Stroll through the pristine gardens of Jingshan Park, enjoying the meticulously maintained flowerbeds and fruit trees before climbing the hill to enjoy fantastic views over the city. On your way back down to street level, take in the Buddha statues and ornate pavilions, and watch the locals as they practice tai chi, dance or grab some exercise.Jingshan Park was built during the Liao and Jin dynasties, almost a millennium ago. The huge amount of earth which makes up the mound here was taken from the moat around the adjoining Forbidden City. Its 46-metre height is particularly impressive when you consider that all of the material was moved manually.Climb the steps to the top to enjoy the impressive reddish roofscape of the Forbidden City. Beijing’s design lines up the Drum Tower (to the north) with the Pavilion of the Everlasting Spring here on Prospect Hill, and also with the Forbidden City itself. Make sure to look to the east, for views of the White Dagoba in Beihai Park.Making your way back down the hill, look out for the commemorative stone for Chongzhen Emperor, the last of the Ming Dynasty, who is supposed to have died here.The park is particularly busy at the weekend, when there are often performances of song and dance. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a kuaiban show – this theatrical storytelling show is an absolute treat. Springtime is wonderful here, particularly from the end of April until mid-May, when 200 different varieties of peonies blossom, creating a riot of colour. It’s also a lovely place to come and enjoy a picnic and appreciate some natural tranquillity all year round.Jingshan Park is in the centre of Beijing, beside Beihai Park. It is open daily, and the entry price is affordable. It is served by a number of main bus routes, including the one which circles the Forbidden City.