Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Tired of the Fast Pace of London? Here’s a Place to Hyde!

September 21, 2010 · No Comments

London could, and rightly should, boast about its parks. The amount of space the city has reserved for outdoor enjoyment is outstanding. The largest parks, Hyde, St. James, and Regents, have fantastic gardens, bodies of water, and wildlife. Initially, I was going to do a tour of Hyde Park for my walking tour. This park specifically hit me with its beauty.

So what is it that makes Hyde Park so special?

From what I have noticed, London is a city leading the way in healthy living, and Hyde Park lends itself to that. The amount of space for games and exercise is astonishing Both times I visited there had to be three dozen football matches being played. These games and others are played on the Parade Grounds. A large, flat, green lawn, these grounds give visitors the space to run around, though they have to share it with the ones trying to relax. There is a track around the park that w

alkers, cyclists, and runners share with each other. There is tennis center and also horseback riding. I think even Central Park in New York has gotten ride of horseback riding. Anyway, there is a Barclays bike station right near one of the entrances that allows people to cruise around and enjoy the sun (or clouds).

Another aspect of Hyde Park that makes it unique is the facilities that allow people to… chill out. This is another part of London culture that I’ve seen: Londoners need for relaxation. There are green and white striped deck chairs that dot much of the green space around the park. People are able to take paddleboats out on the Serpentine (the body of water within Hyde Park that I will get to in a second). From what I saw, there were also two restaurants that were placed on the shore of the Serpentine. Though it might now seem like much, there are cafés all around the park where people sit and drink coffee, eat cake, and talk.

For a city, London definitely embraces its animal inhabitants. The Serpentine is a long body of water that attracts lots of birds, ranging from Canadian geese to swans to exotic birds. The people along the shore feed them, the birds allowing them to get so close that people can feed them out of their hands. The squirrels too, they go right up to people and take food from their hands! I had never seen that happen except for here in London. Its such an unusual relationship that the animals and people have.

The park also includes many memorials, statues, and historical spots. The first thing you see when you reach Hyde Park from Oxford Street is Speekers Corner. Since the late 19th century, people have spoken there about anything they were interested in preaching. There is a 7/7 memorial and a fountain dedicated to Princess Diana. The most interesting one in the park is the Isis statue. It resembles a crane is meant to inspire people to cherish the wildlife that they have around them. It recognizes the relationship that I previously talked about.

In many ways, Hyde Park incorporates the culture of London into its beauty and nature.

Categories: 2010 David

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