Walking around Hyde Park

If you’re staying at Astor Queensway or Astor Hyde Park you probably know that Hyde Park is just a few steps away, so Astor Hostels wants to give you a few hints on what to see and enjoy during the sunny days that are approaching.

The park was opened to the public by King Charles in the 1630s. In the 1730s, Queen Caroline used the Westbourne River to make the Serpentine, although Henry VIII had started the process by damming the river to make drinking ponds for his deer.

Today it is one of the most loved parks in London both from tourists and Londoners and also one of the greatest city parks in the world. If you walk around it, this is what you could spot:

- Pet Cemetery: the first pet to be buried here was Cherry, the pet terrier of Mr and Mrs Bernard, in the 1880s. The Duke of Cambridge – after whom many English pubs are named – buried his wife’s dog Prince here, starting a fashion that lasted until space ran out in 1915 after 300 burials.

- Achilles: London’s first nude, it caused controversy, reason why a fig leaf was added later. The statue is a tribute to the Duke of Wellington and his men and it was unveiled in 1822. Since then it has been broken off twice – in 1870 and 1961, so you’d better check it out before that happens again.

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- Joy of Life: inspired by the Neptune Fountain in Bologna, Italy, this work was made in 1963. In 2008 the setting of the fountain was enhanced when 80,000 daffodils were planted around it as part of the 60th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity.

- Diana Memorial: this unique Memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales, was opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 6th July 2004 and was built with the best materials and technology. There is also the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk, a seven-mile-long walk, charted by 90 plaques set in the ground, that takes you within sight of famous buildings and locations associated with the Princess during her life. This is a must for all the fans of the Royal Family.

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- Queen Caroline Memorial: Queen Caroline was the beloved wife of George II. Dying with an infection in 1737, she urged the king to marry again, but he said: ‘No! I shall have mistresses instead’ (he was not stupid at all!). This urn – unveiled by the Queen in 1990 – marks her vision in creating the Serpentine Lake, which it overlooks.

But the best attractions of the park remain the fresh grass, the book you’re reading and a cold beer to enjoy while the sun shines on you.

Have a great weekend guys!

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