Colin and I went for a walk to Hyde Park last weekend. We’ve been having beautiful sunny weather here so far for most of the winter. Temperatures in the 40s and 50s . We can’t complain. It’s hit or miss, of course, as some days it pours with rain and there is even the occasional snow. But this is winter in London and it really is the best time to be here.
The city is empty of tourists and Londoners come out to walk and enjoy their city. Sure they go and escape on holiday too… it is that time of year, when the sameness of the weather can start to make you a little bonkers. But on days like this when the sun is starting to stretch itself back out long into the later afternoon, Londoners are out everywhere.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Hyde Park. It doesn’t have the soul of Central Park in New York. Parts of it are wild and unkempt, but some of it, like this area, it is just flat, open and empty, with views of the buildings and the traffic around. Guys play football here and it’s the area where they hold concerts in the summer. But it is sort of gaping to me, too empty. Green Park and St. James Park, which carry on from Hyde Park, are more modest in size, more treed, and more beautiful.
Still Hyde Park has all kinds of charms and weird beauties, like horses, a rowing lake; Speaker’s Corner; an elusive putting green — which we have never found; a lovely rose garden; and even a lagoon, for swimming in the summer. Hyde Park is the center of London, and if I were a famous celebrity, I’d come here, because it would be easy to be anonymous in all this space, on roller blades, on bicycle, or at the Saturday and Wednesday running clubs.