Hyde Park - one of London's eight Royal Parks
The best that London has to offer.....
With its thousands of stunning trees and plants, Hyde Park is a wonderful place to stroll with your family and friends throughout the year and enjoy the London vibe. With the adjoining Kensington Gardens, these two magnificent spaces form one of London's largest green areas.
Boating on The Serpentine: in Hyde Park there is a fleet of rowing and pedal boats for visitors to enjoy gliding across the lake. A great way to spend an afternoon.
For refreshments, the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen, inspired by English country living, is a retreat for both Londoners and visitors alike serving a wide variety of tasty hot meals and snacks, sandwiches, salads, cakes, puddings and drinks.
The Diana Memorial Fountain: Built from 545 pieces of
Cornish granite, the design aims to reflect the mercurial Diana's
life with water flowing in two directions, cascading, swirling and
bubbling before meeting in a calm pool at the bottom. There
are three bridges where you can cross the water and go right to the
heart of the fountain.
The Lido Bar and Cafe offers stunning views of The Serpentine and has a large alfresco dining area - a wonderful space to relax and enjoy Hyde Park with your family.
In the Kensington Gardens area of the Park, The Serpentine
Galleries comprise two contemporary art galleries - The Serpentine
Gallery and The Serpentine Sackler Gallery, both within five
minutes' walk of each other and linked by the bridge over the
Serpentine Lake from which the galleries get their names. And of
course the Princess Diana Playground is great for families with
The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground children's wonderland opened on in June 2000, in memory of the late Princess Diana. Located next to the Kensington Palace home she occupied during her marriage, a huge wooden pirate ship is the amazing centrepiece of this fitting tribute to the child-loving Princess. Inspired by the stories of Peter Pan, the design includes an area where less able and able-bodied children can play together. The playground encourages children to explore and follow their imaginations and learn whilst they play. It is estimated that over 70,000 children enjoy this free playground each year, playing, exploring, dashing about, and letting their imaginations soar in this magical space. There is a sensory trail, teepees, a beach and various toys and play sculptures; all set against a lush backdrop of trees and plants. There's also plenty of seating so the grownups can relax too and enjoy a coffee in the playground!
Speakers' Corner: a traditional site for public speeches and debates since the 1800's when protests and demonstrations took place in Hyde Park. Historic figures such as Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell were known to often use the area to speak to the gathered crowds and exercise their right to free speech. On a Sunday morning, it is not unusual to find hordes of people converging on Speakers' Corner to listen to enthusiasts expounding their views on the latest issues of the day. Anyone can turn up unannounced to speak on any subject, as long as the police consider their speeches lawful.
Wildlife: Hyde Park provides a unique habitat for a diverse
variety of species of flora and fauna and positive changes in
management practices have encouraged new species to adopt the park
as their new home! The creation of the meadow area gives a flavour
of how Hyde Park once looked in the past and this area has become
more diverse year on year since its creation and of special delight
to visitors is the sight of butterflies feeding from the native
wildflowers in the meadow.
Trees, shrub beds and and an abundance of herbaceous plantings provide rich habitats for song birds including robins, dunnocks and tits. Look out for small groups of long tailed tits that hop around from tree to tree looking for insects and nesting materials. Sadly, over feeding of aggressive feral pigeons and squirrels threatens the native song birds as they are not able to compete with these robust pests.
Goose Duckling: The Serpentine attracts a large number of wildfowl, many of which are winter visitors to the park. Look out for the exotic looking great crested grebes and their spectacular mating rituals. The lake also attracts a large number of insects that and thereby provides a perfect feeding ground for bats. The best place to view bats is on Dell Bridge around dusk and also close to Serpentine Bridge.
Much of the wildlife in the park goes unnoticed by the majority of visitors. This includes a large number of 'minibeasts' such as beetles, bees and a host of ground foraging insects. These insects are a vital component of the park ecosystem and the creation and protection of their habitats is very important for the overall health of the park.
Look out for other exotic and unusual visitors which descend on Hyde Park from time to time. Recent sightings have included a black swan, a buzzard and egyptian geese.
The Hyde Park Tennis and Sports Centre is located at
the western end of the Sports Field at the junction between West
Carriage Drive and South Carriage Drive. There are 6 high
quality tennis courts, a well-maintained 6 rink lawn bowling green
and a 9 hole putting green, a cafe and changing facilities.
Tennis: There are 6 high-quality tennis facilities, accredited by the Lawn Tennis Association, at the Hyde Park Tennis and Sports Centre. Visitors to the park are encouraged to turn up and play while for regular players, a range of membership options are available. Coaching courses are run for children and for adults. Tournaments are organised and teams can also play in local tennis leagues.
Lawn Bowls: The Hyde Park Tennis and Sports Centre has a well-maintained 6 rink flat green bowling green. The bowling green (or an individual rink) is available from May-October (weather dependent) to individuals, families, groups of friends or established clubs to hire on request and can be pre-booked. Bowls of all sizes are available for hire.
Putting Green: The Centre also has a challenging and well maintained 9 hole putting course, popular with both groups and families.
Hyde Park is open from 5:00 am until midnight all year round.
Getting to Hyde Park
Hyde Park is highly accessible by public transport, both by underground and by bus. There is also limited car parking available but we recommend that visitors come to the park by public transport. The general postcode for the park is W2 2UH, but it covers a large area so we suggest you plan your journey carefully.
Tube stations close to Hyde Park are:
Lancaster Gate (Central Line), Marble Arch (Central Line), Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line), Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line).
- 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
Hyde Park - make sure you visit when you come to London!
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