One of the most popular aspects of London is the fact that it is a designated green city, meaning that the many parks and squares of London contribute to just under 20% of its public space. Many of these areas have rich histories as well, with 8 royal parks situated within the wider London area. The royal parks of London all have unique characteristics, but one thing that links them is their associations with the royal family. Guests of accommodation in Paddington London will find 5 of these royal parks within walking distance of their hotel.
This blog, though, will specifically focus on the closest of those – Hyde Park – often cited as one of the most popular of the royal parks. There are various reasons for this, including its penchant for annual music and funfair festivals, as well as its long and intriguing history. Below is a lowdown of some of the unique attractions that make Hyde Park such a cherished landmark in the city.
A Brief Overview Of Hyde Park
Easy to reach from the Chilworth Paddington Hotel, Hyde Park spans 350 acres and was first opened as a hunting ground for King Henry VIII in 1536. The royal park was only opened to the general public almost exactly a century later by Charles I. Originally encompassing the land that the neighbouring Kensington Gardens occupies, the latter was split off from the park by Queen Caroline in the 1720s by channelling water from the River Westbourne. This was to create her own private gardens outside of Kensington Palace. The sister park to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens was opened to the public in 1841 and has a contrasting style to the vast fields and avenues Hyde Park.
Though not technically part of Hyde Park, the Marble Arch acts as a gateway into it via Bond Street. The large triumphal arch was designed by famed architect John Nash in 1827 and originally unveiled close to The Mall, providing the residents of Buckingham Palace with a grand entrance into the public. It was moved to its current traffic island location beside the park in 1851, where guests of London hotels deal special offers can still admire its beautiful white carrara marble colour.
Speaker’s Corner is situated in the northeast of Hyde Park and has been performed and attended by many influential speakers and thinkers over the years. Whilst there is little to mark it out but a sign, the area is famous for being a rallying point for political protest movements in London and is still well attended by speakers and debaters to this day.
Diana Memorial Fountain
Unveiled in memory of Princess Diana, former wife of King Charles III, who died in 1997, this beautiful fountain is a circular channel of water that runs through the intersection of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Visitors can step through, walk around and interact with the water, reflecting the image of Diana as the “people’s princess”.
The Serpentine Lake
And from one source of water to another, the Serpentine Lake is a beautiful boating lake that divides kensington Gardens from Hyde Park. With nearby riverside cafes, a swimming lido (open to member only unfortunately) and rentable pedalos available throughout the year, guests of Paddington Hotel special offers can enjoy the lake through every season.