Two of the most famous of London’s royal parks, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are popular for their history and beautiful landscapes. With an art gallery, open air swimming pool and versatile natural landscapes, returning guests of London Signature Townhouse Hyde Park might well have enjoyed the sights and sounds of these parks before.
Whether you’ve visited either park before or not, this blog will be your London guide to the little known and fascinating aspects of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Whilst the beautiful parks are combined, the most visited of the royal green spaces, there are plenty of elements that remain well hidden from first time visitors. Here are just a few.
Together, They’re bigger than Monaco!
When you combine the two parks together, they come out as 200 acres bigger than the Principality of Monaco. Though it’s true that this might speak more to the smallness of Monaco than the scale of the parks, it’s still a real mind blower.
Hyde Park’s Pet Cemetery
Hyde Park’s lodge keeper memorialised their friend’s dog by burying it near their house in Hyde Park in 1881. A trend set in and more and more animals were added to this small graveyard. Though it’s kept on private grounds within the park, guests of hotels with the best breakfast in Hyde Park can book onto tours of the cemetery. These tours are not organised often, so it’s best to check the Hyde Park website to find out when the next one is.
Unknown Stories Of the Achilles Statue
The Achilles Statue in the southeast corner of Hyde Park was made from bronze, once part of cannons for the Napoleonic French. Once these cannons were captured by the Duke of Wellington, many were melted down and used for other purposes – including for the building of this 33 tonne statue. Not only is this statue a testament to the famous Greek demi-god, but to the victory of the 19th century British over the French.
Both Were Once One Park
Until the 18th century, Kensington Gardens was actually just a part of Hyde Park. In 1726, Queen Anne had a private garden cordoned off from the park for her Kensington Palace home. The Serpentine River (though it’s technically a lake) was built from the runoff of the Westbourne river to build a barrier between Kensington Gardens and the adjoining public park. This is the main reason that both parks, though connected, have such different designs.