Recently I met my brother and sister in law in London’s Hyde Park. We don’t get to see each other much as we live in opposite ends of the country so it was a rare treat. The cousins love spending time together and it was one of those rare perfect days – the sun was shining, the autumn colours were in their full glory, everyone played together so nicely and I didn’t want it to end. I haven’t been to Hyde Park since I was a child and I had completely forgotten how beautiful it is.
We had a play in the playground which they would quite happily have stayed in all day, there was a nice coffee stand where the adults got much needed refreshment and a chance to catch up while the children played.
We walked further round past the beautiful Serpentine lake banked by Willow trees which they played hide and seek under, it brought back happy memories of my childhood; I grew up in a town with a river with lots of Willow trees and it remains my favourite tree, I remember feeling sorry for it because it was always doomed to be sad!
We then came across the Diana Memorial – I hadn’t realised it was there so it was a complete delight to see. I remember when she died, I was in France at the time and it’s still such a tragedy. I thought it was beautiful, such a fitting tribute, the water flowing round in a circle with different currents and a waterfall and everyone being allowed to splash about and have fun. Phoebe immediately wanted to get undressed and get in – we resisted initially, after all it was October but so mild and you can only battle child logic for so long, the weather was warm, we had spare pants with us so she stripped down to her top and pants and in she went- she must have gone round at least 5 times and still cried when we wanted to move on!
The fearlessness and joyful abandonment she displays every day whether she’s dressing up as a cupcake maker or splashing about in a fountain makes my life a pleasure and I treasure those moments. I hope she continues that way as she gets older, she definitely has my optimistic side although I’ve been taken over slightly by my cynical realistic side. Her brother and cousins joined in too although slightly more cautiously and lucklily clothes didn’t get too wet. I also introduced my brother to The Selfie whilst we were waiting, I can’t believe he hasn’t ever taken one! He’s camera shy though so I won’t embarrass him by putting his picture up.
We crossed the bridge and made our way down the other side of the lake, the wildlife at the park are so tame, there’s even exotic birds that have made their home here (escaped pets I think), we saw a heron and fed geese, ducks and squirrels from our hands. We had to have an ice cream of course and then found a rock garden which the children loved.
The planting is amazing everywhere, very inspiring and a photographers dream! You feel like you’re in someone’s stately home garden but it’s all free! If you are planning a trip to London it’s so worth visiting, I’ll definitely be going back.
Have you been? I’d love to hear about your adventures. What’s your favourite free activity in London, any good tips to share?
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