Every year record numbers of tourists’ head to London to see the incredible attractions and enjoy a wide range of activities in the British capital. Nature lovers, of course, are captivated with the city’s magnificent Royal Parks, which dominate the city landscape. While there are eight of these natural gems to explore, one, in particular, deserves special mention by being virtue of the most visited and recognised of them all – Hyde Park!
It is a short stroll away from the hotels near Lancaster Gate, so if you are staying at any of these properties you could walk straight from your hotel to Hyde Park. Since there are a number of cafes and restaurants nearby, look out for any special deals for budget afternoon tea in London.
The vast expanse of the landscape we know as Hyde Park stretches over 350-acres in central London. I originally belonged to the monks that inhabited Westminster Abbey. Later Henry VIII confiscated it from the Catholic Church in 1536 and used it a private hunting reserve of himself and the nobles of the Royal Court. During that period there was a dense forest that housed a variety of wildlife including deer. Later when Charles I ascended the English throne, he made the park accessible to the public and had the Ring built. It was a path for people for horse riding. Queen Caroline had the park undergo a facelift of sorts in the 1730s and had a waterbody added, which we know as the Serpentine Lake.
With the progress of time, there have been extensive refurbishments made to the park. These include the Grand Entrance created by Decimus Burton in the 18th century. He was the designer of the magnificent archway that exists t the present day and is used by visitors to enter the park. The Diana The Princess of Wales’ memorial fountain was later added in 2004 to commemorate the People’s Princess.
There is Speaker’s Corner that symbolises free speech and celebrates democracy while offering a platform to anyone from the public to step up and publicly share their thoughts on a range of topics. The Corner was created after a series of unruly demonstrations by the Reform League, who firmly protested against the government and wanted adult suffrage for all adults without discrimination.
Over the centuries Hyde Park has borne witness to many events of a historical nature. It was the location where the culmination of the Napoleonic War was celebrated with fireworks. The event was planned by the Prince Regent in 1814. It also served as a camping site for Londoners that tried to escape the Plague by staying away from the infested streets.
Now Hyde Park is popular as a tourist spot and attracts both locals and visitors alike. They come to enjoy picnics or relax in the tranquil surroundings while basking in the sunshine. There are plenty of secluded spots to enjoy a relaxed few hours of solitude.