Hyde Park

Attractions , Sightseeing Kensington
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(12 user reviews)
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Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out
Michelle Grant / Time Out
Heloise Bergman / Time Out
Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
Michelle Grant / Time Out
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.
Venue name: Hyde Park
W2 4RU
Transport: Tube: Queensway/South Kensington/Hyde Park Corner/Lancaster Gate
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Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

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Try going in the early or late hours to appreciate London's vivid skylines without falling over quite so many tourists. Although the area is expansive it does get incredibly busy in the summer months when all of London's vitamin D deficient mammals hastily flock towards any sight of green and proceed to start stripping off as much as possible. 


Lovely park just not a scenic as some of the other parks london has to offer. The swans are very agressive as well.

Ros A

I have a love-hate relationship with this park. Love because it's huge, great for running around and I'm super grateful that we have so many excellent parks in central London. When you think about the real estate value of that park, we should count our lucky stars it's still there! Hate because it often hosts massive events like Winter Wonderland and music concerts in the Summer - which brings huge crowds and it completely loses its park feel. That said, I understand money needs to be made. I just hope it doesn't continue to add more and more events to the annual calendar to the point where it becomes a venue, rather than a green space. 

Tara P

Hyde Park is beautiful. 

Even now, in the depths of winter, when they're re-seeding the grass and it's cold and the most populous inhabitants of the park are pigeons, it's worth a visit to fill your lungs with fresh(ish) air and appreciate nature in the heart of London. 

Perfect for events in the summer (picnics, festivals, race for life - to name a few) and a bracing stroll in winter, Hyde Park is one of the best places to visit in London and it's absolutely free. 

Favourite Hyde Park sighting this weekend: Two men smoking shisha out of a pipe shaped like an AK-47. Nonchalantly. As you do. 

Corina B

I love this park because of many things, firstly it's location, it's located right in the heart of London, a 5 minute stroll from Oxford st. This makes it ideal for a quick getaway from the city. Secondly, its hardly ever crowded, sure there's many people so it doesn't feel lonely, but more importantly you're free to your own space which is a nice change from the tube. Thirdly, there's always something going on. Because it is so close to the center it is a top contender for events such as the British Summer Time Festival and Winter Wonderland. It's always nice to find something unexpected going on. And lastly, it is very well maintained which is very different from Hampstead Heath for example, which is still beautiful but a lot more wild.

Martin C
Staff Writer

Sure, there are trees in London but you don’t generally get a sense of the seasons unless you head out of town. Hampstead Heath will give you a countryside-in-London experience but Hyde Park, because of its location and size (you’re close by if you’re in Selfridges on Oxford Street, Harvey Nicks in Knightsbridge, or even High Street Kensington) is the one place bang in the centre of London where you can kid yourself you’re in the sticks. There are plenty of attractions – the boating lake, the Diana Memorial Fountain, the amazing Serpentine Galleries (a little confusingly, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park merge together). But you can easily get from the hoards in summer. Or walk the perimeter (about six miles) to get a flavour of changing London neighbourhoods.

moderatorStaff Writer

Quite simply one of the best parks in a metropolis anywhere on planet earth - the sheer size of it right in the heart of London is impressive enough, but venture into the park around the Serpentine and you're bound to fall in love with this piece of green and pleasant land. When the sun shines and the temperature goes up, the lakes can get a little busy but there's much more space than you'd find on Brighton beach in July, plus you don't get sand everywhere. Granted the traffic can be a shocker but get on a Boris bike and enjoy the full extent of the park. For those of an athletic nature, the 6 odd mile circumnavigation makes for one of the best runs in London.

Victoria A

Every time I went London I always ended up with taking a stroll around Hyde Park. I could be because it is so central. Whenever you need a rest from the traffic and the noise, just a short stroll into the park, and you feel that you are a million miles away from London.


Hyde Park is great, but it lacks one feature near the Serpentine which is a bandstand. It would be great to have live ensembles performing in the park on a regular basis. My band was sponsored to perform on the bandstand at Finsbury Sq in the City of London and the crowds gathered during their lunch period and enjoyed it. The same can be done in Hyde Park if someone takes the initiative and arranges it. What type of music would you like to hear during your lunch period if you went to the park? Send your answer via this website http://www.steelbandhire.com/


Came for a day trip to London last year, the most relaxing and enjoyable part was the stroll around Hyde Park. We sat and had a picnic by the lake then fed the ducks. We also had a stroll around Diana's memorial fountain...Beautiful :-) Putting it simple, Strolling around Hyde Park is a must do for anybody visiting London!!

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