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“A surprisingly great time” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Speakers' Corner

Speakers' Corner
Cumberland Gate, Park Lane | North East corner of Hyde Park, London W1, England (Bayswater / Notting Hill / Lancaster Gate )
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Ranked #518 of 1,022 Activities in London
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Performances
Attraction details
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
189 reviews 189 reviews
57 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
“A surprisingly great time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

I visited Speakers' Corner with a friend of mine who lives in London. It was somewhere neither of us had been and, since he is leaving London next week, thought it was about time we went.

Well it was a great way to pass an hour. There were about 10-15 people actively speaking about various topics, from evangelical Christianity to the abolition of the death penalty. The quality of debate was a bit questionable at times, although a group of Canadian students had prepared well-written speeches, which was enjoyable to hear. It can feel a little bit like a circus, but the speakers gave as good as they got, which was particularly funny.

If you're near Marble Arch and have a spare half-hour (or more) it is worth a visit.

Visited July 2012
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Bingley
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Hyde park”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

Worth taking a walk past if your in and around hyde park on a sunday.

Visited April 2012
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United Kingdom
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
“Mildly entertaining”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2012

Not worth a specific trip but worth a look if in area and killing time

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Copenhagen, Denmark
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Only sunday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2012

This is fun, but remember only many people sunday, and mostly religious and political speaches

Visited April 2012
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London
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Speakers Corner a guide on how to look at it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2012

Speakers Corner is held on Sunday afternoons 1pm till dusk. i.e. that is when you are always going to find speakers. The best time is between 1pm and 5pm but in the Summer people remain late into the night. Don't expect to find and speakers there any other day.

The place has a community of hundreds of people who regularly attend and when you see a group of people discussing you can normally simply walk up to them and join in, the discussions range widely in subject and quality. You will find people who have been coming to the corner for 50 or 60 years. They have fascinating tales to tell..war verteran, revolutionaries, people from every corner of the planet and every background.
In amongst the people who hang around speakers corner you will find, the mentally challeged alongside professors from universities. Many politicians and celebrities turn up to look around, I have spotted Jeremy Paxman, Nigel Lawson, Madonna, Jerry Springer, Louis Theroux to menton few.

Then there are the speakers, religious: Islamic and Christian mostly, political: anarchist, Marxist, socialist, nationalist, rascist, comic, and a mix of other themes. Many are poor orators but some are very good. There are many regular hecklers who practice interrupting speakers and making fun of them. This can be very entertaining.

If you are opinionated you will find people who will listen to you, either in small groups, arguing with the speakers, or by speaking yourself. There is also an open chess club that sits by the cafe and lets passers by join in. But bring your own set along if you can.

It is also the place for many marches and rallies, so for example, you might have a thousands of Greek Cypriots protesting against Turkey, or Shia celebrating Ali, or Tamils protesting about their Government.

It is a very lively place, that, like a lot of modern art, requires a bit of thinking about before you understand its qualities. Having said that, it is also a sort of throwback to medieval speaking and crowd behaviour. (Or earlier if you have seen the Life of Brian you'll know what I mean.) There is even a doctoral thesis that links Speakers Corner to the fact that people who were executed at Speakers Corner (Tyburn) has a last speech to the assembled crowd.

Visited April 2012
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