About Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the world's greatest and phenomenal royal parks in Central London, the historical capital city of the United Kingdom. Situated in the heart of the city, the park offers a plethora of activities for the visitors starting from boating, swimming, horse riding, tennis, skating, jogging, walking and many more.
Adorned with innumerable varieties of trees and flowers and a beautiful glittering lake, Hyde Park has been attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world. You can witness many amazing buildings, monuments, memorials, fountains, statues and a bird sanctuary inside the park. The park is also the residence for a diverse variety of birds and insects, and hence a paradise for wildlife photographers and bird watchers.
Several world-renowned conferences, events, and seminars, music concerts, charity shows are organized in the park. The funds raised from many of those events are dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of the park. Café joints, bars, restaurants, beverage shops inside the park serve delicious refreshments and dishes to the visitors.
Every year during the Christmas and New Year, the entire park is transformed into a magical land with the illuminated decorations and glittering lights coupled with several exciting attractions and eateries. Circus shows, skiing, and skating competitions and many musical events form a part of the winter magic in Hyde Park.
How to Reach Hyde Park
Many public and private services are available in London to reach Hyde Park. The park is well connected with London's city center by buses and tubes. Car parking facilities are also available if you want to ride your vehicle.
1. By Underground Tube
There are many underground tube stations near the park:
- Knightsbridge station and Hyde Park Corner in the Piccadilly Line
- Marble Arch station and Lancaster Gate in the Central Line
- Hyde Park is located at a walking distance of 10 minutes from the tube stations.
2. By Underground Rail Lines
Three underground mainline stations near the park are:
- Paddington railway station
- Victoria railway station
- Marylebone railway station
3. By Bus
Various south-bound, north-bound, east-bound, and west-bound buses ply between different parts of London and Hyde Park. The bus numbers to take note of are:
- North-bound bus numbers are C2, 6, 7, 10, 16, 19, 23, 36, 52, 73, 82, 98, 113, 274, 390 and 414
- South-bound bus numbers are 2, 36, 137, 148, 159 and 436
- West-bound bus numbers are 9, 10, 14, 19, 22, 52, 74, 94, 148 and 414
- East-bound bus numbers are 8,15, 23, 30, 38 and 274
What Not to Miss at Hyde Park
Attractions in Hyde Park
1. Memorials- The first memorial to honor the Holocaust victims was constructed inside the park in 1983. In 2009, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall inaugurated a memorial as a mark of respect for the victims of the London bombings on 7th July 2005. The other significant memorials are the Cavalry Memorial, Norwegian War Memorial, Animals in War Memorial and Queen Caroline Memorial.
2. Fountains- The Diana Memorial Fountain is the key attraction in the park, constructed with 545 Cornish granite pieces. You must also visit the other fountains in the park such as Joy of Life fountain, Boy and Dolphin fountain, The Huntress fountain and Freeman Family Drinking fountain.
3. Bird Sanctuary- The sanctuary was created as a memorial for William Hudson, a writer, and naturalist, who served his life in protecting wildlife especially birds.
4. Statues- The significant statues inside the park are that of Trojan-war famous Greek hero Achilles and the Pan bronze statue showcasing a family and their dog in a running position.
5. Gates- There are two key gates in the park with historical and architectural significance. One is the Apsley gate and another is Queen Elizabeth gate to honor the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth I.
Activities to do at Hyde Park
1. The park provides a range of opportunities for sports lovers like skating, football, horse riding, tennis, boating, swimming
2. Visitors can attend the enchanting British Summertime celebrations every year which features live music and films accompanied by several food stalls, eateries, and pubs.
3. You can witness the Royal gun salutes inside the park on special occasions like the Queen's birthday, the State Opening of Parliament, etc.
4. The park hosts one of the prominent and fascinating events of the UK during the winter. Circus shows, amusement rides, and fairs are held at the Winter Wonderland event.
5. For marathon enthusiasts, Hyde Park provides a unique opportunity to participate in a 13.1 mile Half Marathon passing through Hyde Park, Green Park, Kensington Gardens, St James Park, Buckingham Palace, and Trafalgar Square.
Other Essential Information About Hyde Park
Location: Hyde Park is located in Central London bounded on three sides by Knightsbridge in the south, Park Lane in the east and Bayswater Road in the north. The boundary encircling the park forms a chain starting from the entrance of the Kensington Palace passing through Kensington Gardens and Green Park to the main entrance of Buckingham Palace.
Entry Fee: There is no entry fee for Hyde Park throughout the year.
Timing: The park is open from early morning at 5:00 AM till midnight every day. However, the park office is open only from 8:00 AM till 5:00 PM except for weekends.
Area: Hyde Park is spread across an area of 142 hectares or 350 acres of land in Westminster Borough, London. Originally the land area for the park was 625 acres of which 275 acres were taken up by Queen Caroline in the 18th century to construct the Kensington Gardens.
Distance from London city center: The distance between Central London and Hyde Park is 2.1 miles. From the Tower of London, Hyde Park is situated approximately 4 miles away.
History of Hyde Park
In 1536, the land where Hyde Park exists right now was acquired by King Henry VIII from the monks of Westminster Abbey. He then converted it into a private hunting ground for the royal families. The park was opened to the public in 1637 by King Charles I when he constructed a circular track called Ring for the royal horse carriages to travel comfortably.
Hyde Park was significant during 1665, the year of the Great Plague, in hosting camps for the citizens of London. It served as a shelter for protection against the epidemic. The park underwent several renovations and improvements at the end of the 17th century during the reign of William III. He established the first artificially lit highway along the park wherein 300 oil lamps were placed for the benefit of the royal families and the tourists. Further in 1730, Queen Caroline constructed the Lake Serpentine spreading across an area of 11.34 hectares.
The park is symbolic of hosting many celebrations of national and historical importance. The prominent ones among them are the fireworks held in 1814 to commemorate the victory in the Napolean war and the Great Exhibition in 1851. Further, in 1977 a Silver Jubilee exhibition was organized to celebrate the 25 years rule of Queen Elizabeth II. Hyde Park is noteworthy in anchoring some memorable musical events and concerts since 1968. The first rock concert was performed by the world-famous singer Pink Floyd.
Since then concerts of The Rolling Stones, Queen, Elvis Costello, and Pavarotti had been held in the park. In 2008 the famous concert to observe the 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela was organized in the park.
Places to Eat in Hyde Park
1. Serpentine Bar and Kitchen- The restaurant is located inside the building of Patrick Gwynne, present at the eastern side of Lake Serpentine. It serves special English meals and snacks like sandwiches, salads, cakes and wide varieties of hot and cold beverages. There are several refreshment joints inside the park at different locations serving coffee, snacks, ice-cream, and sandwiches to the visitors
2. Will to Win Sports Centre Café- The café is located inside Hyde Park Sports Centre offering numerous varieties of hot and cold delicacies like pasta, sandwiches, stews, salads, ice-creams. It also serves beverages like tea, coffee, and cold drinks.
3. The Lodge Café- The café offers freshly prepared English continental foods like pastries, bacon, fried eggs, omelets, granola, sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups, lasagnas.
Places to Stay near Hyde Park
1. Corus Hotel Hyde Park- It is a 4-star hotel overlooking Hyde Park, with 389 rooms suitable both for business and leisure. It offers all the basic amenities like free wi-fi, AC, TV, room service and many more.
2. Hard Rock Hotel- The hotel is located very near to Hyde Park at a distance of 0.8 km. The staff can speak English, Spanish and Polish languages. It has both family rooms and suites for the guests.
3. Royal Lancaster- A 5-star hotel with the staff speaking almost 16 languages. It is situated near Hyde Park, famous for hosting award-winning restaurants. The rooms have options for a city view as well as the park view.
4. Great Cumberland Place- It is a 4-star hotel offering room both for business and leisure. The rooms are air-conditioned and comfortable. It has a children's activity area too.
5. Millennium Hotel- It is a stylish and contemporary hotel with highly decorated rooms. The staff is proficient in speaking 6 different languages.
Medical Facilities near Hyde Park
1. Royal Brompton Hospital- The hospital is open 24 hours and is renowned for professionalism, neatness, specialty doctors and comfortable cabins and wards.
2. The Princess Grace Hospital- It is a private hospital with friendly nurses and doctors, taking special care of the patients. It has facilities to handle emergencies.
3. The London Clinic- The clinic is excellent with both specialty doctors and surgeons. The staff is friendly and helpful. The rooms and food are excellent. Patients are provided with special care and attention.
Travellers' Tip before Visiting Hyde Park
1. Limited parking facilities are available near the park, hence it is advisable to avail public transport like buses and tubes to reach the park
2. You must not miss riding the Solar Shuttle inside the park. It is powered by solar energy and can carry 40 passengers
3. The best time to visit the park is between June and September when the weather is warm
4. Wear comfortable shoes as you must enjoy a pleasant walk along the park
5. Carry hats and sunglasses as protection from the heat
6. Apply sunscreen lotion as a safeguard from the sun's rays