Hyde Park

Category: Parks and Open spaces

Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London and one of the Royal Parks of London. The park is divided in two by the Serpentine Lake. The park is contiguous with Kensington Gardens, which is widely assumed to be part of Hyde Park, but is technically separate.

Hyde Park is 350 acres (1.4 km) and Kensington Gardens is 275 acres (1.1 km) giving an overall area of 625 acres (2.5 km).

Hyde Park is also home to the New Zealand World War One memorial.

The park was the site of The Great Exhibition of 1851, for which the Crystal Palace was designed by Joseph Paxton.

The park has become a traditional location for mass demonstrations. The Chartists, the Suffragettes and the Stop The War Coalition have all held protests in the park.

On July 20, 1982 in the Hyde Park and Regents Park bombings, two bombs linked to the IRA caused the death of seven horses and eight members of the Household Cavalry and the Royal Green Jackets.

Sites of interest in the park include Speakers’ Corner (located in the northeast corner near Marble Arch) and Rotten Row which is the northern boundary of the site of the Crystal Palace. To the southeast is Hyde Park Corner. South of the Serpentine Lake is the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial, an oval stone ring fountain opened on July 6, 2004. A botanical sensation is the bizarre upside-down tree. Opposite Hyde Park corner stands one of the grandest hotels in London, The Lanesborough, which offers its top suite at £6,000 per night.

Stanhope Lodge at Stanhope Gate, demolished to widen Park Lane, was the home of Samuel Parkes who won the Victoria Cross in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Parkes was later Inspector of the Park Constables of the Park and died in the Lodge on 14 November 1864.

The photography for the Beatles album Beatles for Sale was taken at Hyde Park in autumn of 1964.


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