Saturday, December 09, 2006

Serpentine Bridge - London

Serpentine Bridge in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park

This photo of the view of the Serpentine Bridge London is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

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The Serpentine Bridge spans the Serpentine in Hyde Park at the north end of Exhibition Road. This road then becomes West Carriage Way, which continues north and separates Hyde Park from Kensington Gardens. From the Serpentine Bridge you get a great view down the Serpentine east, towards the West End of London.

The Serpentine is a man made lake covering some 40 acres, created by Queen Caroline in the 1730 by damning Westbourne Stream. Unlike other man made lakes of the period, the Serpentine was given a natural curve, a design that was quickly copied in most other grand gardens of the time. The Queen also took about 300 acres of Hyde Park and to make Kensington Gardens to go with Kensington Palace. Hyde Park was then separated from Kensington Gardens by a ha-ha.

Like the rest of the parkland, the lake here officially divides into two. The area towards the West End is the Serpentine (situated in Hyde Park), while the lake on the other side of the bridge is called Long Water and lies in Kensington Gardens. The Italian Gardens are at the far end of Long Water and there is also a statue of Peter Pan. The first wife of Percy Shelley, a famous 19C writer, drowned herself in the Serpentine in 1818. Percy later married Mary, who wrote Frankenstein.

The bridge itself is more recent and dates from around the 1820s by John Rennie when King George IV was renovating the park. Near to the bridge you will find the Serpentine Gallery, Diana Memorial Fountain and the Albert Memorial.

If you follow Exhibition Road south out of the park then you will be taken towards South Kensington and the Museum district where you will find the Victoria and Albert, Science and Natural History Museums (along with the Earth Galleries).

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The nearest tube station is Hyde Park Corner, while South Kensington is about 10 minutes away down Exhibition Road.

The full panoramic image taken from the junction of the Serpentine Bridge can be found on the London tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr. You can also find a marker for Serpentine Bridge in Hyde Park on Tagzania.

For more articles on London see the London Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

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