Visiting Hyde Park allows for a moment of calm in the middle of London, England. Full of beauty, food and drink, and occasionally music and public speeches, visitors to the park can be guaranteed to have a unique experience every time they stop into the park. Hyde Park’s roots stretch all the way back to the 1500s, when Henry VIII received the grounds from the monks of Westminster Abbey for use for his hunting grounds.
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It has continued its prevalent place in history since then, seeing the birth of film (in 1889) as well as many major historical figures stopping to give speeches at Speakers’ Corner.
Rose Garden - Located in the southeastern corner of the park, the beautiful rose garden opened to the public in 1994. Visitors should make sure to check out the garden, which is designed in the shape of a giant horn to represent the sound of the horns that would sound to announce someone’s arrival into Hyde Park. Roses are interspersed with various herbaceous plantings which result in seasonal beds, strong scents, and beautiful scenery. Early summer is said to be one of the better times to see the roses, and the beds are planted seasonally (in the spring and again in the summer). Make sure to check out the Murdo fountain from 1862, as well as the Diana fountain statue and the metal grand pergola.
The LookOut - In the heart of the park is The LookOut. This eco friendly building is intended as an escape from the hustle and bustle of normal city life for people of all walks of life. The building is fully accessible to all ability levels and is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act so everyone can come and enjoy the facility. Come, learn, visit, take a workshop, or just enjoy time with family in a welcoming, safe environment meant to be able to be comfortably used 365 days a year.
Speakers’ Corner - This site for public debates and speeches has been around since the 1800s and has previously hosted Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, George Orwell, and others who used the open forum to demonstrate what free speech involves. Parliament established Speakers’ Corner as an actual public speaking site in 1872. Any and everyone is welcome to come, listen, or even speak themselves. Stand on the place where suffragettes, anti war activists, and other people concerned with social issues have spoken out.
Sculptures - There are many sculptures located around the park. A few to keep an eye out for specifically are Serenity (a bronze sculpture of the nature goddess) and Pan (a dog and its family rush into the park).
Memorials - There are also many memorials located in and around the park, focusing on a variety of important subjects. There is a Holocaust memorial, a memorial to the victims of the London Bombing of 2005, an Animals in War memorial, and a Norwegian War memorial. Make sure to see them all.
Hyde Park is often a popular social gathering place and they offer a large selection of different types of special events, from concerts to local events organized by the community.
Annually since 2008, the park hosts a half marathon called Royal Parks. Also, a major fundraiser (one that has raised over 30 million pounds for charity), it runs through the park every October.
In the summer, the park holds a ten-day festival celebrating music, food, and fun! With previous major musical acts like Green Day, Tom Petty, and Phil Collins, as well as many different food stalls operated by independent vendors, bistros, and cafes, this fest is one of the most exciting events held at Hyde Park. Make sure to check out the themed cocktail bars and pubs!
Also, seasonally, the park offers a variety of holiday themed events like the Winter Wonderland event as well as the preview night that raises funds for charity and allows guests the ability to access the park to see the lights earlier than the general public… all for a good cause!
While visiting Hyde Park, there are a variety of adorable cafes, sit-down restaurants, and food kiosks to check out. The kiosks offer a variety of food and drink that are easy to eat while continuing to enjoy the park - like coffee, sandwiches, and ice cream. The Lido Cafe and Bar offers a full sit-down atmosphere, one where guests can even choose to dine outside. They are open all day and serve alcohol. Finally, the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen offers a more casual environment with options like fish and chips, pizzas, and other warm and tasty foods.
Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH, Phone: +44-0-30-00-61-20-00