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Regent's Park, London

Regent's Park is one of the Royal Parks of London and located in the northwestern corner of Central London. The park covers 166 hectares (410 acres) and partly situated in the City of Westminster and partly in London’s borough of Camden. Regent’s Park gets its name after the Prince Regent who would later become King George IV reigning from 1820 to 1830.

A ring road named the Outer Circle surrounds the outer perimeters of the park while a smaller inner ring road named the Inner Circle surrounds the most tended inner section of the park. Much of Regent’s Park is open space featuring green lawns, several flower gardens, formal gardens, a boating lake and children’s playgrounds. The sport facilities at Regent’s Park are first-rate and home to the largest outdoor sports area in Central London.

 Regent's Park by Tom Page

About

During the Middle Ages, the land now known as Regent’s Park was the property of Barking Abbey. King Henry VIII acquired the land under the Dissolution of the Monasteries and set the land aside as his hunting ground named Marylebone Park. John Nash was the English architect tasked by the Prince Regent in the early 19th century to develop Regent’s Park to what it is today. Sections of the park opened to the public in 1835 during the reign of King William IV but for only two days of the week. The last major development was the creation of Queen Mary's Gardens in the 1930s, which is home to London's largest collection of roses.

Green lawn at Regent's Park by Chmee2

See & Do

Regents Canal, which connects the Grand Union Canal with the River Thames, passes through the northern section of Regent’s Park. London Zoo and the headquarters of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) are also located in the northern section. In the western side is the highly visible domed London Central Mosque or better known as Regent's Park Mosque. Also in the western section is the private ground of Winfield House, which is the official residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the UK. Regent’s University London is a private university situated in the southern section of the park.

Regent's Canal by Stephen McKay

In the northern side of Regent’s Park is Primrose Hill jutting 78 metres (256 feet) from the ground. Primrose Hill is a grassy open space with a character that sets it apart from the rest of the park. At one time, this grassy summit had an infamous reputation for prizefights and duels. With the trees kept low, the top of Primrose Hill offers some of the best views of Central London. The summit is also one of the best points to see the free firework display on Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night) held on 5th November each year.

There are several beautiful gardens in Regent’s Park and the most visited is the Queen Mary's Gardens, a rose garden situated within the Inner Circle. It’s truly a London treasure with over 12,000 roses of various varieties planted on 85 beds including the park’s own 'Royal Parks' rose. Another is the Avenue Gardens (near the Broad Walk) with its formal displays of brightly coloured flowers, bowls filled with ornamental plants, evergreen hedges and fountains. The St John's Lodge Gardens is a formal garden located north of the Inner Circle and features manicured lawns, colourful flowerbeds, stonework and sculptures.

A garden in Regent's Park by Rept0n1x

Regent’s Park is popular with joggers and strollers and the Outer Circle is accessible for cycling. The Boating Lake opens from April to October and you can hire rowboats and pedal boats from the Boathouse located beside the lake. There are plenty of opportunities for sports here including tennis, netball, rugby, field hockey, cricket, softball, football and rugby. Woodlands surround the Open Air Theatre and from May to September, the theatre becomes a venue for many theatre, music, comedy and film events. From full meals to quick bites, you can find several establishments at Regent’s Park including the Regent’s Bar and Cafe, Smokehouse, Espresso Bar, Boathouse Cafe, Hub Cafe and Regent's Park Tennis Centre Cafe.

Visiting Regent's Park

Regent’s Park opens to the public from 5:00 a.m. but the closing time varies according to the season with the earliest closing time at 4:30 p.m. in December and the latest at 9:30 p.m. in July. Several London Underground stations are within walking distance from the park. These include the Regent's Park (serving the Bakerloo Line), Great Portland Street (serving the Hammersmith & City, Circle and Metropolitan Lines), Baker Street (serving the Hammersmith & City, Circle, Jubilee, Metropolitan and Bakerloo Lines), St John's Wood (serving the Jubilee Line) and Camden Town (serving the Northern Line) Stations.

Regent's Park on the Map

Chester Road, London NW1 4NR, UK

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