Lancaster Gate station on the Central line was first opened in 1900 but that building was demolished and a new surface building was constructed in 1968 as part of a new office block development but was converted to a hotel shortly afterwards. Arriving at the station you have a choice of walking up 78 steps or getting the lift as there are no escalators here. Fortunately the lifts were renovated in 2006 making them far more efficient.
Strange that the station is called Lancaster Gate as it is actually opposite Marlborough Gate. The Lancaster gate entrance into Kensington Gardens is about 300m away.
Cormorants taking a rest. Kensington Gardens used to be the private gardens of Kensington Palace and Long Water refers to the long and narrow western half of the Serpentine lake. The Serpentine Bridge marks the boundary between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
This is the bronze Peter Pan statue sculpted by Sir George Frampton and placed here in 1912. Sir James barrie who wrote the play 'Peter Pan' lived closed to the gardens and would walk here regularly. It was here that he met the Llewelyn boys out with their nursemaid who became the inspiration for the Lost boys in the story. Barrie commissioned the statue himself and arranged to have it erected overnight, 'as if by magic'.
This drinking fountain was presented to the park by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough association to mark its 80th anniversary in 1939. Set up in London in 1859 its aim was to provide free, clean drinking water to the people of London.
A rather less well known feature of the park is the Pets cemetery. It is noted on maps of the park but not visible from any of the pathways.
Christ Church built in 1854-55 survived WW2 but suffered from fungal decay and was demolished in 1977, leaving the tower and the 205 ft spire. The tower and spire are Grade II listed so I am surprised that a modern development adjoining the church was given planning permission as it neither fits in with the Gothic architecture of the church nor the Victorian terraced housing in the square.
The Christ Church war memorial is unusual with its gilded crucifix on top of a tabernacle. There are eight niches within the tabernacle to house statues of St George of England, St Louis of France amongst other warrior saints.
I also came across a number of Mews.
Bathurst Mews still has a stable block providing horses for you to hire and ride in Hyde Park.
My attention was drawn to this shop, a grooming parlour for cats and dogs. Looking in the window I couldn't quite believe that people would buy these outfits for their pets.