Hyde Park is one of London’s finest historic landscapes covering an area of 350 acres. With over 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow, horse rides and more one can naturally forget that he/she is in the middle of London. Hyde Park lies between the Bayswater Road in the north and Knightsbridge in the south. Park Lane lies to the east and Kensington Gardens to the west. At the junction of Edgware Road and Bayswater Road just outside the Park, is a triangular plaque set in the road which marks the site of Tyburn Gallows, where public executions took place until 1783. These were supposed to act as a deterrent, but instead became a public entertainment.
The iron railings surrounding Hyde Park were removed during World War II when there was a big drive to collect iron, steel and aluminum to make war weapons. At Hyde Park corner, which is a very busy junction just outside the south east corner of the Park, is Wellington Arch which has a war memorial statue on top of it. Visitors are welcome at Wellington Arch and viewing galleries and exhibitions have been created inside the Arch.
Aspley House which was the home of the first Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) hero of Waterloo and later Prime Minister, is situated at 149 Piccadilly, at Hyde Park corner. The house now contains a museum which is open to public. Along Knightsbridge from Hyde Park Corner is The Albert Memorial which is a large statue of Prince Albert. Prince Albert was married to Queen Victoria and the memorial was erected at a cost of Â£120,000. An Exhibition was held in The Crystal Palace which is a large glass gallery in Hyde Park. In this exhibition in addition to the catalogue the memorial contains 169 portraits of poets, architects and painters. At each corner is an illustration of Europe, America, Asia and Africa, whilst figures represent Commerce, Engineering, Manufacture and Agriculture.
The Hyde Park is place for people of all ages. There are a few special sites which one must see when going to Hyde Park. One of these landmarks is the Serpentine, a large artificial lake, which separates the Hyde Park from neighboring Kensington Gardens. It is a popular place for boating and swimming. Another famous landmark is et the south end of Hyde park known as Rotten Row, a famous bridle path. The road is almost four miles long and is used as a horse riding, cycling, rollerblading and jogging route. The term ‘Rotten Row’ is derived from the French ‘route du roi’ or King’s road. Speaker’s Corner is place which was established to create a venue where people would be allowed to speak freely. Here, every Sunday people stand on a soap box and proclaim their views on political, religious or other items, sometimes interrupted and challenged by their audience. The Marble Arch is just outside Hyde Park, at the north-east corner. The design by John Nash was based on the Arch of Constantine in Rome. Another arch, the Wellington Arch, can be found on the south-east corner of the park, connecting Hyde Park with Green Park. Inside the arch are exhibitions and galleries open to visitors.