The insider’s guide to Hyde Park

Mar 04,2016

Just a five-minute walk from Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge, Hyde Park is an oasis of green in one of the world's busiest cities. Once you've ticked off the essential London attractions and braved the crowds at Harrods, Hyde Park is a great place to relax and unwind towards the end of your trip. Pop on some comfortable walking shoes to wander the park and take in all the sights, including a mandatory stop for high tea and an afternoon Pimm’s at the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat on the Serpentine

Photo by Garry Knight / CC BY 2.0

There is no better way to see Hyde Park than from an iconic blue pedalo, gliding across the Serpentine Lake. The park has a fleet of row and pedal boats that are available for hire by the hour during the summer months. Each boat holds up to six people, making it a great activity for the whole family. Those who prefer a more laid-back option can take a ride on the Solarshuttle, a 40-person vessel powered by the sun, which cruises silently across the lake.

Lounge on the Green

Photo by Fiona Shaw / CC BY-ND 2.0

If you've had enough of sightseeing and hectic activities, Hyde Park is a wonderful spot to simply relax on the grass with a good book or a copy of the local paper. For a couple of pounds you can hire one of the classic white and green striped deck chairs and create your own little oasis on the green. The lawn is also great place for a picnic lunch, which you can pick up from any of the snack stands dotted about the park.

Stop by Kensington Palace to See Will and Kate

Photo by a200/a77Wells / CC BY 2.0

Kensington Palace is a working royal residence containing the offices and apartments of numerous royals including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Although you can’t enter the royal apartments currently in use, historical parts of the palace are open to the public. Visitors can explore Queen Mary II’s gilded state apartments, discover the life of Queen Victoria through an exhibition of personal items and wander the King’s Gallery containing valuable paintings from the royal collection. Entry to the Palace is £16.50 GBP ($24 USD) for adults and free for children under 16. It is worthwhile buying tickets online before your visit to avail of discounts and specials.

Pinkies Out for High Tea at The Orangery

Photo by Jörg Bittner Unna / CC BY-SA 3.0

A trip to London would not be complete without indulging in a traditional English high tea and what better place than the royal residence. Located in Kensington Gardens, The Orangery was formerly the setting for Queen Anne’s elaborate court entertainment. The soaring ceilings and grand 18th century architecture offer the perfect ambience for cucumber sandwiches and scones served with Cornish clotted cream.

Must-see Modern Art at the Serpentine Galleries

The Serpentine Galleries are a virtual revolving door of work from exciting newcomers and some of the world’s most influential contemporary artists and architects. Sculptural installations from Simon Denny, video works by Rachel Rose and performance art by Marina Abramović are just a few of the fascinating exhibitions that have been hosted here. You won’t find any gilt-framed stuffy works in these galleries. If you are visiting during the summer, make sure to attend the popular Park Nights event, an annual series of performance, music, film and literature. The Serpentine Galleries are open Tuesday to Sunday and admission is free.

Hyde Park plays host to an ongoing parade of events, including concerts, outdoor film screenings and the famous Winter Wonderland. Check out what is happening before you travel and book a nearby hotel so you are just a few minutes' walk away from London's favourite patch of green.


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