Discovering London's Hyde Park

A wide avenue in Hyde Park

If you're feeling slightly overwhelmed by London's museums, iconic landmarks, or the overall rush of the city, then head on over to magnificent Hyde Park, where you can easily spend a half day or more leisurely exploring and taking in the greenery. 

People strolling through Hyde Park

In a city made up of hundreds of grey tones, it's invigorating to spend time in the main green lung.

Hyde Park is the largest of the four Royal Parks in central London. You'll find the park not only contains countless walking and biking paths framed by magnificent old trees, but also Kensington Palace, one of many British Royal Family residences, the giant Serpentine, a lake home to swans and other water fowl, and Speaker's Corner, which has long been used as a place for free speech and debate since the 1870s. 

Hyde Park signpost

But what you choose to see and do in Hyde Park is entirely up to you. Whether you want to learn more about the Royals with a tour through Kensington Palace or if you simply want to people-watch from a bench along one of the wide avenues crisscrossing the park, there are plenty of things to do.

A bike path in Hyde Park

You can rent a bike and spend the day pedaling all over Hyde Park, making stops wherever you choose. 

Or you could pack some snacks from the grocery store and have a picnic on one of the large, open lawns or in one of the neatly manicured gardens.  

Kensington Palace

You could visit Kensington Palace, and learn more about the former and present home of notable Royals such as Queen Anne, Princess Diana, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka William & Kate), and Prince Harry.  

Kensington Palace
Kensington Gardens

Before or after your visit, you could stop for some typical English breakfast or lunch at The Orangery, the only royal palace in London where you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea.

The Orangery

Afterwards, you can explore the exquisitely maintained gardens surrounding the palace, including the beautiful Sunken Garden, which was planted in 1908.

The Sunken Gardens and The Orangery
Bench in Kensington Gardens

You can find a quiet spot under one of the ivy-covered walkways and settle into a good book.

Or you could snag a seat in the outdoor Kensington Palace visitor cafe and refresh with a cappuccino.

Visitor Cafe at Kensington Palace
Statue of Queen Victoria and Kensington Palace

You can stroll around the Round Pond, admire the swans gliding on the lake and the statues around it, including the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and the one shown above of Queen Victoria.

Girl running in Hyde Park
Swan on Round Pond

You could feed the birds if you really wanted to (just mind your head as they fly above!).

People feeding birds in Hyde Park

You can use Hyde Park as a way of crossing the city (which is what I did). It's such a large green space that you can enter on one side, exit the other, and be in a completely different neighborhood of London. It's the perfect short cut.

People walking in Hyde Park
Lamppost in Hyde Park
Wide avenue in Hyde Park

Or you can walk aimlessly at your own pace, stopping at little food shacks or coffee huts along the way.

Woman walking her dog in Hyde Park

Regardless of what you choose to do, Hyde Park is one of the best green spaces in the city (perhaps even one of the best among the great city parks of the world) and deserves a little piece of your time during your next trip to London.


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Whether you want to learn more about the Royals with a tour through Kensington Palace or if you simply want to people-watch from a bench along one of the wide avenues crisscrossing the park, there are plenty of things to do in London's Hyde Park.