Hyde Park is a wonderful place to visit and provides a great base for those wanting to discover all areas of London.
Measuring some 350 acres, the park is open every day of the year from 5am to midnight and is perfect for anyone opting to stay in a London Paddington hotel close by.
Within the park
There is plenty to explore within the park itself, especially during the summer months.
It is easy to get back to nature by just wondering around the park and seeking out the wide variety of plants, trees and flowers that call the park home.
In addition, 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.
There are a number of memorials in the park and one of the most recent is the Diana Memorial Fountain. Completed in 2004, the landmark was opened by Queen Elizabeth II as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales who was killed in a car accident in France in the 1990s.
The fountain was designed by US architect Kathryn Gustafson at a cost of £3.6 million. It took more than 12 months to complete the memorial but it has become one of the main visitor attractions in the area.
Close to the memorial is the Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground – ideal for those with young children.
The playground opened in 2000 and since then more than one million people have enjoyed it. Designers created the area to reflect the iconic story of Peter Pan and at the centre is a large wooden pirate ship, as well as a sensory trail and interactive sculptures.
The Peter Pan theme is also in evidence with a statue dedicated to JM Barrie’s tale in the Kensington Gardens to the west of the Long Water.
Of course, there are also plenty of seats for parents to enjoy some rest while the little ones burn off extra energy. There is also a café to get some refreshments.
Anyone who prefers a spot of outdoor swimming should head to the park’s Serpentine lake. The lake has a special swimming club that has been operating for more than a century and members can been seen taking a morning dip between 6am and 9.30am.
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.
Hyde Park’s transport network
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)