Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens
- Type: Parks and Gardens
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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Once the recreational stomping grounds for King Henry VIII, this long swath of green stretching from Kensington Palace in the west to Oxford Street in the east is now a must-see for London visitors. Among Hyde Park's meandering foot- and bike-paths and flourishing flora and fauna, you'll find a few standout attractions that cannot be missed. Swim in the Serpentine Lido, watch the swans and boats glide over the lake (or rent a vessel yourself), and stroll along the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. Also, don't miss the Diana Memorial Fountain. The fountain comprises a large Cornish granite ring with water bubbling through it meant to represent Diana's life. Visitors are welcome to dip their toes in the flowing water.
If you continue on the memorial walk you'll likely pass through Kensington Gardens where you'll find the ornate Albert Memorial, the Italian Gardens, and the Diana Memorial Playground. Hyde Park is free to all visitors and is open year round from 5 a.m. to midnight, while Kensington Gardens opens at 6 a.m. daily. The tube stations that surround Hyde Park are Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch, Hyde Park, and Knightsbridge. To find out more about seasonal events and other parks around London, visit the Royal Parks website.