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  • Fleur Barton

Diana Memorial Fountain

Updated: Jan 5

The life of Diana, Princess of Wales, (the former wife of King Charles III) was a tumultuous tale of elevation from relative obscurity working as a nanny, to a Royal Wedding and future Queen Consort, ending with a divorce and her eventual untimely death at the age of 36 following a car crash in Paris.

The Diana Momorial Fountain poster

Her funeral which took place in 1997, was watched by tens of millions around the world and there was no let up in the public fascination, even in death. The continued curiosity, 25 years later is testament to her common touch and desire to help the ‘underdog’, resulting in her being known as the Queen of Hearts.

The Diana Statue at Kesington Palace

The recent unvailing of the Diana Memorial Statue within the grounds of Kensington Palace to marked the 25th anniversary of her death; it was a conventional tribute unlike those built soon after her death. At the time, the feeling was that any memorial should reflect how she lived her live, so rather than create objects to stare at and photograph (something she would have truly detested) they should be tactile, interactive and should reflect her love of children.

The two most high profile and spectacular memorials are the Diana Memorial Playground which is the best playground in London, located in Kensington Gardens and the Princess Diana Memorial fountain, which was commissioned in 2001 and opened to the public in 2004. Both have since attracted millions of visitors and have become firm favourites on the London tourist trail.

Following an open competition, architect Kathryn Gustafson’s winning scheme of a granite oval was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004

One side of the memorial fountain with the Serpentine Lake in the background.

Located in the South West corner of Hyde Park, immediately adjacent to the Lido and Serpentine lake, the Diana Fountain draws crowds throughout the year especially during the summer months, with young children splashing around in the fast flowing water those who come just to pay homage and reflect on her unique life and many bringing picnics.

There is much confusion even among Londoners about where Hyde Park ends and Kensington Gardens begins but the border is in fact the West Carriage Drive which goes over the Serpentine. If you follow our walking tour of Kensington Gardens, the Diana Fountain would be a short detour after viewing the parakeets - take the left-hand path running alongside the Serpentine, go under the road bridge and after a 100 yards or so you will see the fountain on your right.

The road bridge seperating the Long Water and the Serpentine Lake next to the Diana Fountain

The Diana Fountain consists of 545 Cornish granite blocks arranged in a loop, over which fast flowing water cascades and swirls along an array of waterfalls, grooves, air jets and subtle obstructions.

Waterfall at the Diana Fountain.

The theatrical spectacle of fast running water is achieved by computer controlled pumps sending the water from the highest point located near Rotten Row (the ancient horse track built to link Buckingham Palace to Kensington Palace) downhill on both sides of the loop towards the Serpentine lake.

The Isis bird sculpture next to the Diana Fountain

At the bottom the water collects in a pond-like channel where wide granite sides enable visitors to sit with their feet in the water and enjoy a tranquil moment.

People bathing in the Diana Fountain

The centre of the loop can be reached with dry feet via 3 small bridges and complete the overall feeling of being able to climb over and fully interact with the memorial.

One of the three bridges over the Diana Fountain

There are many grandiose interprations of the design and how it mirrors the life and qualities of Diana, Princess of Wales, but when all said and done, the original intention to create an interactive, living memorial has been wonderfully achieved and you only have to visit on a hot summer's afternoon to see the pleasure derived with the noise children playing.

Diana Memorial Fountain Frequently Asked Questions.

Where is the Diana Fountain?

The Diana Fountain is located in the south west corner of Hyde Park, located in West London with Bayswater to the north and Kensington to the south.

Is the Diana Fountain free to enter?

The Diana Fountain is enclosed by a fence; entrance is free although it can be restricted at peak times.

Entrance to the Diana Fountain.

Can I bring my own food and drink?

You can bring your own food and drink to the Diana Fountain. You are requested not to bring glass bottles and to take you rubbish home with you. You can also buy food and drink either from the Lido Café located immediately adjacent or the Pavilion café which is directly on the south west corner of Hyde Park. Alternatively, you eat in a one of the many fantastic pubs surrounding Kensington Gardens.

The Lido cafe next to the Diana Fountain

Where is the nearest tube route?

The nearest tubes are Lancaster Gate on the Central Line (Red) to the north near the Italian Fountains

High Street Kensington to the South on the Circle Line (Yellow)

Knightsbridge on the Piccadilly line (Blue).

Where are the nearest public toilets?

The nearest public toilets are located next to the Lido café which is the building with a clocktower immediately adjacent to the Diana Fountain.

What are the opening times?

April - August: 10.00 - 20.00

September: 10.00 - 19.00

March and October: 10.00 - 18.00

November - February: 10.00 - 16.00

It is advisable to check the Royal Parks website before visiting as opening times can change.

What other Diana memorials are nearby?

There is a Diana exhibition on at Kensington Palace in Kensington Gardens, details of opening times and costs are here. In addition, if you are with children a visit to the Diana Playground is a must.

In addition, there is the Diana Princess of Wales memorial walk which is a 7 mile (11km) walk through St James, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens marked out by round brass stud plaques on the pathway. A map of this walk can be found here

Our Hotel near the Diana Fountain.

Why not try our walking tour of Kensington Gardens, which takes in Kensington Palace along with a number of magnificent sights along the way.

If you are looking to stay in the Hyde Park area, then check availability at the Lancaster Hall Hotel which is moments away from the park.

Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain location

You can either click on the link below for the map which you can send to your mobile phone, or navigate from the map below

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