ActivityThe Great Outdoors: A wellness guide to London

Discover what to do in Hyde Park, from horse-riding to swimming in the Serpentine

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London’s historic green heart, Hyde Park, offers an array of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, from meandering through the fragrant rose garden to outdoor swimming in the Serpentine or jogging past some of the city’s most beloved landmarks. The land was acquired by Henry VIII in 1536 as a royal hunting ground until Charles I, in a democratic gesture, opened it to the public in 1637.

 

Jogging past famous land-parks

Spread over 350 acres, Hyde Park is London’s verdant 'lung', home to palaces, works of art and art galleries as well as luscious flora and fauna. Both the Carlton Tower Jumeirah and Jumeirah Lowndes hotel are a few minutes scenic walk away. Warm up by strolling to the park from your hotel, before jogging past the beautiful Serpentine lake, the speakers’ corner and the statue of Achilles, as well as the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial and the Joy of Life fountains. There are countless routes to discover, including the beautifully landscaped Kensington Gardens with their timeless view of Kensington Palace, home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and family.

London park view

 

Meandering through the rose garden

One of the prettiest and most contemplative places to escape, Hyde Park’s rose garden is located in the park’s southeast corner. London’s largest collection of roses is mixed with gaily-coloured herbaceous borders, the garden's design takes inspiration from horns announcing one’s arrival. The circular yew hedge symbolises the mouth of the trumpet and the seasonal flower beds evoke the notes coming out of the horn. When walking through the garden, look out for the Boy and Dolphin Fountain by Alexander Munro, dating from 1862, and the fountain statue of Diana the Huntress, designed by Lady Feodora Gleichen, great-niece of Queen Victoria.

Horse-riding: A different viewpoint

Saddle-up, break away from the clamour of the city and take in Hyde Park on horseback. The park has been an exclusive setting for horse-riding since the eighteenth century when London’s beau monde would parade down Rotten Row in their best equestrian finery. The park has two horse riding arenas, on North Carriage Drive, by Clarendon Gate and the park’s wildflower meadows, and South Carriage Drive, at the end of the Sports Field. Adults and children of all ages and levels can enjoy a ride - there is nothing more British than riding with a mounted escort through the trees! Group lessons in the arena are a great choice for the less experienced.

Swimming in the Serpentine Lido

A great London tradition is outdoor swimming at the swan-filled Serpentine Lido, which is open from June to September. Be invigorated by submerging yourself in the lake and enjoying the timeless views from every angle. Choose a half-mile leisurely swim or challenge yourself with two full (1.6km) laps of the Serpentine. The oldest swimming club in Britain, the Serpentine Swimming Club, meets each morning and there’s also a thrilling race on Christmas day. Interestingly, the triathlon and marathon for the London 2012 Olympics took place here.

Boating on the Serpentine

Soak up the scenery while boating along the Serpentine’s mirror-calm waters. You can rent either a rowing boat or pedalo, which hold up to six people each. Travel west past the low-lying arches of the Serpentine bridge where you’ll spot grey herons and swans, all owned by HM The Queen, or to the western edge for heavenly views of the Italian Garden’s parterres and fountains. You can also jump aboard the UK’s first Solarshuttle, which glides along the river powered by the sun.

Lake at London park

Whether it’s a rainy day or if you are in a relaxing mood, you can always enjoy state-of-the-art treatments or swim in our natural lit pool back at the Peak Fitness Club at Carlton Tower Jumeirah.

Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel and The Carlton Tower Jumeirah are both within striking distance of Hyde Park, allowing guests to enjoy all the delights of this most historic and beautiful of green spaces.