Hyde Park 
139-hectare (344-acre) park in London.  The name is derived from the manor of Hyde, which once belonged to the abbott of Westminster. Prominent features of the park are Rotton Row, the famous bridle path; Serpentine Lake; and Speakers' Corner, the meeting place of soapbox orators.Hyde Park came into existence in 1536 when the land was acquired for hunting. Under Henry VIII, king of England, Hyde Park was a royal deerpark. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was a fashionable park where royalty rode and drove, military reviews were held, and duels were fought.

In 1851 the first world's fair was held in the park. It has developed over the years in response to the wishes of the Crown and the public and has a tradition of events and public spectacles. There are links with the military through the presence of Knightsbridge barracks on its boundary and the continuing practice of firing Gun Salutes from the Parade Ground.



The two most famous features of the Park are the Serpentine, a lake of some 11.34 hectares used for swimming, boating and fishing; and Rotten Row, the world famous riding track, which celebrated its tercentenary in 1990 and was the first public road to be lit at night in this country. Despite its heavy use the Park manages to convey an air of rural tranquillity much valued by both tourists and local users.

Kensington Gardens
The Gardens were formed from land taken from Hyde Park after William and Mary moved into Nottingham House, nowKensington Palace, in 1689. The original gardens were modest in size but were extended in the early 18th century to a design by Charles Bridgeman which still gives the gardens their main structure today. This has been added to in Victorian times, most notably the Italian Gardens (recently refurbished) and the Albert Memorial. Further features have been added in the 20th century adding to the reputation of the Gardens as a genteel environment associated with children and passive recreation.

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