When we were recently travelling abroad we spent some time in London, England. What a glorious, historic and beautiful city. London, England is at the top of my all time favourite places now. I don’t know why, but there was just something about this city that made me feel welcome. Although it may now be crossed off my bucket list (if I even have one that is), it is a place that I do, one day, plan on returning to.
History is a something I enjoying immensely. I have said that before on this blog. Yet, in London as modern as this city is I felt as if I was walking in the past. Walking the same path that so many would have walked before as we flip through the pages of History. The very first place we visited in London, the same day we arrived was Hyde Park. What a beautiful landscape it is as you traverse the 350 acres that it makes it up. You can walk everywhere in this park with paved and unpaved paths. It seemed a place where a busy and fast paced city could come for some relaxation and just stop and take it all in.
Henry VIII acquired Hyde Park from the monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536. He would often be seen on thundering steeds in the hunt for deer. It remained a private hunting ground until James I came to the throne and permitted limited access. The King appointed a ranger to take charge of the park. It was Charles I who changed the nature of the park completely. He had, in 1637, opened the park to the public.
Bigger changes happened when William and Mary became king and queen in 1689. They bought Nottingham House on the western edge of the park. They renamed it Kensington Palace and made it their new home. A famous royal couple by the name of William and Kate make it their home today. To get from Kensington to Westminster, they created a processional route through Hyde Park. It was lit by 300 oil lamps and was the first road in England to be lit at night. The road was called route de roi or King’s Road but the name became corrupted to Rotten Row. Although no longer lit by oil, these lamps still stand today.
Hyde Park is one beautiful place. The history and its role in the everyday lives of the citizens of London has existed for close to 500 years. The park is vast with many places to sit and relax. In this shot you can see the top of Kensington Palace in the distance.