Spend a day in Hyde Park. A whole one. Bury your face in the grass and inhale the aroma of free green space in London (a rare and beautiful thing indeed.) We advocate going with a mate, no… wait… actually we don’t advocate that. Just go on your own, or with ten mates, or your mum, however you feel you want to and will enable you to get the most out of it. Just GO and dedicate yourself to the great green place for the whole day; it’ll give you the chance to fully absorb the rejuvenating power of it. You’ll feel fresh as daisy (or something) afterwards.
We did a research trip on your behalf -yes yes, how terribly altruistic of us- and here’s how and why you should do it:
Play a big beautiful game of old school Rounders. Owing to the wonderful size of Hyde Park you can do so without the formidable possibility of concussing any sunbathing nanas with your stray hunk of leather. (Don’t worry about not being able to actually hit the ball by the way, none of us could at 16 and we definitely can’t now at 27.)
Forego overpriced lattes from the cafes for a diamond picnic. The stuff of film sets and Mary Berry’s family get-togethers. Get a big bag and fill it with fruit from the market and Babybels and all the bits and pieces from the fridge that need using up. Picnics are the dog’s cojones. And having some strawberries and a tinny in the grass is far more satisfying than sitting in an uncomfortable wicker chair and forking out a fortune for a cardboard tuna melt. Oooh, and don’t forget the picnic rug and a pack of cards. No one likes getting grass rash when they’re playing Rummy.
Roll around in the grass like a big cocker spaniel. We can all get a little up-tight sometimes, that natural looseness or open-mindedness eroded a little by constantly worrying about our clothes/face/keeping up a sense of formality. So try shake that off, find a good slope and roll down it. Sometimes it’s good to be a little cold or bruised or dirty I think, not only to serve as a reminder that we’re amazingly durable as human beings but that we’re all silly kids with grazed knees inside. Rolling down hills. That’s the kind of stuff that’s good for the soul, that is. I read a wonderful quote somewhere recently that went along the lines of, ‘everyone has cellulite and everyone is worrying about their own rather than yours.’ That may seem irrelevant but I think the underlying message is a really good one, one that’s about the futility of worrying about unimportant stuff. Like other people’s opinions of you. And being permanently formal and clean. The point of this anecdote being; go bury your face in the grass, no one should judge you for it. (And I got a little sidetracked.)
The Princess Diana Memorial Fountain is a thing of beauty. And much needed relief on a hot day. Dunk your feet in it and feel the sun on your face and make a wish in the water. Our research trip came under a sun of 27 degrees and immersing our much-aggrieved feet in it for a short while at the great price of FREE was pretty glorious. As we sat dunking our hooves we spotted an ecstatic cherub splashing around in nay but a Spongebob nappy, and boy was he happy as bloody Larry. The sheer joy of the kids playing in this fountain is reason enough to go (and could put anyone in a super mood).
CLIMB A TREE (try not fall out please.) We spotted some nimble oiks that had climbed a particularly beautiful weeping beech tree (see below), a feat which was frankly pretty impressive considering the height of the beast. The canopy of this one was the stuff of secret snoggers’ dreams. Speaking of which, I can’t think of a much better place for a good old alfresco pash with your beau than Hyde Park. So many sneaky hideouts and thick undergrowth. SAUCY.
Go to the Lido (since when did we all start calling ‘pools’ ‘lidos’ btw?) To be honest, when the mercury rises and a friend suggests spending the afternoon at a London lido I’m usually the first to feign illness. Probably because POOLS in London are usually claustrophobic basins of tepid kiddy wee and half-cut hipsters. Not the Hyde Park one though, NO siree. This one’s a total diamond. Situated in a roped off section of the actual Serpentine it gives you the feeling of enjoying wild swimming with clear water and a sense of space and freedom. Sure you’ll probably find a bit of algaeus debris in your pants later as it’s an actual lake, but that’s just an authentic souvenir surely?
Get a pedalo. They ain’t cheap but they are awful fun. If you’re gonna spend your hard earned cash on anything in Hyde Park we recommend spending it on a pedalo. You can chase the ducks in it, feel the wind in your hair, take in the blissful quietness and decide what the passing clouds resemble. No car noise, incessant chatter, ringtones to interrupt you. Nothing. Relish that feeling. Floating around in a pedalo feels particularly peaceful in Hyde Park as there are no nearby roads, nor crowds of boats to bump into. Also, getting a pedalo provides a cheeky workout for the old butt and thighs (as we discovered the next day.
So clear a space in your diary, load up your Oyster and go spend a day in Hyde Park please. We hope you’ll savour it as much as we did and if you choose any of the suggested above activities we hope it’s the burying your face in the grass one.