Hyde Park provides an oasis of greenery in the heart of London, complete with deckchairs, water features, darling ice cream trucks and cafes. It’s also huge, and without an idea of where you’re going, you could end up a bit lost. Before you go, it would be wise to get the lay of the land and work out a plan. To help with that, Webjet has rounded up some of the best places to picnic in Hyde Park London ahead, plus a couple in neighbouring Kensington Gardens. Just BYO picnic rug.
Rendezvous in the Rose Garden
If picnicking in an English rose garden doesn’t sound idyllic, then we don’t know what does – just add Pimms. This pretty part of Hyde Park is situated on the southeast side and includes a pergola and several 19th-century fountains. It is also nearby the tree-lined Rotten Row, which was once a popular horse-riding track for upper-class Britons. Stay and smell the roses, or get out and explore these surrounds.
Get there: Via White Horse Gate
Lounge by the Serpentine Boathouse
The Serpentine is a lake that runs through the centre of Hyde Park. Beyond the Serpentine Bridge, this lake becomes The Long Water, which culminates in The Fountains of the Italian Gardens (see more on this historic attraction below). All of these waterside areas are top places to picnic, but the space adjoining the Serpentine Boathouse would have to be one of the best for its additional offering of activities. If you fancy a romantic paddle, between March and October, pick up a rowboat and float atop the Serpentine for a novel way to catch some rays. There is deckchair hire available in this part of the park, too, which is a sprawling expanse perfect for throwing down a rug. Arrive here along Serpentine Road from Hyde Park Corner, stopping at the Rose Garden on the way.
Get there: Via Queen Elizabeth Gates
Cool Off in the Serpentine Lido
On the opposite side of the Serpentine from the boathouse is the Lido swimming area, where you can freestyle alongside the swans. This natural pool is open to the public from May through August. But the Serpentine Swimming Club, which is the oldest in Britain, races here every Saturday during the year, regardless of the weather. The Serpentine Lido has a sunny terrace to hang out on, a paddling pool for the kids, and an accompanying cafe and bar to satisfy your post-swim appetite or to indulge in a poolside wine. Entry to this swimming area costs between $2 and $9 AUD per person, and you can rent a sunlounger for about $6 AUD a day.
Get there: Via Alexandra Gate
People Watch at the Speakers’ Corner
If you’d prefer your Hyde Park outing plus some entertainment, then a Sunday session at the Speakers’ Corner is for you. The Parade Ground behind the Speakers’ Corner offers deckchair hire and plenty of open space to play, so it’s also one of the best places to picnic in London. On the northeastern edge of the park, near the Marble Arch, this free-speech-promoting patch has seen such notable orators as Karl Marx and George Orwell take a stand. Politics, religion, performance, and debate – if you’re not shy of a lively discussion, you’ll love this experience.
Get there: Via Cumberland Gate
Sit Pretty at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain
This circular ‘fountain’, which is more like a gently cascading stream, is one of the most impressive structures in Hyde Park and not be missed from your must-see list. The Memorial Fountain allows people to sit in or around it, with the intention of this design being to reflect the Princess’ warm and welcoming nature. Alongside several restaurants and cafes, this is an excellent place to come if you’d prefer buying a bite to eat over bringing a picnic. It’s also near the Serpentine Lido swimming area if you feel like going for a dip.
Get there: Via Alexandra Gate
Bring the Kids to Buckhill
If you have little ones, take them to The Buckhill Playground, where they can run wild on the slides and swings while you enjoy the peaceful gardens. While in this area, you also have the option to follow the Buckhill Walk to The Allotment, which has a hen house that children will love, too.
Get there: Via Westbourne Gate
Have a Soiree by the Italian Gardens
This north side of Kensington Gardens is around 10 minutes’ walk from Paddington and a leisurely 15-minute stroll from the Kensington Palace. While you can’t picnic within the 150-year-old ornamental water gardens, with its elaborate fountains, sculptures and pavilions, you can wander through and then enjoy the view from the grass nearby. This heritage site might also be recognisable as the location from several films, including the second Bridget Jones movie.
Get there: Via Marlborough Gate
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