Head to Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake


One of the most popular areas of the world-famous Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake offers a real alternative to the busy streets of the capital.

Measuring 40 acres, the lake offers a number of activities, as well as being close to plenty of cafes – ideal for those who want to just relax and watch the water.

The lake, commissioned by Queen Caroline, wife to George II, dates back to 1730 and was a key centrepiece for The Great Exhibition of 1851.

Spend some time on the water

One of the most enjoyable pastimes for individuals planning a visit to the Serpentine Lake is invariably the opportunity to get on the water itself.

Visitors are able to hire their own boat for up six persons and enjoy a nice trip on the tranquil lake waters.

Boats operate everyday 10am until sundown – around 4pm in the winter and 10pm at the height of summer.

There is also the option of the Solarshuttle, which offers a very unique experience.  This solar-powered vessel is capable of carrying up to 40 passengers at a time and makes no noise as it crosses from one side of the lake to the other. The boat operates throughout April until the end of October.

Travellers are reminded that dogs are not permitted on any of the vessels and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

The Serpentine Swimming Club

Regular visitors to the Serpentine Lake will also be treated to the sight of races in the lake’s bracing waters, with the Serpentine Swimming Club holding regular Saturday morning meets and events throughout the year.

The traditional Peter Pan Christmas Day Race has been held by the club every year since 1864, while a rectangular swimming area – known as Lansbury’s Lido – has been open to the public since the 1930s.

Individuals wishing to take part in the races must sign up beforehand with the Serpentine Swimming Club, but anyone wishing to simply head along and show their support are more than welcome to do so.

Other Hyde Park attractions

It is not just the beautiful Serpentine that draws the crowds to this inner-city oasis of greenery though, as Hyde Park is also home to some of the capital’s most interesting attractions, including Speakers’ Corner, the Rose Garden, Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain,  Holocaust Memorial, the Albert Memorial and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.

Attractions close to Serpentine Lake

Visitors could also combine a trip to the lake, with a visit to the number of popular attractions close by such as:

Royal Albert Hall (0.4 miles, nine minutes’ travel time on foot/via public transport)

Natural History Museum (0.4 miles, eight minutes)

Harrods (0.3 miles, seven minutes)

Buckingham Palace (0.6 miles, 13 minutes)

Selfridges (0.3 miles, four minutes)

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (one mile, 14 minutes)

Madame Tussauds London (one mile, 15 minutes)

The Sherlock Holmes Museum (one mile, 18 minutes)

Little Venice (1.1 miles, 20 minutes)

Electric Cinema (1.8 miles, 23 minutes)

The Regent’s Park (1.1 miles, 14 minutes)

Kyoto Garden (1.5 miles, 21 minutes)

Design Museum (1.2 miles, 27 minutes)

Cadogan Hall (0.7 miles, 16 minutes)

Saatchi Gallery (0.9 miles, 19 minutes)

Apollo Victoria Theatre (0.8 miles, 15 minutes)

Westminster Cathedral (0.9 miles, 18 minutes)

Lord’s Cricket Ground (1.8 miles, 20 minutes)

How to get to Serpentine Lake

The lake is close to a number of travel options, with the most popular being the London Underground network, nearby Tube stations for all travellers to Serpentine Lake include:

Notting Hill Gate (Central, Circle and District lines)

Queensway 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)

There are also mainline rail services from nearby Paddington Station, as well as regular bus services that cover the area close to the Lake and Hyde Park.

Driving to the Serpentine Lake

Anyone using their own car or hiring a vehicle will also be able to find parking at a number of nearby car parks, such as:

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

NCP Car Park London Park Towers Hotel (approx. 400 ft, two minutes)

Indigo Mayfair Car Park (0.1 miles, two minutes)

Q-Park Knightsbridge (0.3 miles, seven minutes)

Q-Park Park Lane (0.1 miles, three minutes)

Q-Park Burlington Street (0.9 miles, 18 minutes)

Q-Park Oxford Street (0.9 miles, 18 minutes)

Q-Park Marylebone (0.8 miles, 18 minutes)

NCP Car Park London Arthur Court (1.2 miles, 24 minutes)