When you think of London, one of the first places that will come to mind is likely to be Hyde Park. Located in the heart of the city, the famous greenery has provided a peaceful escape from the busy streets for hundreds of years.
There are plenty of secrets to uncover as you stroll through the grounds and our Hyde Park boutique hotel London is the perfect place to start your adventure. There’s a lot of history behind the park that many visitors are unaware of. Here are some interesting facts to get you excited about your trip to the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International.
Not many people will know this, but Hyde Park hasn’t always been a park. In fact, it was originally used as a hunting ground for King Henry VIII who purchased the land so he and his lords would have somewhere to practice their hunting skills. The grounds were forcibly acquired in 1536 from the monks of Westminster Abbey when the Church of England was developed. It wasn’t until 1637 that it became a park when King Charles I opened it to the public.
Like a number of the waterways in London, the Serpentine Lake is man-made and was not a naturally occurring water source. It was Queen Caroline who ordered the construction of Hyde Park’s famous lake in 1830. For centuries it has been used by locals as a place of leisure. Over the years it has been used for boating, fishing and even swimming. Today it provides photographers with a beautiful photo opportunity. So be sure to bring your camera along to the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International.
You may not be aware of this but Hyde Park has also been used as a resting place for beloved pets through the years. The very first resident was a terrier named Cherry who died in 1881. The dog’s owner was friends with the lodge-keeper who gave permission for Cherry to be buried on the grounds. As the news spread, more people began to bury their pets and Hyde Park is now home to over 300 pet graves. The cemetery is no longer open to the public but tours occasionally take place.
Peter Pan Cup
Many people might not like the idea of swimming in the icy cold waters of the Serpentine Lake on Christmas Day but for the members of the local swimming club, it has been a long-standing tradition. Named after JM Barrie’s famous green-clad adventurer, the Peter Pan Cup offers a prize to the winner of the race and an entertaining show for anyone who feels like spectating.
There is a historic track known as Rotton Row which runs through Hyde Park connecting Hyde Park Corner and the Serpentine. Although it has been there since the 17th century, not many people are aware that it was the first place in Britain to have street lighting. King William III saw fit to install over 300 gas lanterns along the path as it was a regular route for him.
What is Hyde Park famous for?
It is famous for it’s speaker’s corner. Also, its one of the largest parks in central London and one of the royal parks of London.
When was Hyde Park opened to the public?
The park was opened for general public in 1637. Charles 1 changed the nature of the park totally.
Is Hyde Park London Free?
Yes, park is free to enter from 5 a.m till mid-night every day.