Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens comprise over 240 hectares and were once part of a royal hunting forest. The River Westbourne which flowed through the parks was dammed to form a lake. The east and west halves of the lake, known as the Serpentine and the Long Water are divided by a bridge designed by George Rennie in 1826. It has a magnificent prospect. Hyde Park has been open to the public since 1635 and demonstrates the value of a really large boldly planted park in a city. The great lawn is used for events. An excellent feature of the park is that horse riding is still allowed on Rotton Row (originally the 'Route de Roi' - William III's route to Kensington Palace).
A new rose garden, designed by Colvin and Moggridge landscape architects, was added in 1994. The rose planting is mixed with herbaceous planting creating a rich floral display of a kind rarely found in London's parks. The scent of the flowers is amazingly strong in June.
See eBook chapter: Alicia Amherst on Hyde Park, London, in 1907
Access from Park Lane and Kensington Road.