Category Archives: The Sights

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Last weekend, K and I wandered around Hyde Park—the largest of London’s eight Royal Parks.   Once the hunting grounds of Henry VIII, the 350 acres of green space offers city-dwellers a peaceful place to relax, run, picnic or play.  (Hyde Park actually merges into Kensington Gardens so the total amount of green space is more like 625 acres.)

There are a number of events held in the park each year, such as garden walks, courses on horticulture and wildlife, sport and leisure activities and music concerts (Kings of Leon, Bon Jovi and Arcade Fire are scheduled to perform this summer).  Hyde Park will also host the triathlon and 10km marathon swimming events for the 2012 Olympics.  Additionally, the park is home to several sculptures, memorials and fountains creating visually stimulating points of interest.

Some of the park’s attractions include:

The Serpentine

The Serpentine

The Serpentine:  This man-made lake, created in the 18th Century, is a focal point in the park and is used for recreational swimming, pedal boating and rowing in the warmer months.

 

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain:  Opened in July 2006,  the fountain is a beautiful symbol of Diana’s life.

 

7 July Memorial

7 July Memorial

The 7 July Memorial:  Fifty-two steel pillars stand tall to represent the fifty-two victims of the 2005 London Bombings.

 

Isis

Isis

Isis:  Named after the goddess of motherhood, magic & fertility, the ten foot tall sculpture gracefully stands on the banks of The Serpentine.

It was a beautiful day in the park and the sun even came out to join us…

The George Inn

The George

The George

As the only galleried coaching inn left in London, The George Inn (or simply, The George) is something to see.

Dating back to the 17th century, The George once provided accommodation for coach travelers on their way to the City.  Tucked down an alley, its low ceilings, dark wood beams and cobbled courtyard take you back to a London of long ago.  It is said that both Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare were frequent patrons.

The George

The George

Now owned by the National Trust, the restaurant and pub still serve food and drink today.  K and I recently enjoyed a beer in the courtyard while acting out a scene from Romeo and Juliet.

The George Inn
77 Borough High Street, Southwark, London SE1 1NH

The Royal Hospital

Royal Hospital

Royal Hospital

On our way to Battersea Park, we walked around the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea.   The Royal Hospital (completed in 1692) is a retirement home for soldiers no longer fit for service, known as Chelsea Pensioners.  Over 300 Pensioners currently live here and are easily recognized in their distinctive uniforms of brilliant red coats and black hats (“The Men in Scarlet”).  Visitors are welcome to tour the Hospital as well as the small museum.

The grounds of the Royal Hospital play host to the famous Chelsea Flower Show each year.  The obelisk, which honors those who lost their lives in the Battle of Chillianwala (1849),  forms the centerpiece.

Battle of Chillianwala Monument

Battle of Chillianwala Monument

Royal Hospital Chelsea
Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4SR

Battersea Park

Chelsea Bridge

Chelsea Bridge to Battersea Park

Over the weekend we visited Battersea Park.  This park, opened in 1858 by Queen Victoria, is located on the south bank of the River Thames (across from Chelsea) in the London Borough of Wandsworth.

Battersea Park
This 200 acre space includes several flower gardens, a small children’s zoo, sports facilities and ample space to run around or just relax.  There are a number of sculptures throughout the park, including Henry Moore’s Three Standing Figures which overlooks the lake.  The park is also home to the London Peace Pagoda which was completed in 1985 by Buddhist monks, nuns and followers as a symbol for world peace.  Battersea Park is one of the many beautiful green spaces enjoyed throughout London.

Three Standing Figures

Three Standing Figures by Henry Moore

Peace Pagoda

London Peace Pagoda