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Speakers' Corner, London

3.2
#693 of 3,380 in Things to do in London
A Speakers' Corner is an area where open-air public speaking, debate and discussion are allowed. The original and most noted is in the northeast corner of Hyde Park in London, UK. Speakers here may talk on any subject, as long as the police consider their speeches lawful, although this right is not restricted to Speakers' Corner only. Contrary to popular belief, there is no immunity from the law, nor are any subjects proscribed, but in practice the police tend to be tolerant and therefore intervene only when they receive a complaint. On some occasions in the past, they have intervened on grounds of profanity. Historically there were a number of other areas designated as Speakers' Corners in other parks in London (e.g., Lincoln's Inn Fields Finsbury Park, Clapham Common, Kennington Park, and Victoria Park). More recently they have been set up in other British cities, and there are also Speakers' Corners in other countries. On Sunday 18th June 2017 police began to remove speakers from speaking on boxes ladders or other elevated platforms. On 24 June after national newspaper coverage and several thousand submissions to the police the policy was changed to allow ladders but only small step ladders.Hyde ParkThough Hyde Park Speakers' Corner is considered the paved area closest to Marble Arch, legally the public speaking area extends beyond the Reform Tree and covers a large area from Marble Arch to Victoria Gate, then along the Serpentine to Hyde Park Corner and the Broad Walk running from Hyde Park Corner to Marble Arch.
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Speakers' Corner Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.0
235 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • Now dominated by predominantly religious speakers and not as lively or vibrant as it once was. A disappointment.  more »
  • If you want to see free speech in action, this is a must on Sundays in Hyde Park. For decades, this is the place to be amazed that free speech does exist. You can just stand up and start speaking, peo...  more »
  • A diverse range of speakers with a slight bias towards subjects of religion on the day we visited. It's great to see free speech on show here. All of the speakers seemed seasoned and handle hecklers v...  more »
Google
  • Too much religious fanatism going on here, but definitely worth experiencing. I listened to a muslim guy defend marrying young girls and hating homosexuals. The atheist guy he was debating with was an atheist and had some very interesting points. I'd love to go back some day.
  • This really is a must see place when the speakers are out. Lovely principle, but once was enough for me. Which is a shame, for me
  • Great place to watch opinionated nobodies noise up other opinionated nobodies
  • Speakers' Corner is located at northeast corner of Hyde Park by Marble Arch. Since 1872, Londoners can lawfully make speeches on Sunday to anyone who will listen and this tradition still lives on encouraging public discourse and spirited social engagement. You can walk around the park and listen to the speakers in.
  • Good idea and place. Historical place, public speaking area for anyone to express their thoughts and offload :) tourist attraction in Hyde Park.

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