The Landscape Guide

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

These two parks 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. It is enlivened by two fine modern restaurants, one at each end of the Serpentine. Kensington Gardens belonged to Kensington palace. They were laid out for Queen Caroline by Henry Wise and Charles Bridgeman and contain a rond point, formal avenues, a sunken Dutch garden and an orangery. Access from Park Lane and Kensington Road.

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