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Lesser Known Attractions in Hyde Park

Posted by Mark Smith on 25/12/2015
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Visitors to London are left amazed at the number of tourist attractions this beautiful city has to offer. It is home to some of the most historic, as well as modern, landmarks and iconic sites in the UK. From stunning palaces to world famous museums, the best of theatre to its incredible Royal Parks there is a lot to discover on a holiday in the city.

The best part of the year to visit the city is in spring time or summer, when the weather is ideal to explore the many beautiful attractions to be found here. 

Book a room at the Shaftesbury London Hyde Park and you are just a stone’s throw away from one of the most popular of London’s Royal Parks, Hyde Park. It is also the largest and most visited of the royal parks in London. Besides its more prominent attractions some of the lesser known places of tourist interest in Hyde Park include:

The Statue of Achilles

It was the first statue to be installed in the park and can be found close to Queen Elizabeth Gate at Hyde Park Corner. This piece of art was commissioned by the Ladies of England who were an upper crest society of women aristocrats. Its construction used an amazing 33 tonnes of Bronze, which was got from captured cannons of Duke Wellington’s military successes in France. The body derived its inspiration from a similar Roman statue found in Monte Cavallo, Italy while the head is that of Wellington himself.  When it was initially built it created a public furore on account of being naked, as a consequence of which a fig leaf was strategically added later.

The Statue of Achilles
image (
c) shutterstock

 

The sculpture of Isis

It is located to the south side of the Serpentine close to the Diana Memorial Fountain. This stunning bronze creation is the work of renowned British Sculptor Simon Gudgeon. It is inspired from Isis known to be the ancient Egyptian Goddess of nature and was placed in the park in 2009. It was donated by the Halycon Gallery in an effort to garner over £2 million towards the Isis Education Centre. Around the base of the sculpture are 1000 plaques featuring the names of those who helped to raise funds for the Education Centre.

The sculpture of Isis
image (c) shutterstock

The Reformers’ Tree

This attraction was actually an oak tree that was the focal point of protests by the Reform League in 1866. They were a group who vociferously campaigned for male adult suffrage in the country. It was during one such demonstration that the oak tree was set alight, which eventually burnt down, with the charred stump serving as a notice board and a symbolic rallying point for people to enjoy the right of freedom to assemble.  In a landmark act passed by the British Parliament in 1872, citizens were granted place to the north east corner of the park to assemble and speak publicly.  It came to be known as Speaker’s Corner. Nowadays there is a black and white mosaic that marks the spot where the Reformer’s tree once stood. 

Reformer's Tree
image source: wikimedia commons

Featured Image Source: FreeImages via Christina Papadopoullou