Hyde Park Corner is an area in leafy west London where six major roads converge – a roundabout sandwiched between Hyde Park, Green Park and Buckingham Palace Gardens. It is the junction of Park Lane from the north, Piccadilly from the north-east, Constitution Hill from the south-east, Grosvenor Place from the south, Grosvenor Crescent from the south-west and Knightsbridge from the west.
The junction is characterised by a number of notable monuments to historical figures and famous events. These include the Wellington Memorial, Wellington Arch, Machine Gun Corp Memorial, Bomber Command Memorial, Australian War Memorial, New Zealand War Memorial and Memorial Gates. The presence of these monuments means Hyde Park Corner is a place of pilgrimage for many people on their visit to London, whether to pay their respects or enjoy the fine architecture.
Apsley House at Hyde Park Corner
To the immediate north of Hyde Park Corner stands Apsley House which was the London home of the first Duke of Wellington, who became prime minister in 1828. The townhouse, known as ‘Number One, London’, is a Grade I-listed building now run by English Heritage. It was built between 1771 and 1778 on the site of an old lodge that belonged to the Crown.
Although the building is still the part-time residence of the 9th Duke of Wellington, it is also open to the public as a museum and art gallery. As well as fine sculpture, furniture and porcelain, Apsley House is home to a supreme selection of paintings from the Spanish royal collection. The building is considered to be one of the best-preserved aristocratic townhouses from its period, with the original style and decor retained to this day.
The Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner
On the centre of the traffic island stands the Wellington Arch – or Constitution Arch – which commemorates the 1st Duke and Britain’s victories in the Napoleonic Wars. Designed by Decimus Burton, it was built between 1826 and 1830 as a grand entry gate for Green Park. Traffic congestion at Hyde Park Corner meant the arch was later moved to a new location at Constitution Hill, where it stands today.
The arch, which uses the Corinthian order, has a single opening. Design features include an elegant entablature, a row of lions’ heads on the cymatium – marking the centres of each column – and a number of warrior statues. The sculpture of an ancient four-horse chariot, which was part of the original design, was not added to the Wellington Arch until 1912.
Who was Decimus Burton?
Decimus Burton (1800-1881), who designed the Wellington Arch, was one of Britain’s most prolific architects during the 19th century. Having enjoyed the tutelage of John Nash early in his career, he embarked on a series of major design projects, including buildings at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and London Zoo. Burton was heavily involved in the layout and architecture for the seaside towns of Fleetwood and St Leonards-on-Sea, as well as the Kent spa town Tunbridge Wells.
In 1825, Burton was commissioned by the Office of Woods and Forests to undertake work within Hyde Park, for which is he is perhaps best known. Burton set about designing paths, driveways and lodges as well as the Wellington Arch and Ionic Screen which stand at Hyde Park Corner.
Getting to Hyde Park Corner by Tube
Hyde Park Corner has its own station on the London Underground network. Hyde Park Corner Tube Station is located in Travelcard Zone 1 on the Piccadilly Line, sandwiched between Knightsbridge and Green Park. The station is notable for being one of the few on the Tube network which has no associated buildings above ground – it is fully underground.
Staying at the Park Grand London Hyde Park
Address: 78-82 Westbourne Terrace, London W2 6QA
For visitors seeking high-quality hotel accommodation close to Hyde Park Corner, the Park Grand London Hyde Park represents an excellent option. Situated close to Paddington Station and Paddington Underground (six-minute walk), the hotel is an ideal base for visitors looking to explore the West End and other parts of the capital. Paddington has connections to the Bakerloo, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, meaning guests staying at the Park Grand London Hyde Park can easily navigate London via public transport.
Car parking at Hyde Park Corner
The closest car parks to Hyde Park Corner are as follows:
- The Mayfair Car Park, Achilles Way, Park Lane, W1K 1AB
- Q-Park Park Lane, Park Lane, W1K 7TY
- Q-Park Knightsbridge, Kinnerton St, SW1X 8EA
Shopping near to Hyde Park Corner
There are a variety of options for luxury shopping close to Hyde Park Corner. The junction is just 0.9 miles away from Harrods, the famous high-end department store, and other retail outlets in the upmarket Knightsbridge area. Heading west, in the opposite direction, it is just a short walk to the Mayfair and Park Lane districts. Further along Piccadilly, north of Piccadilly Circus, the famous stores on Bond Street and Regent Street – including toy shop Hamleys – are easily accessible.