It takes just a few minutes walk from Knightsbridge to reach an oasis of beauty and calm, particularly remarkable during the summer months. Hyde Park, adjacent to Kensington Gardens, offers an oasis of peace and quiet with playing fields, dining facilities, the sun shining through the trees. You can take a spin in a boat, play tennis, go horseback riding or simply enjoy a walk in the open air. The park, which has been, over the years, the stage to unforgettable concerts, from the Rolling Stones to Pink Floyd, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, is known, above all, for its Speakers' Corner, located in the Northeast corner, where, even today, you can still hear the speeches of just about anyone as they freely express their opinions on a myriad of topics. Take a walk around the Serpentine Lake, the artificial lake called for by Queen Caroline in 1730, the name of which alludes to its quite serpent-like shape. Head over to Kensington Palace. It is currently the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. This exposed-brick building, with its four floors and long rectangular windows, still boasting of its original furnishings and the adjoining garden which maintains its form from 1705, was the birthplace of Queen Victoria in 1819. King William and Queen Mary asked architect Christopher Wren to transform Nottingham House into a palace. His employee Nicholas Hawksmoor was encouraged to complete the work in the most rapid and economic fashion, which is why Kensington Palace was built of red brick rather than stone. Continue to enjoy the quiet of Kensington Gardens. On Albert Memorial Road, right in front of the Royal Albert Hall, you will find the Albert Memorial, the monument commemorating the death of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, killed by typhoid fever at only 42 years of age. The memorial, created according to the standards of neo-gothic architecture, is comprised of an ornate canopy that hosts a statue of the Prince facing South, holding the catalogue of the huge exhibition held in Hyde Park in 1851, organised with his financing. Now, you can head over to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. With its 545 pieces of Cornwall granite and its unusual design, this memorial reflects the life of the Princess, with water that, running from above, splits in two directions, splinters off and then settles quietly below.
Samantha De Martin - © 2020 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London