Walk around the Serpentine 

For a real-life street view, drag the orange man onto the map (…then click the cross in the top-right corner to return to the map)

London: A Visitor’s Guide

Have you seen our guidebook? Honest reviews of 200 London attractions with money-saving tips, opening times, prices and maps

Buy our London guidebook

Read a free sample before you buy

How long is the walk?A fraction under 3 miles

How long will the walk take?About 1 to 1½ hours. This is based on a leisurely 20-30 mins per mile, but you should add on more time if you plan on stopping at any of the places

Starting point:Get the Piccadilly line to Hyde Park Corner, or catch the 2, 9, 10, 14, 16, 19, 22, 36, 38, 52, 73, 74, 82, 137, 148, 414, 436 bus

> Discuss this walk in the forum 

This is a nice pleasant stroll with lots of benches and places to stop for a drink. Take your time, enjoy the waterside, and take in some distant views of London landmarks.

The walk begins outside Apsley House at Hyde Park Corner. This is where the Duke of Wellington used to live. He was one of our most famous Prime Ministers and led the allied armies to victory at the Battle of Waterloo.

As you walk into Hyde Park you will see a huge statue of Achilles up ahead, holding his shield high above his head (it seems a very strange place to have a giant statue of the Greek god!). Turn left and walk up the main path.

Along the way you should see the Hyde Park bandstand. It seems to be deserted most of the time, and you’ll be very lucky to see anybody play. Keep on going until you come to the Dell Restaurant.

If you follow the path around to the left then you will be entering an area known as ‘The Dell’.

Follow the path round to the right until you reach the man-made Serpentine lake, which cuts Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens in two (the second half of the lake, over the bridge, is technically called ‘The Long Water’, but everyone knows it as the Serpentine). It was built in the early 18th-century for Queen Caroline, who used it for pleasure, birds and boating.

Follow the riverside path until you come to ‘The Lido’. This is our first tea-stop. You might like to think of this walk as a pub-crawl around the park – but with cups of tea instead of pints. The Lido has some nice seats outside where you can sit and sip your tea. There are also some toilets nearby if you need a wee-break.

The Serpentine Swimming Club hold their events here and you can probably see their swimming lanes marked out in the water.

The temperature is unbelievably cold (I’ve never tested it out, but I will take their word for it), but that doesn’t stop some fitness freaks gathering here for an early morning swim before work.

Before you reach the bridge you should be able to see the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain on your left. This controversial memorial is a bit like Marmite… you’ll either love it or hate it.

Cross over the central bridge here, and take in some great views of the lake. Then continue walking on the path to the north. You should pass a huge 6-metre tall stone sculpture by Henry Moore, called ‘The Arch’.

This path offers some good views of Kensington Palace, which is the red brick building way off in the distance. This rather understated palace was home to William III, Queen Victoria and Princess Diana.

Keep walking until you come to the ornate ‘Italian Gardens’, filled with benches, statues and water fountains. This was designed by Sir Christopher Wren as a pleasure garden, and is our second stop on our tea-crawl. You will find some refreshment stands and toilets here if you need another break. Then continue along the path and down the other side of the lake. You are now in Kensington Gardens.

The next statue you pass is one of London’s favourites – the ‘Peter Pan’ statue. The author JM Barrie used to live nearby and paid for the statue to appear overnight, as if by magic, and covered it in rabbits, squirrels, mice and fairies.

The path will take you back to the bridge again, so cross over and continue down the other side. This long walk will take you past the little shop and boat houses. If you’re feeling energetic then you can hire a little peddle boat here (summer months only), or ride around on the bigger passenger boat (summer months only).

You might like to check out our guide to outdoor events in London, to see if there’s anything worth doing in the park. You can also check for outdoor events in July, outdoor events in August and outdoor events in September.

At the end of the lake is our third and final tea-stop – the Dell Restaurant again. If you’ve held out until now then this is your last chance to get a cup.

If you take a diagonal right past the restaurant, then you should come to a large rock in the ground which is supposed to form the ‘Holocaust Memorial Garden’. It seems a little bit lazy to me… it’s just a big rock. It’s not much of a memorial.

The final stretch will take you past a very pleasant rose garden, and back to Apsley House. Craig has written a review of Apsley House in his London blog, if you’d like to go inside.

> Discuss this walk in the forum 


Buy an Oyster Card  – for the easiest and cheapest fares

Save money – Get the cheapest fares on the London’s buses and trains

Special offers – Buy a ‘Visitor Oyster card’ and enjoy extra discounts

Quick and easy – Just touch your card down on the reader, and go!

Copyright © 2017 London Drum. All rights reserved · Contact London Drum · Privacy policy / Terms of use / Cookies
London City Guide

London blog

Read our review:
Staple Inn

If you want to see a Tudor building from the time of Shakespeare then here it is: Staple Inn. It's had a few renovations… more

London Pass

Save some money with London Pass Cheap entry into London attractions

London Pass

Learn more about London Pass

> Save moneyFree or discounted entry into top attractions

> Save timeJump the longest queues with Fast Track entry

Guide book

Have you seen our London book?

London guidebook

Find out more and read a free sample

Get the ebook

Amazon.com $3.99

Amazon.co.uk £2.99

Get the paperback

Amazon.com $15.99

Amazon.co.uk £11.99

Honest reviews of London’s landmarks and attractions

Money saving tips things to do for free and cheap days out

Useful information with opening times, prices, photos, maps