Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens stroll
An autumnal walk in a central London Park
(Photos/words © urban75, November 2006)
One of the largest parks in central London, this Royal Park covers 350 acres with the adjacent Kensington Gardens adding another 275 acres.
The site of the Crystal Palace which housed the Great Exhibition of 1851, the park has a long history of mass demonstrations and political protests, including The Chartists, the Suffragettes, the anti-Criminal Justice Act and Stop The War marches.
It's also been a venue for some famous rock concerts, including The Rolling Stones (1969), Pink Floyd (1970), The Who (1973) and Queen (1976).
The bonkers gilted opulence of the Albert memorial in Hyde Park.
Sited directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall, the monument was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert, who died of typhoid in 1861.
Resplendent in its over-the-top Victorian Gothic revival style, the memorial was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and opened in 1872.
The ceremonially 'seated' statue of Albert facing south was added three years later.
Around the memorial is the elaborate Frieze of Parnassus, depicting 169 individual composers, architects, poets, painters, and sculptors.
Close up detail.
On each of the corners are large sculptures representing the four corners of the world. Africa is represented by a camel, the Americas with a buffalo, Asia by an elephant and a bull for Europe.
Pigeons get comfy on the Asia sculpture.
Low summer light shining through the gates that surround the Memorial.
Hyde Park view.
Launched in June 2006, the 14.5m (48ft) Solarshuttle silently shuffles across the Serpentine at a stately 4mph, powered entirely by solar power.
Designed by Christoph Behling, the boat can carry up to 42 time-rich passengers between the north and south of the Serpentine.
A couple splash across the Serpentine in a pedalo.
The 11.34 hectare lake was created on the orders of Queen Caroline, wife of George II in 1730, and involved the damming of the River Westbourne in Hyde Park.
The Serpentine got its name because of the curving, snake-like shape of the lake.
Statue Of Physical Energy, Hyde Park by G.F.Watts, sculpted in 1904.
Sunday afternoon scene in Hyde Park.
Plagued by cock ups, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, a 80m by 50m oval stone ring by US artist Kathryn Gustafson, was opened by The Queen on 6th July 2004
Costing a whopping £5.2m, the memorial - made from 545 pieces of Cornish granite - closed just three days after opening because of leaves blocking the drains.
Three weeks later it was promptly closed again for a month after three visitors injured themselves when they slipped while paddling in the fountain.
Old folks at the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park.
Paddling in the fountain.
Underpass leading to the Serpentine.
Albert Memorial view.