A vast patch of green in central London, Hyde Park originally served as a hunting ground for Henry VIII. Though the land is still owned by the British Crown, the 358-acre (145-hectare) space is open to the public, hosting picnickers, boaters, joggers, and cyclists, as well as seasonal events, from rock concerts to Christmas festivals.
Hyde Park is one of London’s most popular open-air hangouts, a much-frequented escape from the busy city streets. Parkgoers can explore independently, boating on the Serpentine lake, listening to people air their views at Speakers’ Corner, and viewing the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.
Many hop-on hop-off bus tours of London stop in the vicinity of Hyde Park, while some bike tours follow paths through the park. Some royal-themed tours of London pass through en route to Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace. Seasonal Christmas-lights tours often incorporate a visit to the park, which plays host to the annual Winter Wonderland event during the festive season.
Things to Know Before You Go
Hyde Park is a must for tired sightseers who need a break from the urban bustle.
Paths in the park are accessible to wheelchair users, and wheelchair-accessible toilets can also be found within the park.
The park hosts a restaurant, café, and several refreshment kiosks.
How to Get There
Parking can be both scarce and expensive in central London, so it’s best to go by public transport. Lancaster Gate (Central line), Marble Arch (Central line), Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line), and Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line) Tube stations are all within walking distance of the park.
When to Get There
Summer is the best time to visit, when open-air activities from film screenings to concerts take place. Mondays–Thursdays are typically quieter than weekends, and winter is usually quieter than summer, though the annual Winter Wonderland festival brings out big crowds during the lead-up to Christmas.
London’s Royal Parks
Hyde Park is one of eight Royal Parks in the British capital. Neighboring Royal Parks include Kensington Gardens, St. James’s Park, and Green Park, all of which are located in central London. Kensington Palace in Kensington Gardens and the resident pelicans of St. James’s Park are Royal Parks highlights. Green Park is known for its mature trees and an abundance of daffodils, which bloom in spring.