Tag Archives: Hyde Park

Step Twenty-Seven: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

30 Nov

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So I’ve been making my way round London’s Christmas markets. Second stop: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

Christmas and all things Santa really have exploded in the city’s famous park. The organisers as usual go to town with their decoration, festive music, neon lights and fun fair rides and games. They’ve taken the Christmas theme and stretched it further. This isn’t just your average market serving bratwurst and mulled wine.

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There’s an apres-ski bar booming out cheesy tunes, giant santa and polar bear toys to be won, a packed ice rink with sweeping fairy lights and my personal favourite, a carousel – but not just any carousel, a spinning carousel bar.

There’s also the not so Christmasy but year-round fun on offer, like the bright red helter skelter, stacks of flavoured fudge, fish and chips wrapped in paper and Chinese takeaway, of course.

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The rides are a central attraction so naturally we had to try them. Lily was adamant on the big swing that takes you high up above the park and spins you round and round in a not so enjoyable manner. It doesn’t look scary until you realise just how high you are, and how you’re only strapped in by a mini seat belt and gusts of wind start howling in your face. Not quite so wonderland-esque.

But the rest was.

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The details:

Location: Hyde Park. Tube: Marble Arch.

Opening times: 10am-10pm.

Prices: drinks from £4, food from £4, rides average at £5.

Open until 5th January, except Christmas Day.

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Step Seventeen: rent the pedalos in Hyde Park

14 Jul

pedalos ali and jaz

Ah, British summer. The phrase should be an oxymoron, but the heat wave of late has proved me wrong, and looking at the forecast the sun is here to stay. For the next week at least.

While this glorious weather lasts, I’d recommend a pedal around the Serpentine in Hyde Park.

So it’s not quite Yacht Week, alas, and doesn’t really compare, but it was the next best thing in our hopes to recreate that week of bliss at sea.

It’s a great little experience for when the sun is shining, and was a proper feel-good-summer-take-me-back-to-my-childhood outing. And if you get two boats, you can link up, just like YW really.

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Pedalos and rowing boats are available to hire from the Boathouse for a half hour or hour. We chose the half hour option as we thought it would get a little monotonous (ha-hum strenuous), but ended up going back the next day to hire the boats for a full hour, because the outing really was that fun.

The sun shone, we pedalled around the lake, got excited when cygnets swam past and had a picnic by the bridge, listening to the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys concerts playing in the distance. Bliss, away from the hustle and bustle of London.

Definitely recommend spicing up a park outing with a pedalo ride round the lake. Just don’t fall in like Jo.

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The details:

Location: Boathouse, the middle of Hyde Park

Opening times: 10am-8pm

Prices: adults £10 for half an hour, £12 for an hour; children (under 15) £4 for half an hour, £5 for an hour

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pedalos me and jaz