"Parks in London (I)" Other Gardens, Parks & Squares Tip by King_Golo
Other Gardens, Parks & Squares, London: 87 reviews and 224 photos
Visiting London only to see its parks might be a little weird, but they are definitely worth it. In the centre alone, you find some of the city's best places to relax and watch people passing by, to play badminton or go running, to watch ducks and geese on the lakes and much more. London's most central parks are:
1. Hyde Park
2. St. James's Park
3. Green Park
4. Regent's Park
5. Holland Park
Apart from them, there is also the vast Richmond Park in Richmond, the botanical gardens of Kew, and the hilly terrain of Hampstead Heath - as well as numerous other smaller parks.
Hyde Park is London's biggest park and actually two parks in one: Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Divided by the Serpentine, a long roundish lake, the two of them form London's green lung. The park used to be a hunting ground for the Royals, but was already opened to the public in the 18th century. It soon became a popular spot for mass protests: in 1855, more than 150,000 people protested against high grocery prices, in 2003 about 200,000 people gathered as a protest against the Iraq War. Despite its beauty nowadays, Hyde Park also had dark periods: In Tyburn, a little village which was situated where Marble Arch stands nowadays, hundreds of people were hanged on the gallows in the course of the centuries. The Tyburn Triple Tree was a new and highly efficient kind of gallows as it allowed the executioner to kill three people at once. Oliver Cromwell was also hanged here, but only after his natural death as a sort of posthumous revenge...
St. James's Park is one of London's most beautiful parks. Located between Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, one could say that this park is in the middle of political London. You won't realize this, though, as it is a popular and very nice spot to have a break. A former swampy meadow, the grounds were transformed into yet another hunting ground for the Royals in the 16th century. In 1837, John Nash completely rebuilt the park and gave it its current character.
Green Park is a rather small park just next to Buckingham Palace. In contrast to its neighbours Hyde Park and St. James's Park, it is nothing too special: simply a green park with lots of trees and lawns to relax on. Nonetheless, it's worth visiting. Green Park was a burial ground before it was turned into a - guess what? - hunting ground in 1668.
Directions: central London, around Buckingham Palace
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