photo of me in some tourist's album with a squirrel eating out of my hand at Hyde Park. Aside from this distraction, there is, of course ,Speakers Corner, at which one can listen to a whole lot of garbage or interesting new ideas and theories depending on whose side you are on. This happens only on Sundays though. You shouldn't miss Hyde Park if you are ever in London.
I have to agree with those who like Hyde Park, it is a lovely space, but my favourite park in London has to be St.James' park. It is a lot smaller than Hyde park, but with Horse Guards parade and Buckingham palace at it's far ends, it must surely be the park with the most sights! For me the most pleasant part of St.James' park are the pond and the bridge over it. The pond is a home for many rare birds and wildlife. In particular it is a home for several pelican (yes pelican!) These magnificent birds can be seen preening themself and generally showing off most days. Last year one even performed a trick for our friends from across the pond, namely it ate a pigeon! The park contains a cafe (which I'm told is very good) and plenty of seating -though most people just lounge around at during their lunchtime. Past Horse Guards you can take a peek at the other end of Downing street, from the bridge you can see Big Ben and the London Eye. Truly the best park in London in my opinion.
A trip to London isn't really complete without a picnic in Hyde Park. The fountains at the Paddington end overlook my favourite picnic spot, though overlooking the Serpentine lake in the centre is another of my favourite spots. If the day is warm, hiring out a rowing boat on the Serpentine provides a good hour's entertainment to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Watch out for pickpockets, though, I know someone who was mugged for their mobile phone in the middle of the day with loads of people around!
I am about to praise this park, but it is one of the only parks in London I visit regularly (except for Battersea) as it is my closest park. I really enjoy this park, as it is not just trees and grass, like many parks. There are places to sit surrounded by lovely flowers, and there are always squirrels to watch chewing away at food left by people. Because it is so close to me, I often go there when I am just fed up of sitting at home. You can enjoy it on your own, with someone else or in a group!
Hyde Park is quite simply a magnificent place to have a nice break in. It's great for both tourists and Londoners. Whether you want to sit down and relax, paddle around the serpentine, go for a walk, or even just do a bit of jogging, it's nearly perfect. Personally, I like to walk through it and generally find it's best in the early morning. I'd recommend anyone in London to walk through it, especially as it's next to Kensington Gardens and Green Park.
I moved to London about six months ago and it took me about 4 months to actually make it to Hyde Park (2 minutes from my college). Even though it was pouring with rain, and I was there counting ducks (!), it was lovely. I've made much more use of it during the summer, and even went on a rowing boat on the Serpentine, which was great fun, if not amusing when the oars nearly fall in. It's also fun to watch the people who can't row getting tugged away by a motor boat! Lots of my friends rollerblade, and the atmosphere amongst the many Hyde Park rollerbladers is wonderful, with many of them bringing big ghetto blasters to do their funky stuff to! I must admit that on one occassion I was less than impressed with the lack of grass (mostly due to footballers), and the abundance of flies (unknown origin), but this was in a localised region of the park, which is very big indeed! I have moved even closer to the park, and next summer you will have to drag me away. If you find the right spot, you can relax, play games, read, or just people watch. But you need to know where to go!
But there is speakers corner which can be a laugh depending on who's up there. Very very big, that was my first impression. Huge in fact. People skateboarding, horseriding, rolloer-blading, running, fighting, kissing. All sorts going on. Go and join in a football game. Great for the whole family. Get your grandad on his skateboard, and play golf. It's also near Marble Arch and other places which means you get to see some fancy cars. Well worth a look, those. I took some photo's of them. Went to London to see the sights and took pictures of cars. Well, what can I say? Definately go if you're into parks and you fancy a stroll with the love of your life. But do make sure it's not raining because you'll feel miserable. And get wet. Actually something funny happened to me when I went there. We got lost and ended up walking down this strange street full of Chinese (I think! No offence to any Chinese people, mind.) shops and we couldn't get out, the street went on forever...and ever and ever. But eventually I think we ended up at the top of Oxford Street, at Tottenham Court Road. But you have to go if you're in London, don't you? So go.
Hyde park is great on a hot summers day. You can easily spend all day there if you take some food. There are parts of Hyde park which are nice to look around such as the landscaped gardens bit with fountains and rose arches which is very pretty. It is also where the bandstand and the cafe from martha meet frank daniel and lawrence is, so if you've seen the film you might want to have a quick look at that. Other than that Hyde park is just brilliant for people watching, find yourself a patch of grass, a view of the serpentine is good and then you can watch people attempting to row boats along there, as well as the numerous foreign blokes showing off playing frisbee or whatever until someone has a go at them when they get hit by it. Watching the rollerbladers can pass half an hour quite easily, many of them are very good and when they know they are being watched, show off doing tricks and stuff, which is good but its even better when they fall over, good for a laugh.
Now that summer's here, what could be better than a stroll through Hyde Park?! Hyde Park is very tourist friendly with numerous information boards and stewards from whom you can glean information. It is a lovely day out - take a picnic and just watch the world go by or else hire out a rowing boat on the Serpentine. If either of these don't appeal to you there is so much else to do from rollerblading to sitting in a cafe overlooking the lake.