Discover a different side to London in Hyde Park

Friday, 12 August 2011 9:53 AM

If you're eager to escape the confines of the office, you need not have a long holiday to somewhere hot and sunny lined up to do so. Indeed, London is awash with amazing attractions - and no matter how many times you have been, there is always something new to discover.

For example, a trip to Hyde Park is a great way to see a new side to the capital, as well as gain an insight into its unique culture and heritage.

And by seeking out hotels in London online, you might find you're able to visit the city for less than you might have thought - and therefore have even more to splash out on treating yourself!

Among your choices is the Thistle Marble Arch, which could be a particularly attractive option to those hoping to spend as much time as possible soaking up the sights of the park.

Indeed, by opting for hotels in the West End, you can stay close to this lovely attraction, as well as being near to plenty of other key London sights and shopping districts.

Widely regarded as one of the finest historical landscapes to be found in the city, Hyde Park is a great location for all kinds of holidaymakers to visit. Spanning 350 acres, this vast green space provides a sharp contrast to the capital's famously busy streets - and it's even easy to forget you're in the middle of London when you're here.

But it isn't just its fabulous scenery that makes this park so special. Indeed, the history of the site as we know it today dates all the way back to the 16th century, when Henry VIII acquired it from Westminster monks.

Since this time, it's seen some marked changes, including the construction of its well-known Lake Serpentine and the creation of Kensington Gardens.

So, simply by ambling through the park you'll be taking in a rich slice of the city's history. However, there are plenty of sites within the attraction's boundaries that will give you even greater insight into local culture both recent and more historic.

For example, you could head over to Speaker's Corner - a spot that since 1872 has legally allowed people to address the public on any subject of their choosing. Indeed, the only constraint on speech here is that no obscene language can be used.

There are also several memorials you can visit that mark the passing of national figures and the victims of atrocities. The 7 July Memorial, which consists of 52 stainless steel pillars, is one these.

Commemorating the lives of those who died in the London bombings on July 7th 2005, this memorial is a poignant site to visit during your exploration of Hyde Park.

The Diana Memorial Fountain can also be found here. Opened by the Queen in 2004, this tribute is said to reflect the Princess Diana's personality. While you can simply watch the flow of the water, you're also able to perch on the side and dip your feet in the rushing water.

Meanwhile, the park plays host to various events throughout the year. Among these are the royal gun salutes, which take place on special imperial occasions, such as the Queen's birthday and Coronation Day. If you're particularly keen to see some heritage in action, you might want to time your visit to coincide with one of these.

Of course, you can simply relax on the grass with a good book and watch the world go. Indeed, the way you enjoy this beautiful park is entirely up to you.

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