London, Play

An ode to Hyde Park

IMG_0202_2I remember the first time I spent some time in Hyde Park, in the summer of 2004, shortly after I had moved to London. We used to lie in the long grass, thick clouds of smoke hanging over our heads. Parrots were squawking in the trees above us, leading me to briefly think I had smoked the wrong cigarettes that day.


A little later, I gave up smoking of all sorts but still remained fond of Hyde Park. I practically lived next door, leaving no excuse not to pound the pathways in a pair of trainers and a piece of more or less flattering lycra.


The Serpentine Gallery became a regular fixture on my weekend walks and it still is. It is bite-sized culture (you’ll be in and out in 20 minutes max), thus making it bearable even with kids in tow. Also, it’s for free. Each year in summer, different artists create the Serpentine pavilion, a spot of walk-in outdoor art that’s even more exciting to explore with children.

I love the little café within Kensington Palace – much more relaxed and down to earth than the admittedly beautiful but slightly stiffer affair that is the Orangerie. At the moment, Winter Wonderland is on at the Hyde Park Corner end of the park, offering sugar roasted almonds and mulled wine, if you make it that far.

Ahhhhh, Hyde Park I love you.


  1. Thanks for this lovely post, brought back so many memories of my time in Westbourne Grove then West Hampstead where most of my weekends were spent in Hyde Park and the Serpentine Gallery. Often head back when in the Big Smoke! Beautiful pictures too (made me laugh about the smoking!) x

  2. It is lovely, isn’t it?
    There are some lovely parks in South London too if you ever get the chance to come down here….the kids would love the children’s zoo at Battersea park, and Brockwell Park has a fab playground. x

  3. Your daughter is so sweet and loving her outfit – do that do that in a bigger size? I loved that park, we were there twice a day for five years with the kids, rain and shine, such a beautiful light. Cannot remember those rocks though, they must be new!

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