Beautiful Royal Parks of London
London has so many beautiful parks last time we were here we explored St. James’ Park near Buckingham Palace with its Pelicans. This time we explored The Regent’s Park. Just the gates alone are worth a look.
Regent’s Park was alive with many elegant flower beds.
Here we strolled through Mary’s garden which was full of many different roses. The colours and scents were purely delightful.
It also had a beautiful wetland area throughout the park where we enjoyed watching a variety of bird life enjoying the waters.
The grass and soil here in the park were showing signs of the harsh dry summer that England has had. You could get lost down these massive cracks in the earth underfoot. Papers are saying climate change is to blame and England will now experience this sort of hot climate as part of their norm!!!!! Alarming really!!!!
Holland Park was another Park we spent time walking through. Rob spotted his first grey squirrel which are seen here as pests but we think they are cute.
Another Royal Park at the end of our street was called Brompton Cemetery. It is the resting place for over 200 000 people, a haven for wildlife and a popular area for walking, running and riding. It has been renamed, The Great Garden of Sleep, which is really fitting. It is a peaceful haven surrounded by the busy city streets.
On our adventures through this historical resting place thousands of head stones were hidden in vines and grasses. The oldest headstone with stories of those buried dates back to 1830.
Another interesting thing we noted was how many people were enjoying a picnic lunch and many were also sunbathing next to headstones in the heat of the day. It was an extremely tranquil place to enjoy a walk but our favourite part was watching the pesky squirrel scamper over headstones and playfully scurry through the fallen leaf litter.
One of our most exciting walks was from Mayfair through Greens Park walking along side the Queen’s horsemen for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. We jumped off the tube just in time to walk all the way with them along the shady tree lined park to the palace.
It is amazing how many visitors go each day to watch the changing of the guard. We did it also on our last visit but this time we had a much better vantage point where we could actually see the changing of the guards up close.
We were melting in the heat as the full on procession seems to go on for over an hour. We thought for sure one of the guards would pass out due to their heavy uniforms.
We got to see the Beefeaters up close as they marched back and forward past where we were standing.
It is all taken very seriously and people push and shove to get a photo up close. We felt sorry for the police who had to hold the crowds at bay. No one is allowed to cross the road during the hour long changing of the guards. They had to shout out to tell children to not climb on the Royal gates but parents paid no attention and left their children there!!!
We were entertained by the Royal Band inside the gates of the palace. The band’s melodies were very modern. They belted out tunes by Michael Jackson which was great but we were thinking this isn’t traditional at all. Nice to see the Queen keeping up with the times. But the Queen goes on vacation during the summer holidays probably to escape the huge summer crowds that are outside her front gate.
After watching the changing of the guards we were excited to visit Buckingham Palace which only opens its doors to the public in summer. We had brought our tickets online which cost 24 pounds each to tour the State Rooms and garden. After going through high security we grabbed our audio headphones and were off exploring up lavish stair cases, past priceless artwork and porcelain vintage china, through extravagant ballrooms and the famous Throne Room. Our journey ended with a walk through the Palace gardens. This was the only place naturally where we were able to take photos.
The staff were notable well mannered in the Queens Palace and I loved that in the ladies toilets after washing and drying your hands you got a beautiful scented hand cream to lather your hands in. Nice to see the Queen looking after her guests!!!!!
We also went for a walk to see our local park (well, 30 minutes away) – Battersea Park. We are always pleasantly surprised by the size and number of parks in London. This was no exception – with the gigantic trees dwarfing us as we crunched leaves underfoot. To our surprise, we discovered the London Peace Pagoda – built in 1985 – it is one of many peace pagodas around the world (there is even one in Brisbane!).
We walked around the corner from the pagoda and sat at the lake and admired the wildlife – squirrels, pea hens, turtles and ducks all merrily going about their business.