[dropcap size=big]S[/dropcap]et in one of the world’s greatest capital cities, London’s Hyde Park is an oasis of green in an otherwise urban jungle of concrete streets and skyscrapers.
Covering 350 acres of Central London, the park is a haven of over 4,000 trees, decorative flower gardens, a large lake, and large swathes of meadow intersected by pathways which connect Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, and the Bayswater Road.
With something for everyone, this public space offers swimming, boating, cycling, and skating. There are facilities for team games, tennis, horse riding, and of course a vibrant children’s playground. A schedule of live events adds additional possibilities for those who live in London, and for the millions of tourists that visit each year.
Whether you’re staying close by in one of the luxurious hotels that overlook Hyde Park (like the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International), or you’re visiting from out of town, there’s plenty of opportunity to escape the rat race and find adventure in this Central London park.
SAIL ON THE SERPENTINE LAKE
During the summer months (April through October) pedal and rowing boats are available for hire and offer a pleasant afternoon on the water to anyone looking to escape the rat race. Those for whom pedalling and rowing sound far too much like hard work can glide gracefully over the water on the Solarshuttle; carrying 40 passengers this solar powered vessel is a new addition to the park.
HACK OUT FROM HYDE PARK STABLES
With a specialist arena for riding, and two routes (north and south) Hyde Park Stables offer a unique horse riding experience to those with a aptitude for equine adventure. Take in iconic London sights such as Marble Arch, the Household Cavalry Barracks, and the Queen Elizabeth Gate on horseback; a unique way to tour the city I’m sure you’ll agree.
SWIM WITH SERPENTINE SWIMMING CLUB
With records indicating that the Serpentine Swimming Club’s first organised event was the Christmas Day Race in 1864, there’s a rich history supporting the club which remains in operation today.
With year round meets on a Sunday morning (6:00am – 9:30am), and the opportunity to enter competitions across the globe, locals with a penchant for swimming should consider joining the club.
Visitors can swim in the Serpentine’s Lido and its adjacent paddling area from May through September.
JOG ALONG THE PATHWAYS THAT WEND THEIR WAY AROUND HYDE PARK
If you’re staying close by, incorporate a daily jog around Hyde Park into your morning routine. Hit the streets before breakfast and pound the paved routes that wind their way around the many sights within the park.
The perfect opportunity for reflection after a day of sightseeing, running through the park as the rush hour comes to an end offers a unique way to watch the world go by.
SOAK IN THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF HYDE PARK
If you’re in the mood for a slow paced adventure, grab your camera and follow the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk route that takes you seven miles through Hyde Park and into the city to take you within sight of the famous buildings and locations associated with the Princess during her life.
Charted by 90 plaques set into the ground the route almost circumnavigates Hyde Park and encompasses St James Park, and Green Park, offering the opportunity to immerse yourself in the flora and fauna found in these Central London green spaces.
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Have you spent time exploring Hyde Park? What activities would you recommend?