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Hyde Park, London

Hyde Park is one of the largest Royal Parks of London and famous for its Speakers’ Corner. The park covers over 350 acres and is divided in two by the Serpentine. Hyde Park is contiguous with Kensington Gardens; although often still assumed to be part of Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens has been technically separate since 1728, when Queen Caroline made a division between the two.

Henry VIII claimed a Hyde Park from the monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536; he and his court were often to be seen on thundering steeds in the hunt for deer.

To date, Hyde Park is one of the largest of four parks which form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park, past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace and then on through Saint James’s Park to Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall.

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 Crystal Palace was disassembled and eventually moved to South London, the area is still known as Crystal Palace.

Hyde Park has a wide range of facilities. There are restaurants and cafes offering tea, coffee, ice creams and sandwiches as well as three course meals. There is a children’s playground and the Lookout, an education centre where children learn about nature and wildlife. The Park also has toilets, including facilities for disabled people.

This park is also now offering a fleet of rowing and pedal boats which operate on the famous Serpentine and the UK’s first Solarshuttle, a magnificent vessel. The Solarshuttle carries up to 40 passengers and the pedal and row boats hold up to 6 persons each.

The Boating Lake is open from Easter until October 31. Times are from 10.00am until sundown which is around 4.00pm in the winter and 8.00pm in the summer.

You can also enjoy skating, cycling, tennis games and even horse riding here.

Entry to Hyde Park is free.

      

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