Millions of people head to the UK’s capital every day to see the amazing sights and historic attractions. One of the favourite things for tourists is to visit some of the beautiful Royal Parks that are located in and around London’s boroughs. There are a number of gorgeous green getaways throughout the city, but there’s one that’s more famous than any other.
Hyde Park has been drawing in tourists for years thanks to its central location and historic value. Our hotel near Lancaster Gate is located right next to Hyde Park and we’re quite familiar with it, so we thought we’d share the amazing history of this famous greenery with you.
The huge span of green landscape covers a 350 acre-wide area of central London. Hyde Park officially began its life as a getaway for the Christian monks of Westminster Abbey. Henry VIII acquired it from the church in 1536 and used it as a private hunting ground for him and his noblemen.
Back then the luscious forests were home to all kinds of wildlife including roaming deer. When Charles I came to power he opened Hyde Park up to the general public and built what was called The Ring, a pathway for people to ride their horses along. The park was reconditioned in the 1730s by Queen Caroline, who oversaw the construction of the beautiful Serpentine Lake.
Over the centuries there have been countless additions and refurbishments made to the iconic park. The Grand Entrance was built in the 1800s by Decimus Burton, who designed the epic archways that still lead visitors onto the grounds today. The Princess of Wales’ memorial fountain, which runs along the Serpentine Lake, was opened in 2004 as a tribute to the late Princess Diana.
Speakers Corner in the north-east section of Hyde Park can be visited easily from your hotel near Lancaster Gate and was set up as a celebration of democracy and free speech, with the intent of giving anyone and everyone a platform to speak publicly and share their thoughts and ideas. This was established after a violent series of marches by the Reform League, who rebelled against the government in 1866, in favour of manhood suffrage.
Hyde Park has been the setting of countless historical events and celebratory occasions throughout history. It was where the end of the Napoleonic War was marked with fireworks, an event organised by the Prince Regent in 1814. The park was also used as a gateway for scared Londoners trying to escape the Great Plague by camping in tents away from the busy city streets.
In more recent years Hyde Park has become a hotspot for tourists and visitors to spend an afternoon in the sun with friends and family. The many pathways and hidden areas of the park provide a perfect green getaway for those looking to escape the busy city streets. The Serpentine Lido was built in 1930 as a public venue for relaxation and socialising. It is still used today as recreational centre for swimming and sunbathing.