Right across from our hotel, The Metropolitan, was the entrance to Hyde Park. Hyde Park reminds me of Central Park in NYC. Here, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of busy London, sits this oasis of peace and tranquility. Once you walk through these gates, your cares leave you, and you can just relax and take in all of the beauty.
Henry VIII acquired the park from the monks of Westminster Abby in 1536. At that time, it was private property of the king. James I opened it to limited public use. But it was Charles I who opened it to the public to enjoy in 1637. He added the ring section at that time. Today, the park is run by the Royal Park Service.
Once inside, you can roam the 350 areas at your leisure. There are walking paths all over the place. We were here in the fall, and the beauty of the autumn trees abounded in this place of beauty. I can just imagine how this places bursts from the dozens of colors in the flowers found all over in the spring. There are a number of beautiful statutes and fountains all over the place. There is a beautiful lake not too far from the entrance. Here, you get a wonderful view of London, and you will find an abundance of waterfowl that make this their home. There is an incredible marbled, arched entrance. There are plenty of places to sit and reflect. Or just stretch out in the grass and let your mind wonder for a while.
Here you can try rollerblading, rowing, bird-watching, bike riding, and horseback riding. They offer a playground and educational center for children, they do offer restrooms, and there are several places to grab a bite on the grounds. In the summer, there are a number of concerts on the green.
The memory of the late Princess Diana still lingers on here. There is a Princess Diana memorial walkway and a memorial fountain. This park was one of her favorite places to visit. When she was taken too soon from us in 1997, many people gathered here in her honor. This place was seen countless times in the weeks that followed, filled with many mourners remembering their princess.
When in London, you should take the time to visit. It is truly a beautiful place, and a place to escape and unwind for a while. There is no entrance fee to get in. The park is open from 5am to midnight year-round. There are several Tube stops, but the closest is Hyde Park. You can visit them on the web for more information at www.royalparks.gov.uk.