Bank holiday picture postcard from Hyde Park

Modern Traveller's Hyde Park picture psotcard

Out and about with our lens, we soak up a summer scene like only London can produce.

WORDS & PICTURE BY CHRIS ROWLANDS

Is there, one might rightly wonder, a scene more quintessentially British than the sight of a Rolls Royce ice cream van serving whipped dairy delights to sweltering park-goers?

No sooner does the Sun dare to grace the blue skies above London with an ounce of August warmth, than the entire populace of the capital – or so it seems to those people-watching beneath the trees – descends upon the grassy expanses that so dominate their city’s centre.

As all the world’s dogs trot merrily beside fountains, and too-warm toddlers wriggle and wail, there’s a collective sense of serenity – a red-faced, suncream-lathered serenity – that can only truly be found on that greatest of British days: the bank holiday.

Flowers reach new peaks of saturation, lapping up the glorious brightness of a cloud-free sky; tourists from more temperate climes ponder upon the British penchant for stripping off at the merest sniff of sunshine; and refreshment stalls do a roaring trade, as Tube staff remind weary waves of unexpectedly toasty travellers to “take on fluids” during this “hot period.”

Those singing and shouting their way to the Notting Hill Carnival can’t believe their luck, as the Sun shimmers off faces made pink by gleaming glitter; conversely, sore-headed campers fresh from Reading festival avert their eyes from the unbending orb above, as they – laden with tents and backpacks – make for trains and, hopefully, a good night’s sleep.

Watching this heady mix of revellers and already-revelled, alongside locals and tourists, families and workers, in a crucible crammed between tower blocks and mews streets, one can’t help but admire London for its spirit – a spirit that can only come of a city that rarely, barely makes any sense at all. Especially when it’s sunny.


Click here to buy this picture as a print from the Modern Traveller Art Store.

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