Guide to Hyde Park

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Covering some 350 acres, Hyde Park in London is a great attraction that offers visitors and residents a fabulous place to explore and enjoy.

The park is open every day of the year from 5am to midnight and here is our guide to what to do if staying in a London Paddington hotel close by.

What to do in the park

Get back to nature

For keen gardeners, just wandering around the park and seeking out the wide variety of plants, trees and flowers on offer is a great activity.

There are also a number of more formal gardens within the park, including the Rose Garden. Opened in 1994, the garden attracts millions of visitors every year who come to see this stunning flowers up close.

Visitors can also opt for one of the many guided walks and tours on offer. Available in both audio and self-guided, the walks explore around seven miles of the park and pass through many of the area’s famous buildings and attractions.

Diana Memorial Fountain

The Diana Memorial Fountain is one of the highlights of London’s Hyde Park and is well worth the time to visit it.

It was opened in July 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales who was killed in a car accident in France in 1997.

Diana Memorial Walk
The fountain was designed by US architect Kathryn Gustafson and cost £3.6 million, as well as nearly a year to complete.

It was created as key place in London to celebrate the life of Diana and provide a place for visitors to come and enjoy themselves, as well as take some time to reflect.

Close to the memorial is the Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground, which is perfect for families visiting the park.

Opened in 2000, the playground has welcomed more than one million people to its great play equipment. The inspiration for the large area was the famous story of Peter Pan – in fact, there is a statue dedicated to JM Barrie’s tale in the Kensington Gardens to the west of the Long Water.

At the centre of the playground is a large wooden pirate ship, surrounded by a sensory trail, teepees and several toys and interactive sculptures.

There are also plenty of seats for parents who want to take a rest or enjoy a picnic, while the children continue to play.

Serpentine Lake

For anyone who enjoys a spot of outdoor swimming, then London’s Serpentine swimming lake could be ideal.

There has been a swimming club operating on the lake in Hyde Park for more than 100 years and members can often be seen taking a morning dip.

Members of the Serpentine club can swim every day in the Lake between the hours of 6am and 9.30am – whether it is lovely warm sunshine, raining or snowing.

In fact, one of the club’s most popular events takes place on a chilly Christmas morning, with a special festive race.

If you don’t fancy taking a dip in the lake, then there is the alternative of the Hyde Park Lido. Opening from the start of May until a few weeks after the school holidays end, the lido has a 100 metre swimming pool and a dedicated area for younger children. For those who want to relax, there is a cafe and a number of sun loungers to sit back and enjoy the setting.

How to get to Hyde Park

Hyde Park is really well situated and it is straightforward to travel to the area via public transport.

The park is close to a wide number of London Underground stations:-

Notting Hill Gate (Central, Circle and District lines)

Bayswater Station (Circle and District lines)

Queensway Station (Central line)

Lancaster Gate Station (Central line)

Marble Arch Station (Central line)

Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line)

Knightsbridge Station (Piccadilly line)

South Kensington Station (Circle, District and Piccadilly lines)

If you prefer to travel via overground, then there is the national rail stations of Paddington and Marylebone, where there are regular services to London and other UK destinations.

If you prefer to drive to the park, then car parking can be found a short distance away:-

Queensway Car Park (0.8 miles, 16 minutes’ travel time on foot)

Paddington Station Public Car Park (0.9 miles, 19 minutes)

Portman Square Car Park (0.4 miles, nine minutes)

Q-Park Marylebone (0.8 miles, 18 minutes)

Marble Arch Car Park (0.1 miles, three minutes)

Hornton Street Car Park (one mile, 20 minutes)

However, traffic around the area can be relatively heavy, especially during peak periods. It is probably advisable to avoid making journeys during the buy morning and evening rush hours, while pre-booking parking (when possible) is also recommended.