Detective Shaw’s London: Italian Gardens and Hyde Park
The Royal Parks are among the most atmospheric places in London. Some of these are located in the centre of the British capital, yet if you walk inside them, you lose the perception of the swarm of people and cars that are just a few hundred metres away. Immersed in greenery, among flowers and watercourses, you cannot see or hear the nearby metropolitan chaos. The illusion of being in a wild territory is broken by the paths, the well-kept lawns and plants, the statues, and the wonderful fountains.
Particularly fine among the latter are those found in the Italian Gardens, situated at the point where the Kensington Gardens adjoin Hyde Park, north of the Long Water basin. You can get there through the entrance called Lancaster Gate, which is near the Tube station with the same name.
Built in 1861, they are said to have been a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria. The gardens consist of four Carrara marble basins, adorned with fountains, statues, and urns. North of the pools is the Pump House, which once contained the steam engine that powered the fountains. And the pillar sticking out of the roof is nothing more than a smokestack. The basins are home to beautiful swans, which allow themselves to be observed carelessly by Londoners and tourists who stroll beside them or sit on the benches located all around.
The Italian Gardens have also appeared in famous films such as “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”.
Moving eastward, the immense Hyde Park begins, with a total area of 253 hectares, bisected by Serpentine Lake. Its dimensions are such that it is really easy to lose your sense of direction if you don’t follow the indications and maps distributed in numerous signs inside it.
It contains numerous places of tourist interest, starting with the two triumphal arches located to the southeast and northeast: Wellington Arch and Marble Arch. Near the latter is the Speakers’ Corner, where people, especially on weekends, still give speeches to express their opinions. To the south is the memorial to Lady…