ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hyde Park: sport, family activities and special events in one of central London's Royal Parks.

Updated on April 8, 2011

Hyde Park is one of the glorious Royal Parks in London.

As a family, we spend quite a lot of time here, usually cycling from our home in Bloomsbury to the Park, and then cycling around getting off to play in the playground, walk or just sit on the grass and chill.

We’ve also several times hired boats on the Serpentine, which is great fun.

Together with its neighbouring parks, Kensington Gardens and St. James' Park, Hyde Park's 350 acres provide greenery, sports facilities, plants, trees, flowers, birds and space for Londoners and visitors to London.

Because there is a great deal of space, there’s an awful lot of room to do all the different things that people enjoy doing in Hyde Park.

And most of the activities and areas are free to enter, so it's a family outing that won't break the bank.

Boats on the Serpentine, Hyde Park. Copyright Loz Flowers @ Flickr
Boats on the Serpentine, Hyde Park. Copyright Loz Flowers @ Flickr

Sports and activities in Hyde Park

Sport is an important part of Hyde Park.

Cycling, rollerblading and skateboarding are allowed on all the roads in the Park, and there are also designed cycle tracks throughout it.

Walking and running is common as well in the Park.

Field sports are played in the south area of the Park, between Rotton Row and South Carriage Drive.

Games of football, rugby, cricket and rounders are all commonly played here, and access is entirely free.

The Serpentine Lido has a paddling pool next to it, and it’s open to both adults and children.

There is also a café there for when you’ve finished swimming.

There is a specific Sports Centre, the Hyde Park Tennis and Sports Centre at the western edge of the sports field, where South Carriage Drive and West Carriage Drive meet each other.

There are six tennis courts here, and changing rooms. There are also six bowling greens available, and these can be booked and hired.

There is a putting course for those who want to practice their golf.

Horse riding is allowed and encouraged in Hyde Park in the Manege area, near the children’s playground, and is also allowed on the North Ryde and South Ryde.

There are two stables nearby, and the police and Household Cavalry also exercise their horses here.

The Hyde Park Tennis and Sports Centre can be contacted by phone on 0207 262 3474 and they give information on bookings and also on opening hours.

Brigg Stables are available on 0207 723 2813, and Nye Stables on 0207 262 3791.

The Serpentine has boats which anyone can hire, either peddle boats or canoes and rowing boats.

For disabled people, there are free electric buggies which can take wheelchairs.

They tour around the Park, on the roads, allowing people to see it.

Passengers can get off one electric buggy to enjoy a particular part of the Park and be collected later.

Children, families and swans next to the Serpentine, Hyde Park. Copyright Frank Wales @ Flickr
Children, families and swans next to the Serpentine, Hyde Park. Copyright Frank Wales @ Flickr

Children's facilities in Hyde Park

Hyde Park has a children’s playground. It's very good, with soft safety outdoor mats under slides and swings, and a great variety of activities suitable for different ages.

There is also the Lookout, a former police post which has now been turned into an education and play centre for children, with information about nature and wildlife.

Entry is free, and the standard of the exhibits and staff is very high indeed There are also public toilets.

Cartoon from Punch, 1851, headed “Dinner Time at the Crystal Palace” and the statue says “One touch of nature makes the whole world King”.
Cartoon from Punch, 1851, headed “Dinner Time at the Crystal Palace” and the statue says “One touch of nature makes the whole world King”.

Special events, concerts, and occasions in Hyde Park

Events have been held in Hyde Park for a considerable time.

In 1851, the Great Exhibition was set up in Hyde Park.

It was housed in a vast building made of iron and glass known as the Crystal Palace.

After the Great Exhibition finished, in 1852, the building was dismantled and rebuilt piece by piece in south-east London.

Although the Crystal Palace burnt down in 1936, the area of London where it was reinstalled is known as Crystal Palace to this day.

Live 8 was held in Hyde Park in 2008, and a list of forthcoming celebrations can be found in the link to the right of this page.

Many of the events are free, others such as concerts by Blur and Bruce Springsteen have to be paid for.

As well as concerts and events, the Park runs free guided walk tours, with specific focuses such as plants, bats, birds or statues, which are fantastic and the guides really know their stuff.

Mass running events are common such as the London Marathon and the Race for Life.

If you'd like to know more about Hyde Park, there is an article here about the history, layout, buildings and wildlife, and information about the statues and war memorials in and around the park.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • profile image

      Panic Attack Cure 

      9 years ago

      Hyde Park seems like such a great place to make some family memories... I plan on being in London soon and will definitely make it part of the itinerary...

    • Gin Delloway profile image

      Gin Delloway 

      9 years ago

      I've never been to London and Hyde Park in particular, but after reading this hub I have a great desire to visit this place of London! Thanks!

    • LondonGirl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from London

      Thanks Tom - better get my arse into gear on Kensington, then!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      You certainly write a lovely article. Looking forward to Kensington Garden.

    • LondonGirl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from London

      JG, my hub on Kensington Garden is already half-written!

    • LondonGirl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from London

      It's a great place, get your arse back over there and re-discover it (-:

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I *love* Hyde Park (sigh)...and Kensington Gardens...and St James's Park...and the Green Park. Oh fine, I love them all! ;D If there's one thing London does better than most cities, it's parks.

    • compu-smart profile image


      9 years ago from London UK

      London girl, Its been so long that Ive been to Hyde Park and have forgotten how much fun it is!!

      Ill be at Hydepark and holland park which is my favorite park, and Clapham Common by the Windmill pub..


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)