One of the eight Royal parks, the 350-acre Hyde Park was created in 1536 by Henry VIll as his private hunting reserve and has since been beautifully landscaped. Notable landmarks include Speaker's Corner - where personalities like Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, George Orwell and Marcus Garvey have demonstrated their right to free speech - , the Princess Diana memorial and the man-made Serpentine Lake, which has hosted the Serpentine Swimming Club race on Christmas day race since 1864, often in sub-zero temperatures. Open from 5 am until midnight, the park is contiguous with a famous neighbour - Kensington Gardens.
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