Pertinent Information Regarding The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk
One of the most loved princesses in the history of the British Royal family, Diana Princess of Wales had charmed everyone during her life. Her untimely death due to an accident had come as a shock to most people around the world and as such, a number of memorials were created to honour her and to conserve her memory for ever.
These memorials have been in the form of exhibitions such as Althorp that provide more information regarding her life and work comprising of audio-visual presentations and exhibits located at the Spencer family home, Althorp, in Northamptonshire; Diana: A Celebration which is an award-winning exhibition commemorating her life and featuring memorabilia, personal possessions, letters and film footage; Kensington Palace which was her official residence during her lifetime and which can be visited by people to explore the State Apartments; Memorials such as The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park that was designed to reflect her life, quality, openness and tribulations; The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground located next to Kensington Palace which is a tribute to her love for the innocence of childhood; and The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk.
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The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk: This is another tribute to Diana and it will take you through four of London’s parks: St James’s Park; Green Park; Hyde Park; and Kensington Gardens. It is a seven-mile-long walk that will enable you to see many famous buildings and locations that were associated with her during her lifetime. There are 90 plaques set in the ground, along the route of the walk. Moreover, you will be able to see three palaces and two mansions that had figured prominently in her life. These are Kensington Palace; Buckingham Palace; Clarence House; St James’s Palace; and Spencer House, the one-time London house of the Spencer family.
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The 7-mile long circular walking trail, dedicated to the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales passes between Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park in a figure-eight pattern. Ninety individual plaques mark the trail, with each one being etched in the centre w8ith a heraldic rose made of aluminium. Each plaque has two pointers. One indicates the direction you have come from and the other indicates the direction to the next marker. This allows the walk to be done in any direction from any starting point.
The plaques have been created by sculptor Alec Peever, in such a way that the rose emblem, etched in aluminium, in the centre appears like a precious metal. The rose is heraldic in design, in which the while symbolises the Princess’s enduring image along with symbolising Britain’s traditions and heritage. The plaques are immediately recognisable at any point, and clearly direct walkers along the route.
The walk has been described as “one of the most magnificent urban parkland walks in the world” by the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. The cost of the construction of this walk was more than a million pounds but its opening was not attended by any member of the Royal family. For the walk, the paths are well laid out and surfaced. Walking on this path provides a great opportunity to explore four of London’s best parks in an afternoon. During the walk, you can see the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park and get views of Big Ben and the London Eye from Blue Bridge in St James’s Park. This park also has pelicans that you can look out for.
Since this walk is in the figure of eight pattern, you can start from any point and return to the same point after completing the walk. The most convenient points to start this walk include Hyde Park Corner, St James’s Park Tube Station and the Serpentine car park in Kensington Gardens. It is possible to extend the walk in a number of ways. You can pick the Jubilee Greenway in Kensington Gardens and walk north to Little Venice and then you can walk alongside the Regent’s Canal to Regent’s Park. You can also pick up the Thames Path if you are in St James’s Park as you will be very close to the River Thames and then you can enjoy a riverside walk to the Houses of Parliament. For more information, it is best to pick up a brochure for the walk from most information offices or it can be downloaded from their website.
If you wish to walk the full distance of the trail, it is advisable to start at least four hours before sunset. The existing environment in the four parks that are covered by the walking route has been enhanced by the Royal Parks, with landscaping, restoring ornamental gates, fountains and memorials. It takes two hours approximately for completing one round of the walking trail. You can take photographs at the start of the walk as well as during your walk. If you do not find a place to start the walk, you can pick any convenient and logical point, such as one which is close to the parking area or where you can get information regarding the walk.