The Royal Parks of London provide a place to relax within a busy city where everyone seems to be rushing to their destinations. Hyde Park is One of those, it is a place to sit, relax, but over the years, it has hosted a number of special events.
Hyde Park was the creation by Henry VIII for hunting back in 1536. Some Hyde Park concerts have been huge, audiences in the tens of thousands which at times have left local residents less than impressed. In 2012 Bruce Springsteen played for three hours, well beyond his original scheduled time and the curfew time of 10.30am resulting in microphones being switched off; that’s what adrenaline can do to performers.
Hyde Park is centrally located in London, just to the west of the heart of the City. There are five tube stations, two on the Piccadilly Line and three on the Central at the different entrances; it makes the Park easily accessible from all parts of the city. Hyde Park Corner is well known to drivers negotiating the busy traffic, but once you step inside the Park’s Gates you can start to forget how crowded it is outside.
The Park is open all year round, from 5am until midnight. It became a focal point for demonstrations while Speakers’ Corner is somewhere where everyone can have their say on any subject whatever, hoping for an audience of passers-by finding the speech interesting. Karl Marx attended a protest of 200,000 in the mid-19th Century against a ban on Sunday trading so protest and demonstration is nothing new to the Park.
Things to Do in Hyde Park
There is much more to Hyde Park than the greenery. It was decided to incorporate it within the ‘’orbit’’ of Buckingham Palace with the result that there is much for visitors to see:
• The Grand Entrance at Hyde Park Corner
• The Wellington Arch
• The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial
• The Holocaust Memorial
• The 7 July, Memorial for those who died in the July 2005 bombings in London.
Every attempt is made to involve children and broaden their appreciation for nature. It is something that the Royal Parks Foundation has taken on board the Royal Parks as a whole.
The Seasons in Hyde Park
London does not get a great deal of snow, and when it snows the heat generated underground soon melts it. However, it does not heat the Serpentine where swimmers enjoy the water right round the year. Since 2007, Hyde Park has hosted the annual Winter Wonderland event which aims to raise money for the Royal Parks Foundation and other charities. There are many rides for families to enjoy, a large ice rink, circus and the observation wheel providing great views of the City.
Hyde Park was also the setting for the 2012 Olympic triathlon event where Britain won gold and bronze with the Brownlee brothers. The crowds that watched the end of the event in the heart of London were well and truly rewarded by the efforts of these Yorkshire brothers.
In many ways, in the Hyde Park autumn is a really great time to enjoy the surroundings. The leaves are falling from the trees; green is replaced by yellow, orange and brown. Winter follows, then the new growth in the spring marks the end of weeks of limited daylight.
Just as Central Park in New York provides a chance for city dwellers and visitors to get away from the crowds, the Royal Parks of London, and Hyde Park is central in this, offer the same opportunity for locals and visitors alike.