Diana's memorial fountain
Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out
Time Out says
Mon Dec 10 2012
At 1.5 miles long and about a mile wide, Hyde Park is one of the largest of London's Royal Parks. The land was appropriated in 1536 from the monks of Westminster Abbey by Henry VIII for hunting deer and, despite opening to the public in the early 1600s, was only frequented by the upper echelons of society. London's oldest boating lake, The Serpentine, is at the bottom of Hyde Park. It's not especially beautiful but is home to ducks, coots, swans and tufty-headed grebes, and is also of great historic interest. It was a hotspot for mass demonstrations in the nineteenth century and remains so today. The legalisation of public assembly in the park led to the establishment of Speakers' Corner in 1872 (close to Marble Arch tube), where political and religious ranters – sane and otherwise – still have the floor. The park perimeter is popular with skaters, as well as with bike riders and horse riders. If you're exploring on foot and the vast expanses defeat you, look out for the Liberty Drives (May-Oct). Driven by volunteers (there's no fare, but offer a donation if you can), these electric buggies pick up groups of sightseers and ferry them around. The Joy of Life fountain, next to Aldford Street North Gate, alongside Park Lane, is a popular spot for splashing around in when the weather heats up.
What's on at Hyde Park
Things to do
Kick-start the new year with the Serpentine Running Club's annual NYD10K run through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, or opt for the more easygoing 3k fun run. The former is held under UK Athletics Rules with a race memento for all finishers and vouchers...
Fringe, Circuses, Drama
Zippos Circus perform their new show, complete with wheel of death, spinning acrobats, knife throwing and high wire acts at the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park this year.
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is the perfect setting for a magical Christmas grotto. It’s free to see Father Christmas and every tot will walk away with a trinket and a photo memory. Last year the Big Man gave away 50,000 gifts. And no need to worry about...
Things to do
The funfair factor of Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland has expanded massively for 2013 – rides are scattered across the site, with four big roller coasters, gentle kiddie rides and some vomit-inducing spinning machines. Tokens to ride are £1 each: kids'...
Pop, Urban music, R&B, Music festivals
After a successful first run last year featuring The Rolling Stones and Lionel Richie among others, this big summer bash is back in Hyde Park. Today's headliners are McBusted, the boy band BOGOF that lumps together McFly with two thirds of Busted. This...
Country, Classic rock, Rock 'n' roll, Music festivals, Singer-songwriter, Hard rock
- Critics' choice
After a successful first run last year featuring The Rolling Stones and Lionel Richie among others, this big summer bash is back in Hyde Park. Tonight's headliner is legendary Canadian heartland-rocker Neil Young with his long-running band Crazy Horse,...