Wintry walks to enjoy without leaving London
Looking out of the hotel window and seeing a crisp winter’s day is the perfect invitation to go for a walk. While London is world-renowned for its attractions and restaurants, it also has some fantastic parks and outdoor spaces, all of which are even more enchanting when covered in a delicate white frost.
Whether you would like to meander through a park or make your way along the riverbank, there’s a London walk perfect for you. Read on to discover two options not far from the Royal Garden Hotel.
Statues and memorials in Kensington Gardens
It could not be any more convenient to explore Kensington Gardens on foot from the hotel. This wonderful royal park is just minutes away from our doors and is full of interesting monuments, as well as its natural attractions.
Make your way into the park and set off towards the Albert Memorial, which Queen Victoria commissioned to mark her husband’s death in 1861. It is an extravaganza of high-Victorian gothic design and features a gold statue of Albert, clutching the catalogue for the 1851 Great Exhibition, which was held in nearby Hyde Park.
Wind your way north-east and you’ll come to the body of water known as the Serpentine, its namesake gallery and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. Constructed from 545 individual blocks of Cornish granite, the fountain is said to reflect Diana’s life and openness. It looks even prettier twinkling in the winter light.
Walking back westwards, you will come to Kensington Palace, official residence of the Cambridges and Prince Harry. Continue on and see the Round Pond, where JM Barrie is said to have gained inspiration for Peter Pan. When you're ready to head back to the hotel, treat yourself to an award-winning Afternoon Tea in Park Terrace.
Riverside walk along Chelsea Embankment
If you would prefer a riverside stroll, taking in the sights along the Thames, head to Sloane Square Tube station and then walk on to Chelsea Embankment. The walkway was designed by esteemed civil engineer Joseph Bazalgette and opened by Prince Alfred in 1874.
Lined with trees and distinctive wrought iron lamp posts, it’s a pleasant place to meander, especially if there is a dusting of snow across the scene. Opting for this walk, however, does not mean forgoing green spaces as the embankment is home to a number of gardens. Among them is the Chelsea Physic Garden, home to more than 5,000 medicinal plants and herbs.
There are several buildings of note to look out for along the route, including two particularly fine grade-II listed structures. Garden Corner is instantly recognisable, due to the colour of its deep red bricks, which help to make up its Dutch renaissance style. It can be found at 13 Chelsea Embankment. At number 17, you’ll be able to spot the white bird motifs of Swan House and its intricate bay windows. It is one of the best examples of Queen Anne revival architecture in London.
When you get to Albert Bridge, you can admire the octagonal tollbooths, which are the only such booths left in London. Find the sign than warns troop to break step when crossing the bridge, in order to prevent vibrations and any stress on the weak structure. Despite originally being built in 1873, Albert Bridge has been given a number of additions over the years to make it stronger. As dusk starts to fall, the bridge is lit up and the yellow glow presents a picture-perfect contrast against the winter sky.
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