My heroine is, at this moment, out for a drive with the hero in an open carriage. They have just passed the entrance to Hyde Park and, being new to London, she wonders where they’re going.
They’re headed for a picnic in Kensington Gardens. Kensington Gardens is west of and contiguous with Hyde Park. It was carved out of Hyde Park and made what it is today by Queen Caroline, wife of George II. Queen Caroline had The Long Water and The Serpentine (in Hyde Park) created from the Westbourne Stream and separated Kensington Gardens (which was a private park throughout most of the 18th century) from Hyde Park with a ha-ha.
Here is a plan of the gardens from 1754.
Once the hero and heroine arrive at the gardens, I intend for them to get out of the carriage and take a stroll – and who knows what else might happen?
I think that, were they to be transported to the present day (which they won’t), they might recognize a lot of the gardens in which they will soon be strolling.
There are many things, however, that they would not recognize, including the Albert Memorial (Queen Victoria made several additions to the gardens) and the bronze statue of Peter Pan, now a destination for visitors to the park.
I had fun finding out what I could do in Kensington Gardens. I hope that Anne and Simon have fun while they’re there and that perhaps one day you can join them.
Prints are from The British Library Online Gallery