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London's waterside resorts: Hyde Park - 'the Serpentine Lido'

Sonya Barber

Welcome to the Serpentine, London's answer to...

SeaWorld resort, Florida. But instead of swimming with sun-kissed dolphins, you'll be taking a dip with the Hyde Park ducks.

Lidos and Lidon'ts

The lido may have more wildlife than water slides, but it's a freshwater institution fit for the Queen's swans – so dive in! Actually, don't: 'No diving allowed.' For those intending to stay dry, try rowing (carefully) across the lake in a BlueBird Hire Boat. Or take a ride in the UK's first Solarshuttle: a boat powered by the sun.... though you could be waiting a while for that to rev up.

Sunshine plates

Have some waterside chips at The Lido Café, with entertainment from the regular seagulls versus tourists match-ups. Then head up on to the Sun Terrace for a Slushpuppie with a view. From up there you’ll spot the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen, which sprawls across the other side of the lake and hosts a pop-up barbecue and gin bar in the summer. Park life Venture further into Hyde Park and you’ll find tennis courts, pony trekking and monuments galore. Every bit the perfect lakeside resort, you can dump kids in Buckhill Playground and waltz off to the Serpentine Gallery for some grown-up arts and crafts.

Local knowledge

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is an annual architectural marvel which pops up for summer. This year’s, from Spanish designers SelgasCano, looks fantastic in plastic - a psychedelic cocoon with secret corridors that’s out of this world. If you’re thinking of a staycation, then this one’s a real trip.

London phrasebook

You say: ‘Oh my, this water is rather chilly!’
We say: ‘Fuck me, it’s fucking freezing!’

By Phoebe Trimingham

Find more things to do in Hyde Park

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