Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kensington Gardens

They have sun here! Sometimes. It's been surprisingly sunny this past week, and today I have taken advantage of it and gone to Kensington Gardens. I am currently sitting on the grass near the Round Pond, where there are swans and ducks and lots of people. A wet dog with a large stick in its mouth has just run past me looking extremely pleased with itself. Despite the sign that I'm pretty sure said 'no cycles', there are lots of people tick-ticking through on their blue Boris bikes. There are also a few people wearing dark glasses and baseball caps, who I am watching out of the corner of my eye and wondering if they are celebrities.

They could just be normal people who like to wear dark glasses and baseball caps.

My sole idea of Kensington Gardens comes from Peter Pan, though now I'm here and looking around I think I recognise it from a few movies. I know there is a Peter Pan statue somewhere around (I'll go and look for that later) but I'd expected the gardens to be somewhat like Neverland - you know, jungly and lots of flowers. Instead it is rather civilised, with trees spaced far enough apart that lots of light gets through, and crisscrossing paths. Until I find some actual gardens, I think I'd rather call it Kensington Park.

There are lots of nice parks in central London: Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park, Regent's Park (containing London zoo), St James's Park and lots of smaller ones in squares. Some of the smaller ones are fenced and gated, and only for the use of the residents living around the square. I've walked through St James's Park a few times, and I love crossing the bridge where you can see Buckingham Palace in one direction and some fairy tale castle-like buildings in the other, with the London Eye in the background. The good thing about St James's Park is the squirrels - there are tonnes of them showing off and running back and forth. Regent's Park is quite near Camden Markets, and I have been told that you can walk around the back of the zoo and see some of the animals in the outer cages. I've mostly been in there walking through the fields on the east side to get into the central(ish) city.

Green Park makes me think of deck chairs, because that's where I first saw the striped deck chairs that are set up all over the lawns in some parks. It has lots of trees and avenues to walk down, and at one end is Buckingham Palace. Hyde Park adjoins Kensington Gardens, and they hold events like Winter Wonderland and Proms in the Park there.

Mission now: find Peter Pan. And maybe some jungle.



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