Hyde Park, London

Hyde Park, London (must see)

Hyde Park is one of the largest Royal Parks in London and a home to several attractions. The most notable of them is the Speakers' Corner on the north-east side, near Marble Arch. This platform for campaigners, preachers, and those seeking to express their views on a variety of subjects, all except criticizing the Queen of course, has been in place since the mid 1800s. Among the historic figures to have spoken here at the time are Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell.

The tradition of public speech in this spot dates back hundreds of years to the infamous Tyburn Gallows that use to be nearby. There, between 1196 and 1783, over 50,000 people had been executed, each of which was allowed a final word before hanging. Some of them confessed, others defended their innocence or criticized the authorities. People enjoyed watching the executions and even bought tickets. Eventually, the gallows were dismantled, but the tradition for protest and pleasure at Hyde Park remained.

Not far from away here is a Rotten Row, famous for being Britain's first illuminated street. The lights here were installed back in the 1690s by King William III who built this road to travel between Kensington Palace and St James's Palace. In fear of attack by highwaymen, he ordered it to be lit with 300 gas lamps. The name “Rotten Row” is a mispronounced version of the French “Route du Roi”, which means King's Road.
Another popular sight of the park is near the Grand Entrance at the south-east corner. It is called Apsley House and was originally built for Lord Apsley in 1778. What makes it popular is that for several years this house was the home of the 1st Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. It was also the first property on the north side of Piccadilly that came into sight for those entering London from the west, for which reason people jokingly referred to it as 'Number 1, London'. The official address here is 149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner, London, yet rumors insist that if you post a letter to “Number 1, London”, it would come here.

Inside the park, there is another tribute to Wellington - the statue of Achilles made from 33 tonnes of bronze sourced from the cannons captured by Wellington's army in France.
Hyde Park is divided in two by the body of water called, the Serpentine. This pond is much popular with nature lovers and photographers, and is also one of the best-known outdoor swimming spots in London. Every Christmas, members of the Serpentine Swimming Club gather here for the Peter Pan Cup organized by the Peter Pan author JM Barrie in 1904. South of the Serpentine is the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial fountain opened on 6 July 2004. Hyde Park also hosts a pet cemetery, near the Victoria Gate Lodge on Bayswater Road. It started in 1881 and contains over 300 pet graves. Today the cemetery is closed for public, except for occasional tours.

Why You Should Visit:
Great place for so many activities! In this park, you can nearly do anything.

Tip:
Take a map with you if you're not familiar with the park, or rent a bike and cycle around.
For nature lovers & photography enthusiasts, add Serpentine Lake to your list.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 5am-12am

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of London, England within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Hyde Park on Map

Sight Name: Hyde Park
Sight Location: London, England
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walk Kensington/Knightsbridge Walk

Walking Tours in London, England

Create Your Own Walk in London

Create Your Own Walk in London

Creating your own self-guided walk in London is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Charles Dickens Tour

Charles Dickens Tour

Today's world's literature and mass culture in general is hardly imaginable without the works of Charles Dickens who is largely recognized as the greatest British novelist of the Victorian era. A pioneer of “cliffhanger” endings, Dickens remains one of the best-known and most-read of English authors whose works never go out of print, and have been adapted numerous times for the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
West End Nightlife

West End Nightlife

Be prepared for the exciting, throbbing sensation of London's nightlife, one of the best in the world. You will find everything you are looking for: trendy clubs, hot atmosphere and exclusive drinks. Follow this London West End nightlife tour to get the party started!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Walk around Buckingham Palace

Walk around Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, the British monarch's official residence, is a must-see for anyone visiting London, but so are the adjacent royal establishments that give a unique window into the royal way of life. On this self-guided walk, along with Buckingham Palace, you will visit the St. James's private royal residence, the wonderful Queen's Gallery, and drop by the official Buckingham gift...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Beatles London Walking Tour

Beatles London Walking Tour

Though all four members of the Beatles heralded from Liverpool, it's pretty fair to say that they were based in London – the centre of the UK’s recording and entertainment industry. Since early in their career, it had become obvious that they had to be as close as possible to their manager's NEMS Enterprises office, Abbey Road, as well as to the BBC and the beckoning world of...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Harry Potter Walk in London

Harry Potter Walk in London

The arrival of Harry Potter books, followed by tremendously successful Hollywood adaptation, has made London even more popular now with the Harry Potter fans all over the world. The list of attractions in the city associated with Potter’s journeys includes both, newly-invented as well as some long-standing locations. To follow in the footsteps of the young wizard and his friends in the British...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 Km or 4.2 Miles
Kensington/Knightsbridge Walk

Kensington/Knightsbridge Walk

Situated just below Hyde Park, Knightsbridge and South Kensington are two adjacent neighborhoods with grand Victorian homes and leafy garden squares. The area is also a shopper's paradise featuring grand luxury stores, whereas museumgoers will find a number of excellent museums on history, science and arts. On this self guided walk, you will visit former Princess Diana's residence,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

Most visitors to London consider shopping as part of their must-do London experience. From street markets to Victorian arcades to snobbish Sloane Square to busy Oxford Street, there are a host of shops selling items which typically represent this vibrant city. Whether you are shopping for souvenirs...