Have a right royal time: what to get up to in Central London’s Royal Parks

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shutterstock 99917834 1

Referred to as the capital’s ‘green lung’, the quartet of Royal Parks that make up a somewhat sizeable chunk of land lying between the West End and the fringes of West London (and due north of Kensington; thus, ideal for a visit for those staying at hotels near Sloane Square), Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Green Park are each perfect for a couple of hours of downtime and doing nothing much at all. That said, you’ll also find many outdoor activities are going on within their environs all the time…

Hyde Park

(W2 2UH)

Open: 5am-12midnight daily

Upcoming activities:

‘Flow Yoga in Hyde Park’ (30th July) is open to anyone who fancies a session to rejuvenate mind, body and soul via accessible and none-too-difficult yoga classes, ‘Discovery Day: Meadow Madness’ (1st and 2nd August) is perfectly tailored to (especially) little ones who are up for a fun, nature-inspired activity day and ‘Peter Pan: Walking Tour’ (7th August) enables families to follow in the footsteps of J. M. Barrie’s fun-loving, mischievous hero in both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, experiencing the gorgeous surroundings that inspired the marvellously magical and moving Neverland-set tales. Alternatively, why not hop in a pedalo on the Serpentine lake, have a go at in-line skating or try your hand at horse riding along Rotten Row?

Food and drink options:

Sate your hunger via a full meal or quality sandwich or salad at the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen, sample the ambience of the alfresco dining area of the Lido Café and Bar or grab a snack at one of the several refreshment kiosks dotted here and there throughout the park.

Nearest Tube stations:

Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line), Green Park (Jubilee and Piccadilly lines), Marble Arch and Lancaster Gate (Central line)

Kensington Gardens

(W2 2UH)

Open: 6am-9pm daily

Upcoming activities:

‘Nature Explorers: Beatles and Butterflies’ (31st July) invites your your kids to transform themselves into explorers extraordinaire this summer by spending the day befriending beetles and butterflies, while ‘Walking Tour: Bat Walk’ (2nd and 16th August) represents a wonderful chance to see and hear native bats in the parks at night, especially for guests staying at nearby San Domenico House hotel.

Food and drink options:

Dine in style, savouring an afternoon tea and quaffing champagne at Kensington Palace’s Orangery, take in the view of the 150-year-old ornamental gardens at The Italian Gardens Café or make use of one of the several snack-food-serving kiosks.

Nearest Tube stations:

Lancaster Gate, Queensway (Central line), South Kensington Gloucester Road (District, Circle and Piccadilly lines) and Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line)

Green Park

(W1J 7BX)

Open: 8am-9pm approx.

Activities:

sink into a deck chair and enjoy the serene greenery of this particularly peaceful and restful public space right in the heart of Central London or take a pleasant, healthy stroll along Constitution Hill, a path laid out in the late 17th Century by the legendary King Charles II for his daily ‘constitutional walk’ flanked, of course, by his ever present cocker spaniel companions.

Food and drink options:

Refreshment kiosks at Ritz Corner and Canada Gate rustle up both snacks and hot and cold beverages.

Nearest Tube stations:

Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line) and Green Park (Jubilee and Piccadilly lines)

St James’s Park

(SW1A 2BJ)

Open: 8am-5pm daily

Upcoming activities:

why not join the ‘Walking Tour: Hidden stories of St. James’s Park’ (27th July and 31st August) and learn the unique and fascinating history behind the oldest and smallest Royal Park in the capital, not least to discover how its resident pelicans made it their home; the event includes a Q&A with the Royal Parks Wildlife Officer.

Food and drink options:

enjoy an affordable bite to eat at St. James’s Café and grab a snack and/ or drink at one of the park’s several refreshment kiosks.

Nearest Tube stations:

St. James’s Park (District and Circle lines), Westminster (District, Circle, Bakerloo and Jubilee lines) and Charing Cross (Northern and Bakerloo lines)

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