Sprawled out over 350 acres in the heart of London, Hyde Park, which is a Royal Park, is one of the largest in the capital, and is also considered to be one of the greatest city parks in the world. With everything from famous landmarks to recreational activities to stunning natural beauty, Hyde Park is always a joy to explore.
Speakers’ Corner has been an iconic part of the city since the mid 1800’s, when protests and demonstrations were taking place in Hyde Park. Many significant historical figures, from Karl Marx to George Orwell, used this area to demonstrate free speech. Today, the traditional Speakers’ Corner site is still the go-to spot in the city for public speaking, as anyone is allowed to turn up and begin talking about any subject, so long as it is within the confines of the law. If you want to experience Speakers’ Corner in its most vibrant state, Sunday mornings are the best time to visit.
The Rose Garden
Located in the south-eastern corner of the park, the Rose Garden first opened in 1994, and features roses intermingled with herbaceous plantings, resulting in gorgeous seasonal flowerbeds, especially during the summer. While the warmer months may be the best time to explore the Rose Garden, the flower beds are planted twice a year, meaning that there will always be some roses to view whenever you visit.
There are a number of fun, recreational activities to be had in Hyde Park, with one of the most popular being the rowing and pedal boats that are available for visitors to take out onto the Serpentine Lake. The Serpentine is also where you will find the Solarshuttle, which is a sleek boat that is powered only by the sun, and is the first of its kind in the country. For more water-based activities, head to the Serpentine Lido, where public swimming is available. On ground, there is everything from tennis to lawn bowls to football available, as well as specialist horse riding facilities and designated riding routes that run through the park.
London is an incredibly built up city, but Hyde Park is able to provide a unique habitat for many species of flora and fauna, with special efforts underway to encourage new species to make the park their home. From the butterflies that feed off the native wildflower meadow to the robins and dunnocks that hop from tree to tree to the more unusual sightings of black swans and Egyptian geese, wildlife is abundant here, and it is quite remarkable to see all of these creatures thriving in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world.
There is so much to explore in Hyde Park, and all of its many diverse attractions mean that there is something for just about everybody here. The park itself is open throughout the year, and, being in the center of the city, is easily accessible by multiple forms of public transport, making frequent and regular visits to the park extremely convenient.