One of London’s best known and historic parks, Regent’s Park is a delightful hub of cultural, artistic and natural interest right in the heart of the city. At just 20 minutes’ walk from The Portman, an afternoon’s visit to Regent’s Park in London’s Primrose Hill followed by a foray to The Portman for drinks or dinner offers the chance to enjoy a walk through many of the notable and historic streets of London en route, as well as one of London’s finest parks.
About Regent’s Park
Regent’s Park was originally the site of royal hunting grounds, appropriated by Britain’s infamous King Henry VIII as part of his routine hunt due to its proximity to his Whitehall Palace residence.
The park itself covers over 197 hectares of prime London ground and is the largest grassland area in central London. The park is both a scenic spot to visit and to start off tours of London’s architecture, museums and culture.
What You’ll Find
With its surprising range of landscapes, including formal gardens, Lakeland, woodland, scrubland and grassland, Regent’s Park offers a delightful habitat for native and visiting birds. The park has its own nominated Wildlife Officer to help guide bird lovers to the best places to spot some of the 200 plus different species which make the most of the park. The park offers a circular bird walk and children and bird enthusiasts alike might particularly enjoy looking at the Wildlife Officer’s Regent’s Park bird website before visiting, so they can create a checklist of birds to look out for!
Water fowl are amongst the birds at the park, with the park lake being home to a dedicated heronry area. Other areas of the lake are dedicated to visitor entertainments such as boating.
Inside the Inner Circle of the park lies Queen Mary’s Gardens, the most formal landscaped area of the park, which is so peaceful it’s hard to believe that you’re right in the heart of the City of London.
Regent’s Park is also home to an award-winning Open Air Theatre, which offers a whole season of productions. The 2014 season includes a stunning pre-tour production of To Kill a Mocking Bird and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The theatre comprises of a steep outdoor auditorium of 1,270 seats as well as lawn areas for picnicking during performances.
With the differing landscapes across the park, picnicking (UK weather-permitting) is a popular park activity, for relaxation and for viewing the Park’s abundant flora, fauna and fowl. Wider animal-spotting is available from the wonderful London Zoo, which is located to the Northern side of the park. The zoo is run and maintained separately from the park so although the park is free to enter, London Zoo does require an entry fee (more details available from the London Zoo website).
For exercising, the park offers plenty of sporting grounds, cycling routes and dog walking facilities.
Regent’s Park is open all year round, with public areas opening from 5.00 am daily and closing at 9 pm.
Things to Note
Although dog walking is permitted in the park generally, there are some areas where dogs are not permitted or are only permitted on leads. The Royal Parks’ website holds extensive details on these areas, as well as all the information you need in respect of cycling and picnicking in the park.
Entry to Regent’s Park is free, although it should be noted that many of the events running in the park may require an entrance fee for viewing or enjoyment of the extra facilities.