Natural Splendour: Why Hyde Park Is A Venue You Must Visit

Hyde Park London
Aerial View of Hyde Park

Any regular visitor to the UK capital surely knows there are few spots in the city likely to deliver an experience that’s as refreshing, engaging, enjoyable and, frankly, satisfying to all the senses as taking a quiet, peaceful stroll through Hyde Park. Located right in the heart of London, this enormous – and, yes, glorious green – Royal park is ideally situated for guests staying at any of the Shaftesbury Hotels, so (should they decide to step inside) what should they look out for in this oasis of natural beauty…?

Serpentine Gallery

Serpentine Gallery london

Located just across the Serpentine Lake in Kensington Gardens, the original – and worldwide renowned Serpentine Gallery – opened in 1970 and features sublime British and international contemporary artwork and plays host to exhibitions, throughout the year; not least a highly popular one each summer that’s housed in a temporary pavilion (constructed by a different, leading architect each year), the launch of which is a red-letter-date on the London social calendar. Plus, don’t forget too there’s the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, which is located just a few metres away – a short five-minute-walk away to be precise – an additional modern art space that opened in 2013.

The LookOut

Not every nook and cranny of the otherwise extremely accessible Hyde Park is open to the public to simply roam about in as it wishes. A good example is the thoroughly rustic acre-sized enclosure right in the heart of the park that’s home to The LookOut. An eco-friendly building purpose-built event space that enables members of the public, during booked sessions and the such like – to learn about the natural world and take part in different, worthwhile activities, it’s a real jewel in Hyde Park’s crown.

Comprising both an indoor space and marvellously maintained gardens, The LookOut is a venue that can be used all year round (so it’s non-weather-reliant) and is also fully compliant for those with disabilities (with wide paths, suitable toilets and a sensory room). Moreover, owing to its gorgeous surroundings – all wooden terraces, natural sculptures and ecological ponds – the centre makes for the perfect space for a social gathering; so, if you’re looking for outdoors venue for a spring or summer party during your stay in the capital (no doubt at one of the hotels near Hyde Park), this may well prove a fantastic fit.

Diana Memorial Fountain

Diana Memorial Fountain

A unique, undoubtedly beguiling, arguably spellbinding memorial to the much-loved, late Diana, Princess of Wales (former wife of the Prince of Wales, and mother, of course, to the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex), this fountain has become a favourite of visitors to London from every corner of the globe, since its opening by The Queen back in 2004.

How to reach to Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

Comprising a grand total of 545 different pieces of Cornish granite (surely one of the surprising facts about Hyde Park?) and created and built via state-of-the-art techniques, its dynamic yet soothing design rather beautifully calls on motion and the flow of water to move visitors and, naturally, to reflect Diana’s own life; cascading from the top of the fountain, water moves in two separate directions – swirling and bubbling away, as it does so – before meeting and calmly coming to rest in bottom pool.

A large structure, the memorial is specifically designed so it can be experienced from different vantage points and this is possible thanks to inclusion of three bridges across it at various points, drawing visitors to the heart of the fountain itself. Please note, however, that at times of extreme weather conditions (which is, for instance, possible now and then at this wintry time of the year), public access to the memorial may not be possible.

Other memorials, statues and sculptures in the part you might want to check out include the 7 July Memorial, the Joy of Life Fountain, the Holocaust Memorial, The Reformers’ Tree and Apsley Gate.