Attractive Royal Parks of London
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Attractive Royal Parks of London

London is certainly the place to be these days, which especially coincide with the excitement of the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games. It has one of the world's greenest city centers, full of tree-filled squares and grassy parks. But while you’re there, stroll along the wonderful royal parks of London, and look for outdoor attraction, such as sports, wildlife or flowers.

Hyde Park

The ancient manor of Hyde became a royal park when it was seized by Henry VIII from Westminster Abbey at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536.  However, it only became one of the citys most prized public spaces when it was first opened to the public in the early 17th century.  The Hyde Park is home to the Serpentine, a man-made lake used for boating and bathing. The park has been a venue for dueling, horseracing, highwaymen, political demonstrations, music concerts and parades.

Richmond Park

(Fallow deer at Richmond Park, London) Image source

Richmond Park was  formerly used as a hunting ground by King Charles I.  Today, the park is a national nature preserve, and deer and other wildlife still graze warily among the chestnuts, birches and oaks, but no longer hunted.  In late spring, the highlight is the Isabella Plantation with its stunning display of azaleas, while the Pen Ponds are very popular with anglers.  Richmond Gate, in the northwest corner, was designed by the landscape gardener Capability Brown in 1798. The park is perfect for weekend strolls and biking; it has also two public golf courses.

Regent's Park

In 1812, the famous architect John Nash envisioned the Regent's Park as a garden suburb with villas and pleasure palace for the Prince Regent.  However, no palace was ever built in the park.  The boating lake, which has many varieties of water birds, is marvelously romantic especially when music drifts across from the bandstand in the distance.  Queen Mary's Gardens are a mass of wonderful sights and smells in summer, when visitors can enjoy Shakespeare productions at the open-air theater nearby.  Broad Walk provides a picturesque stroll north from Park Square.

Kensington Gardens

(Italian Garden Fountains) Image source

The former grounds of Kensington Palace became a public park in 1841.  A small part of it has been dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales, as a memorial playground with a large wooden pirate ship that children will absolutely enjoy.  Full of charm, the Kensington Gardens is home to the famous Peter Pan statue, Diana Memorial Walk, the Serpentine Gallery and a number of ornamental fountains.  The Round Pond is often packed with model boats by children and older enthusiasts; and in winter, it is occasionally fit for skating.

Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park, the oldest of the royal parks, is home to several historic buildings including Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House, and the Ranger's House.  The elegant Ranger's House houses the Wernher Collection, which is an enchanting array of paintings, jewelry and furniture accumulated by South African mine owner Sir Julius Wernher in the late 19th century. The park has a fantastic river view from the hilltop and on a fine day, most of London can be seen.  It also has year-round events for theater, jazz and children's activities.

St. James's Park

Image source

In summer, people can bask in the sun between the charming flower beds of London's most attractive park.  In winter, over-coated civil servants discuss affairs of state as they stroll by the lake and eye its ducks, geese and pelicans.  Originally a marsh, St. James Park was drained by Henry VIII and incorporated into his hunting grounds.  Later Charles II redesigned it for pedestrian pleasures.  It is still a popular place to take a stroll with an appealing view of Whitehall rooftops.  In summer there are concerts on the bandstand.

Green Park

Green Park was once part of Henry VIII's hunting ground and a favorite site for duels during the 18th and 19th century.  Like St. James Park, it was adapted for public enjoyment by Charles II in the 1660s.  The park has a natural, undulating landscape of grass and trees with a good spring show of daffodils, a perfect place for picnic and sunbathing.  It is also popular with guests staying at the Mayfair hotels as a place to jog.

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Comments (3)

Awesome article! Thanks. So true. London is beautiful and those parks are magical...I have had some of the best moments (and worst) of my life in those parks. We even got locked in to South Kensington Gardens as they lock the gates at night...and we had to climb over the gates to get out! Lol. Very well written. (-:

nice article, votes

very interesting I would love to visit London