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Hyde Park is one of the most versatile of the royal parks and offers much more than functioning as a border for Knightsbridge. There are many more activities available here than were first intended; the park that was initially created to satisfy a royal passion for hunting now hosts some of the best summer activities in London.
Every year millions of Londoners and tourists visit Hyde Park’s 350 acres to take part in a range of great activities and visit its famous landmarks including Serpentine Lake, Speaker’s Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Events are held throughout the summer, so make sure you check the What’s On calendar for details of live music events, workshops, and activity days.
Here is our pick of the top 5 things to do in Hyde Park this summer.
Picnic in the Park
Picnics are one of the best ways to enjoy spending time with friends and family on a sunny day. Hyde Park has plenty of places to lay down a picnic rug. If you don’t want to make your own lunch, take a trip to Ottolenghi on Motcomb Street. They make a delicious range of freshly prepared sandwiches, as well as plenty of baked and patisserie products. For maximum relaxation, deckchairs can be hired from Park Deck Chairs by the hour or for just £7 per day (available from March to October).
Open Water Swimming
The Serpentine Lido is the perfect place to go for some open water swimming. The main public pool has an accompanying paddling pool making this a great family experience. Alongside the Serpentine Lido is the Lido Café Bar, which has waterside tables and serves food, soft drinks and wine. The pool is also home to The Serpentine Swimming Club — the oldest swimming club in Britain!
The Serpentine Lido is open from 10:00am – 6:00pm seven days a week from 1 June to 12 September. Prices: Adult – £4.00, Concession – £3.00, Child – £1.00, Children under 3 years – FREE, Family Ticket – £10.00 (2 adults and 4 children), Family Ticket before 4pm – £9.00.
Boating in Hyde Park
Hyde Park has a fleet of rowing and pedal boats that operate on the famous Serpentine, as well as the UK’s first Solarshuttle — a magnificent boat carrying up to 40 passengers and powered only by the sun. To make the most of it, hire a pedal or row boat (which will carry up to 6 people) and head out for a relaxing afternoon.
Boating on the Serpentine is open from 10:00am – sundown (usually around 8:00pm in the winter). Prices: Adults – £12 for 1 hour or £10 for 30 minutes; Children (under 15) – £5 for 1 hour or £4 for 30 minutes; Family (2 adults and 2 children) – £29 for 1 hour or £24 for 30 minutes.
Horse Riding in Hyde Park
One of the best (and most fun) activities in Hyde Park is summer horse riding. This is an excellent way to see the park, especially for those in a hurry. Hyde Park Stables offer horse riding for all levels of ability (including beginners) with regular rides throughout the day. Each ride last for 1 hour and provides a great opportunity for visitors to see most of the park in a very novel way!
Hyde Park Stables are open Monday to Sunday from 09:00am – 4.00pm. Prices per hour: Group (maximum of 8 people) – £69 per person, Small Group (maximum of 2 people) £75 per person, Private (1 person) – £95. Please note that there is a maximum weight limit of 80kg per person.
Tennis in Hyde Park
In celebration of Andy Murray’s success at Wimbledon this year, tennis is practically Britain’s national sport — at least, it should be. Hyde Park offers great facilities for tennis, with 6 high-quality tennis courts accredited by the Lawn Tennis Association located at the western end of the Sports Field. People are encouraged to turn up and play, and a range of membership options are available for regular players. The Tennis and Sports Centre Café is the perfect place to enjoy post-game refreshments.
The Tennis and Sports Centre is open from 07:00am – 8.00pm throughout the summer and costs start from £13 per adult.