One of the most visited attractions in London is Hyde Park. And there are several reasons why a lot of people flock to the park each year. Aside from the pretty sights, relaxing gardens and picturesque views, there are lots of other activities and nearby attractions in the area.
1. Hyde Park
The park is one of Britain’s Royal Parks. It is a sprawling 350-acre property that includes landscapes, gardens, recreational areas and the famous Serpentine lake, which was built in the year 1730. The old man-made lake is ideal for both boating and swimming. The park is also home to a bird sanctuary, along with several iconic statues of prominent people in history. Another more recent highlight of the park is the Diana Memorial Fountain. Just like the late princess, it is a spectacle to behold. It is made from 545 pieces of Cornish granite, and the architecture is designed to reflect the life of Diana.
2. Kensington Palace and Gardens
Not far from Hyde Park is the Kensington Palace and its gardens. The English monarchs began using the palace as a private residence in the year 1689. Over the centuries, the palace became witness to several historic occasions. Queen Victoria was born in Kensington Palace. Princess Diana also resided here along with her boys, the princes William and Harry. Its apartments are now used as residences of a number of royals including Prince William and his family. Nonetheless, it is still an interesting site to visit as there are several exhibitions in the apartments. It holds memorabilia from coronations and other historic events in the lives of the British monarchs.
3. The Orangery
A visit to Kensington Palace and Gardens wouldn’t be complete without dropping by the Orangery. It sits right next to Kensington Palace and was formerly used as an area for royals to entertain guests and host parties. It has now been transformed into a perfect spot to dine and sip on tea after a long day of sightseeing.
4. The Duke of Wellington Museum: Apsley House
It was the first Duke of Wellington who bought Apsley House. This was after the famous victory in Waterloo. Numerous alterations have been made in the area including the Waterloo Gallery. It has become a venue for most of London’s lavish banquets. In 1952, it was opened as a branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum and has ever since becoming home to numerous paintings and other works of art. One of the most notable is Velázquez's "Waterseller of Seville".
5. The Wellington Arch
Just outside the Apsley House is the Wellington Arch. It commemorates the first Duke of Wellington’s famous victory in the battle of Waterloo. It features a dramatic bronze chariot with the figure of peace. Close by is a statue of the Duke on horseback.
6. The Albert Memorial
The Taj Mahal is to India as the Albert Memorial is to England. It is one of the most elaborate memorials known in history. The Alert Memorial was built to serve as a remembrance of Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
7. Hyde Park Riding Stables
For over 300 years, the stables have been the most famous equestrian centre in England. Here, you can ride through bridleways and around Hyde Park’s Serpentine. If you don’t know how to ride, you can also take lessons in the famous stables.
8. The Serpentine Galleries
One of the largely popular attractions among tourists is the Serpentine Galleries which receives over a million visits each year. It sits on either side of the Serpentine grounds of Kensington Gardens. It is deemed one of Britain’s most priced contemporary art galleries. Aside from the galleries, it also features a shop and a restaurant for you to have a nice meal after roaming the area.
Hyde Park and the attractions around the area can be accessed through the Piccadilly and Central Lines. If you use the Piccadilly Line, you can get off
Hyde Park Corner or Knightsbridge stations, and if you’re using the Central Line, you can get off the Lancaster Gate or Marble Arch stations.