At the end of the seventeenth century, William III – averse to the dank air of Whitehall Palace – relocated to Kensington Palace and consequently, a corner of Hyde Park (Kensington Gardens) was sectioned off to make grounds for the residence. Nowadays, Kensington Gardens is only delineated from Hyde Park by the line of the Serpentine and the Long Water. Beside the Long Water is a bronze statue of Peter Pan, erected in 1912: it was in Kensington Gardens beside the Round Pond eight years earlier that playwright JM Barrie met Jack Llewellyn Davies, the boy who was the inspiration for Peter. Princess Diana's presence in Kensington Gardens is also strong: Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground is a favourite for children, especially its massive wooden pirate ship, complete with accompanying ‘beach’, teepees and play sculptures. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, a shallow stone ring of trickling water, is also popular for paddling. For adults, the Serpentine Gallery, the sunken garden and the beautiful flower walk provide alluring ways to while away a sunny afternoon.
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