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Green Park highlights

October 29th, 2007

Food and Drinks in Green Park
You’ll find a mini outdoor café at Ritz Corner and Canada Gate, open 9am-8pm in summer, 10am-4pm in winter. The mini café serves coffees, teas, cold drinks and a variety of sandwiches and sweets.

While no snack carts are allowed in Green Park, you’ll find one or two outside the north and south entrances (places where foot traffic passes frequently on those busy walkways). You’ll easily find picnic gear down Piccadilly Street outside the northeast entrance at either a sandwich shop or fast food place (blech!). Toilet facilities are at the park’s northeast corner.

Outside Green Park
The northern entrance to the park is only a few minute’s walk from the “Green Park” underground (Tube) station. The famous Ritz Hotel is down the street (high tea service: $90/person), where the nattily dressed doorman won’t allow entrance to those dressed in denim. A few blocks further lies the busy, neon-bright day-or-night Piccadilly Circus. Brown’s Hotel (where Oscar Wilde once lived) also has tea service in an amazing and elaborate Victorian room.

london green park_1The southern entrance lets onto The Mall, just on the crossroads in front of Buckingham Palace. This is a busy place and one few visitors to London miss. Colorful flowers displayed across from the palace gates and traffic roundabout beautify this crossroads. The enormous fountain sits in the center of the roundabout—the Queen Victoria Memorial at its center—a place where hundreds of visitors (but few Londoners) hang out to await the changing of the guards processional (seen on most days, but not every day: check the London weekly guide when you float into town).

Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park form an unbroken line of greenery that stretches over three miles, from Kensington Palace along the western edge of Ken Gardens to the Houses of Parliament beside the Thames River. You need only cross a few well-known (often busy) streets to enjoy this long walk. I think this walk is an ideal treat to see real Londoners at their daily activities— strolling, jogging, sitting, swimming, talking—and a fine way to see the surrounding architecture without its being drowned by so many buildings on a city street. Likewise, the walk from Hyde Park on through to the Thames brings you near some of the best tourist sights from the prettiest vantage points: Speaker’s Corner, the Serpentine, The Princess of Wales Memorial Walk, Buckingham Palace, St James Palace, Westminster Abbey (spires through the trees), The Mall, 10 Downing Street, and Parliament. For my eclectic list of tourist sites and nightlife entertainment, jump to the London city page.

Directions to Green Park
Green Park is in London’s West End, bordered by Piccadilly Street on the north and The Mall on the south. The park is open year round, all day. The Green Park Underground stop is just off the park’s Piccadilly Street gate at its northeast corner. The Hyde Park Corner station is a few minute’s walk from the southwest.

(return to Green Park’s main page here)

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