Hyde Park is one of the Royal Parks of London. The park is contiguous with Kensington Gardens and divided in two by the Serpentine. Hyde Park covers 142 hectares.
The manor of Hyde was acquired by Henry VIII in 1536. Its surrounding park was opened to the public by Charles I in 1637. In the 18th century Queen Caroline arranged for landscaping and formally separated Kensington Gardens from Hyde Park. The famous Crystal Palace was constructed on the south side of the park for the Great Exhibition of 1851.
During 2012 Games, Hyde Park hosted two competitions: marathon swimming 10 k and triathlon. Between 28 July and 4 August, 50 contestants competed in marathon swimming over the distance of 10 kilometres. The triathlon competition will take place between 4 and 7 August, with 55 men and 55 women contending for medals.
While London has many great parks to explore, Hyde Park is one of the largest and most diverse. The Park is particularly distinguished by Speakers’ Corner, where anyone is technically allowed to get up and deliver a speech, through to hosting regular concerts and other shows.
Speakers’ Corner (located in the northeast corner near Marble Arch) is close to the former site of the Tyburn gallows, and Rotten Row, which is the northern boundary of the site of the Crystal Palace. South of the Serpentine is the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial, an oval stone ring fountain opened on 6 July 2004. To the east of the Serpentine, just beyond the dam, is London’s Holocaust Memorial. Another memorial in the park commemorates the victims of 7/7 terrorist attacks, in the form of 52 steel pillars—one for each of the dead.