Royal Parks

Hyde park

Royal Albert Hall and Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, London Royal Albert Hall and Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, London

Hyde Park is the largest Royal Park in London, covering 350 acres. It was bought by Henry VIII in 1536 from Westminster Abbey. It was then a private deer hunting ground, which became open to the public during James I's reign. The Serpentine was added by George II's reign. Hyde Park is popular with Londoners, who go there for a jog or a stroll, to eat their lunch, sunbathe or just to escape the city's hustle and bustle. The famous Speaker's Corner allows people to speak publicly on any subject.

Green Park

Green Park lies between Hyde Park and St. James's Park. It used to be a famous duelling ground and a favourite haunt for highwaymen the 18th century. The park, landscaped by John Nash, is home to the Canada Memorial, which was designed by the Canadian sculptor Pierre. The Canada Gate is a stunning feature, too. The park is more tranquil than other London parks and has some beautiful mature trees. It is much loved by Londoners and visitors alike and has great paths for running.

Regent's Park

Regent's Park is very popular with children and adults alike, as it is the home of London Zoo. It also has open spaces with sports pitches and playgrounds. It also boasts a lake and boating area, where you can enjoy sunny summer days. The beautiful Queen Mary's Gardens are in the Inner Circle. It is where the Open Air Theatre is situated. The Regent's Canal runs through the park, too.

Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens boasts the awe-inspiring Albert Memorial, which was installed by Queen Victoria to commemorate the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert in 1861. It is also home to the Diana Memorial Playground, where children can come to play and run around. Gardeners have got their own space too. They can visit the allotment and enjoy sharing gardening tips. Near Lancaster Gate are the beautiful Italian Gardens, with water features.

Windsor Great Park

Situated in Windsor, Windsor Great Park is owned and managed by The Crown Estate and used to be a Norman hunting forest. The Park and its forest are renowned for its many impressive ancient oak trees. These majestic trees could tell a tale or two, they have seen kings and queens walk, ride and drive past for centuries. Unfortunately, hundreds of the ancient trees were felled during the 1940s to make way for farming the land to grow food during the war. You will see free roaming deer around the park.

The Great Park stretches for over 2000 hectares and has some fantastic features. It has woodlands, a deer park, open grassland, sculpted gardens, and lakes. The largest lake lies to the southeast and is called Virginia Water. The park is also famous for the famous polo green called Smith's Lawn. You can almost envisage yourself in another century when walking around the grounds. The best way to see the park is by foot. Take a map along, as you can easily get lost in this vast park.

The Long Walk

The Long Walk is 2.65 miles long from George IV Gateway at Windsor Castle to The Copper Horse. The statue of the copper horse stands looking over the long walk. The statue, commissioned by King George IV, depicts his father King George III. Nearby is the royal residence called the Royal Lodge, which belonged to the Queen Mother. It is a country house in the middle of Windsor Great Park.

From the Copper Horse statue on Snow Hill you can see the stunning view of Windsor Castle in the distance. It is very impressive. It is a grand walk on a Sunday afternoon. There is an emphasis on 'walk', as no bicycles are allowed on the Long Walk.

Savill Gardens

A must for botanists and gardeners is Savill gardens, with its fantastic collection of flowers and shrubs. Created by Sir Eric Savill in the 30's, the garden includes woodland and various ornamental areas along with a pond. You will come across trees planted by members of the Royal Family. It has a stunning elevated walkway in the new rose garden.

Valley Gardens

The nearby Valley gardens have the largest planting of rhododendrons in Europe and they have fantastic displays of azaleas, camellias and magnolias. There are also many spring-flowering shrubs. There is also a stunning heather garden. Here you can enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons.

Frogmore House

Seventeenth century Frogmore House, set in the Home Park, is private but accessible for just a few days in August every year. You can see the house and gardens, designed by Queen Charlotte, who was a bit of a botanist and created a large library of botanical books. Many of the designs in the house were created by Mary Moser, who was commissioned by Queen Charlotte to complete a floral decorative scheme. You can also visit the mausoleum, the last resting place of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

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