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Hyde Park is one of London's finest historic landscapes and covers an area of 350 acres. It is one of the largest parks in central London and one of the Royal Parks of London, besides its beauty, also being famous for the Speakers Corner, an area where public speaking, discussions and debates take place. The park's history begins in 1536, when it was acquired by Henry VIII, from the monks of Westminster Abbey. It was originally used for hunting, remaining so, until 1637, when Charles I had the Ring created, which today stands north of the present Serpentine boathouses, and the park was opened to the general public.
Today, Hyde Park is one of London's major people-drawers, being considered one of the city's not-to-be-missed attractions, featuring numerous facilities of interest, especially for tourists and visitors, being surrounded by fine hotels and containing cafes and restaurants, a children's playground and the Lookout, a former police observation point which is now an education centre, where children learn about nature and wildlife, and, of course, natural beauties, offering outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity of wildlife watching, horse riding or picnicking, among other relaxing, family-friendly activities.
Although, London's Hyde Park is a major attraction on its own, the city has numerous other attractions that are worth visiting. Its list of most popular attractions also contains the well-known London Eye, which is a major feature of the city's skyline and, also, the world's highest observation wheel, being 135 m high. The Merlin Entertainments London Eye has won over 75 awards for national and international tourism, outstanding architectural quality and engineering, and draws millions of visitors to London, every year.
Right next to London Eye, on London's top 10 attractions, we find the Tower of London, one of the world's famous buildings. Its 900-year-old, layered history, as a royal palace, prison and place of execution, arsenal, jewel house and zoo, captivates visitors, every time, who, are charmed by its authentic beauty, at soon as they lay their eyes on it.
Another must, when visiting London, is also considered Tate Modern, Britain's national museum of modern and contemporary art, sitting grandly on the banks of the Thames. The building has a unique shape, due to the fact that it used to be a power station, and contains fabulous restaurants that offer fantastic views across the city. Inside, there are also temporary exhibitions, signed by top artists, ranging from Damien Hirst to Gauguin.
It is said that a visit to London isn't complete, without a visit to the world-famous British Museum, which contains works made by the hands of man, from prehistoric to modern times, gathered from all over the world. Among the museum's highlights, there is the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and the mummies in the Ancient Egypt collection.
Other major and popular attractions in London, include: the National Gallery, the crowning glory of Trafalgar Square, filled to the rafters with Western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries, the Natural History Museum, which boasts a collection of the biggest, tallest and rarest animals in the world, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, which celebrates art and design, with 3 000 years worth of amazing artefacts from around the world.