A Hyde Park Walk

Route & what to see


A 3 mile linear walk from Victoria Station through Hyde Park. There is some overlap with the Knightsbridge & Hyde Park route.

Exit the station and walk through Grosvenor Gardens.
The south garden has a statue of Marshal Foch, Alien and two shell-decorated buildings which were a gift of the French government in 1952. The north garden was restored in 1999-2000 and has two large figures of a lioness and a kudo by Jonathan Kenworthy. Just outside is a monument to the rifle brigade and a cabmen's shelter.

Left at Hobart Place and right into Eaton Square.
St Peter's church was designed in Greek revival style in 1824-7 by JH Hakewill. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1987.

Continue along Upper Belgrave Street then Belgrave Square.
There are a number of embassies. Seaford House (No 37) was designed by Philip Hardwick in 1842-5 for the 3rd Earl of Sefton.

Exit via Grosvenor Crescent then go left at Grosvenor Place.
The Lanesborough Hotel was formerly St George's Hospital (see plaque).

Cross and enter the park by the Apsley Gate alongside Hyde Park Corner Lodge (park information centre).
The Greek Revival screen (1826-9) and lodge (1822) were designed by Decimus Burton.

Walk through the flower gardens between Rotten Row and Serpentine Road.
Rotten Row was created by William III to link Whitehall with his Kensington Palace and is a corruption of 'route de roi'. It was the first lamplit road in the country. In the gardens are two fountains: Boy & Dolphin (1862) by Alexander Munro and The Huntress (1906) by Countess Feodora Gleichen.

Detour left to the Holocaust Memorial
This piece of 1983 by Mark Badger consists of two boulders set in raked gravel and surrounded by silver birch trees. The inscription reads 'For these I weep. Streams of tears flow from my eyes because of the destruction of my people'. Across the path is an area known as The Dell.

Take the path towards the cafe
On the corner there is an urn monument to Abbey Spring. The conduit from this spring supplied the precincts of Westminster until 1861 when it was cut off by the railways. The conduit house was removed in 1867 and the current urn feature erected the following year. The Dell Restaurant was designed by Patrick Gwynne.

Bear right towards Park Lane
52 steel columns commemorate the people killed in the London terror bombings in July 2005 and was unveiled on the fourth anniversary of the disaster. The pillars, representing the 52 victims, are grouped to reflect the four locations of the incidents. Constructed from stainless steel, each pillar measures 3.5 metres high and is inscribed with the place and time. A plaque listing the names of the victims is sited alongside. The memorial was produced by architects Carmody Groarke and engineering team Arup, who worked in consultation with the bereaved families. It was cast by Sheffield foundry Norton Cast Products.

From here go NW towards the Reformer's Tree. Follow the Diana Trail westwards.
The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk is a 7 mile circular walk waymarked around the Royal Parks, passing places that featured in the Princess's life. The Old Police House was built in 1900-2 on the site of the Magazine Barracks.

Go southwards to the Serpentine then right along the lakeside path.
This was created in the 1730s from an existing string of fishponds. On the right is the Receiving House plaque and the Norweigan War Memorial. Erected in 1978 this consists of a large piece of pre-Cambrian granite mounted on three smaller stones. It was presented by the navy and merchant fleet. The inscription reads 'You gave us a safe haven in our common struggle for freedom and peace'. On the left are two boathouses. The East Boat House was erected in 1903 by the Royal Humane Society and the West Boat House of 1952 replaces one damaged in the war. Further along is The Magazine, used for storing gunpowder. Originally built in 1764-5 it has had later alterations. In 2013 it was converted into the Serpentine Sackler Gallery to the designs of Zaha Hadid with a new restaurant building.

Cross the bridge over the Serpentine
The bridge was designed by John & George Rennie in 1825-8.

Detour to the left.
The 260' x 150' oval water feature was designed as a memorial to Diana Princess of Wales by Kathryn Gustafson & Neil Porter at a cost of 3.6 million. It is made from Cornish stone which was cut in Northern Ireland. Spring water is pumped from a 200m borehole via a holding tank to the highest point 'The Source' from where it flows east and west. The east arm goes via steps and a curved area to the Swoosh which has 5 water jet patterns. Water flows west via a Mountain Stream and Cascade of white water. The two flows meet at the Reflecting Pool from where the water is pumped into the Serpentine. The channels vary from 6' to 18' wide and shallow to 18" in depth. It was opened by the Queen on 6th July 2004. There were initial problems with flooding caused by the pumps clogging with leaves. Then the water was turned off and the feature closed to the public on 22 July after 3 people were injured in falls. The memorial has since re-opened but with restrictions. The Lido Pavilion of 1930 is now used as a cafe. It was built under the direction of Lord Lansbury and commemorates J O Cooper, a member of the RFC who was killed in WW1 aged 20.

Exit via Rutland Gate into Kensington Road for buses.

Buildings and Monuments in the Royal Parks
A Walk for Diana by Tom Corby & Lucy Trench
Diana Memorial walk [

london-footprints.co.uk 2015