There's no place quite like Speakers' Corner. Have you ever been? Soulay hadn't, so we introduced him to it:


Born out of public protest and riots that took place in Hyde Park in 1855, Speakers' Corner has since been the heart of free speech in London.

Close to the old Tybrun Gallows (where 50,000 public executions took place up until 1783) rowdy, controversial and boisterous behaviour was already commonplace in the area.

It's situated just opposite of Marble Arch, adjacent to Park Lane. Hyde Park has long been a centre of protest, with notable ones taking place during the Franco-Austrian war, the suffragette movement, and most recently the protests over the invasion of Iraq. 

Since its inception, the corner has hosted many famous speakers, including Marx, Lenin, Benn, Orwell and Bernard Shaw.

While anyone can take a soapbox and speak, you can't just say anything in Speakers' Corner. It isn't, as often suggested, a ‘free-zone’ with no law applicable; instead, the police are lenient towards the area, though they can arrest speakers if they deem their speeches to be unlawful.