IT’S not surprising that a visit to London’s most central and famous park is in the Timeout London Top 100 at number 53. Even though there are plenty of commons, parks and heaths near where I live I often find myself making the trip into the city to visit the sprawling greenery of Hyde Park.
Of course, I’m not the only one. Londoners and tourists alike while away their days wandering through the footpaths, watching people standing on their soapbox on speakers’ corner, visiting the Diana Memorial Fountain, or even picnicking in the rare London sun.
Some of the best times I’ve ever spent in Hyde Park have been for some of the major events in the last few years. I stood amongst about 100,000 other people as we drank champagne and waved our Union Jack flags to celebrate the marriage of Kate and Wills. And again this year I headed to the Park to pop the champagne and watch the Jubilee Celebrations on a big screen. Armed with picnic blankets, nibblies, and of course our Union Jack flags, we felt part of one of the biggest parties London has ever seen. The atmosphere when Londoners get together to celebrate is second to none and these two events have been two of my favourite days in my time here.
It’s not just Royal Family business that draws me to Hyde Park. This summer I attended a mud pit of a music festival when I went to Wireless. As I walked through the slush in my Wellies it was hard to imagine that the scene of muddy devastation, litter and soundstage debris was really my beloved Hyde Park. Although the bonus of this festival was that it was a short ride home to a hot shower and a bed, unlike most other summer festivals where I have had to head back to a tent in a field.
Hyde Park also comes alive in the winter with its Winter Wonderland. It is hard not to feel festive as you wander through the Christmas markets drinking mulled wine, or visit the restaurants that serve up three course Christmas dinners. With ice skating, sideshows, roller coasters and Ferris wheels temporarily making Hyde Park their home, it’s the perfect afternoon or evening for helping you to get in the Christmas spirit.
I could go on forever about what you can do in Hyde Park, and I probably wouldn’t even scratch the surface of what it’s got to offer. I’m sure that there will be many more visits and more to discover in this thriving hub, right in the middle of the city.