I’ve just returned from a trip to Singapore, my first big trip since before covid. However, before I got on the plane and flew away, I had a few hours to kill in London – my train arrived several hours before I needed to head to Heathrow.
So, I put my bag in left luggage at Paddington Station and went to Hyde Park to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. And, it was rather lovely. I’ve been to Hyde Park a few times before, but it’s always been very busy – not that day. I don’t know if it’s because it was a weekday afternoon not a weekend, or maybe it was the fact it was the end of summer, or maybe it was because that day was the day the Queen (having died a few days earlier) was moved from Balmoral to Windsor for the lying-in-state and everyone was out of the park trying to get a glimpse of the procession. Whatever it was, it was certainly the quietest I’ve ever seen Hyde Park.
The first place I saw was the Italian Gardens, with their fountains and ornamental flowerbeds. There are plenty of benches available, so I had a sit down in the sun, just relaxing.
After that, I headed out into the park. I walked along The Serpentine, which is a lake in the park, used for recreation such as swimming and boating. No one was on the water that day, I think water activities were banned that day due to the procession. It was a pleasant walk, enjoying the scenery. At one point I had a rest on a bench, and heard the Queen’s Procession – from my perspective it started with one cannon being fired. I’ve never actually heard a cannon being fired before, not in real life anyway, and it actually sounded like thunder. I was slightly confused. Then I heard it again, and again. I think they were firing them every minute. At some point I heard the procession too, all the drums and other music, although I’m not really sure what was playing.
Along the way, I passed the Peter Pan statue, which was commissioned in 1912, and is a bronze statue of Peter Pan.
In due course, and without actually meaning to, I come across the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. I had a walk all around it, I even paddled at one point, which was lovely for my sore feet.
And then it was time to head back to Paddington Station, to go to the airport and head to Singapore…