Green Park review
Green Park is the great un-loved park of London. No one has ever said: "I know -- let's take the kids to Green Park for the day". No one ever goes there on a sightseeing tour. No one takes photographs of it and nobody wants to scatter their ashes in it. They couldn't even be bothered to give it a proper name: Green Park. That's like calling an orange and orange just because it's orange. But it certainly is apt: it is definitely green. There is nothing here but green leaves and the smell of wet wood.
The canopy of trees is very thick in places, and it makes it look like early evening in the winter. Raindrops are trickling on my wet bench from the drip-drying trees. It's what's leftover from the rain. This seat is practically a sponge: all of its paint has flaked away and its rotten wood is crumbling up like a half-eaten fruitcake. I love the old fashioned lamplights that are lining the path as well -- it all adds to the moody gloom. Obviously there must be some lightbulbs inside, but I'm not entirely sure without going up close: the sodium glows are shivering and flickering like they're battling against the wind.
While you're here check out Constitution Hill on the south side of the park, because on the other side of that huge brown brick wall is Buckingham Palace Gardens. Someone took a potshot at Queen Victoria's carriage along here once, but inexplicably missed (she was a big target in those days). Someone else had another go a couple of years later and missed again. So they had another go (third time lucky?)... and missed again. I've almost died a few times on Constitution Hill myself, whilst dodging the bicycles on the speedway cycle lane. They tear down here with fire and flames coming off their wheels like they're racing Bradley Wiggins.
They've built a few memorials at the top end of Constitution Hill to liven it up a bit. There's an impressive monument to Bomber Command near Wellington Arch, and four concrete obelisks for the forces of the British Empire. There's also a rather plain-looking piece for Canada, close to the Canada Gate.
A word of advice: if you see any deckchairs don't sit on them, because they charge about a thousand pounds per hour (which is a slight exaggeration, but not by much). Tourists are forever sitting in them thinking that they're free – and why not? It's only a seat. But they are forgetting that this is London: where even sitting down costs a fortune. A warden will come along before long and kick them out.
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