It makes sense to explore both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens at the same time when you are visiting London, given their extremely close proximity to one another. In fact, if you aren’t familiar with the layout of London; Kensington Gardens is situated inside Hyde Park and the two are often referred to interchangeably.
Both Parks have a lot to offer visitors so whether you would like to spend some time exploring both or you simply want to pick and choose, here are some of the thing you can discover at Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens:
The Serpentine Lake
The Serpentine winds its way through the heart of Hyde Park and very neatly defines which side is referred to as Hyde Park (the right) and which side Kensington Gardens (the left). It is possible to hire row boats and pedalos on the Serpentine and there is also a Solarshuttle, the first in the UK, which cruises up and down the water. Next to the lake itself you will find a lido and a pool for younger children which is open between the months of June-September and is filled with water from the lake.
Sunday morning is the time to head to Speaker’s Corner; pretty easy if you have booked to stay in accommodation near the park such as the Shaftesbury Hyde Park Hotel. This is when the majority of people gather to either take their opportunity to speak or to observe (and sometimes heckle) those who are brave enough to do so. Anyone is able to get up and speak as long as they don’t incite anything illegal.
These galleries offer free entry and are some of the most popular in London. They showcase contemporary art and regularly changing installations.
Probably one of the main attractions in these two parks, Kensington Palace is the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge but it is possible to go inside and look around. There are exhibitions on the early life of Queen Victoria, dresses which belonged to HM The Queen and the late Princess Diana and plenty more besides. If you have booked Hyde Park International accommodation then head here early to beat the crowds.
These formal gardens are set within Kensington Gardens and are thought to have been created as a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria. They offer a lovely tranquil space to retreat and take in the seasonal flower beds, herbaceous borders and the marble fountains.
Memorials and Statues
Between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens there are over 30 statues and memorials dotted around waiting to be explored and discovered. You can find memorials commemorating animals lost in the world wars, a bronze statue of King William III, a Peter Pan statue and plenty more.
The ultimate children’s playground is located in Kensington Gardens and features a giant wooden pirate ship surrounded by play sand. The Princess Diana Memorial Playground is an absolute dream for children and also features sensory trails.
Hope you enjoy your visit of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens next time you are in London!