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Top things to do in Regents Park, London

Regents Park London

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Regents Park is one of London’s eight Royal Parks and covers an area of over 400 acres in the north of the capital, making it larger than its famous brother Hyde Park.

The park dates back officially to 1811 when it was designed by established Regency architect John Nash and named after the notorious Prince Regent, who later became King George IV.

As well as being the largest outdoor sports area in central London, Regents Park is home to numerous beautiful formal gardens, the capital’s biggest collection of roses, a large boating lake, an open-air theatre and family-friendly London Zoo.

Below is a round-up of all of the best things to do in Regents Park, as well as the must-visit events which take place in the park throughout the year and the top London attractions nearby.

 

Getting around Regents Park

First things first, with over 400 acres of park to explore, you may be wondering what’s the best way to navigate your way around Regents Park.

Many of the park’s main attractions can be found in or around the Inner Circle, an area in the south of the park which is circled by a small road (it’s hard to miss on the map).

You also have the pedestrianised, tree-lined avenue called the Broad Walk which runs all the way from the southern entrance of the park by Regents Park tube station to the northern entrance at London Zoo.

Sticking to these paths and areas will help you to navigate your way around the large park, as well as keeping you close to the main attractions, cafes and public toilets.

 

 

Things to do in Regents Park, London

 

See a show at Regents Park Open Air Theatre

Dating back to 1932, Regents Park Open Air Theatre is the largest permanent outdoor theatre in Britain, located right amongst the thick greenery of luscious Regents Park.

The uniquely located venue hosts a variety of theatre, music, comedy and film events, from epic Shakespearean tragedies to catchy West End musicals, during its season which runs from May to September each year.

Seeing a show at the Open Air Theatre is definitely one of the best things to do in London’s Regents Park.

 

Admire the views from the top of Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill London free viewpoint

Sitting on the northern edge of Regents Park and elevated 63 meters above sea level, Primrose Hill is one of the best free viewpoints in London and a must-visit within the large park.

The lush green hill is a popular spot for picnics or alfresco evening drinks with friends while watching the sunset over the London skyline.

 

Visit the animals at ZSL London Zoo

London Zoo is situated on the northern edge of Regents Park and is the world’s oldest scientific zoo, having opened for scientific study in 1828.

It also has one of the largest collections of animals in the UK, with nearly 20,000 individuals spanning over 700 species, including lions, tigers, giraffes, Galápagos giant tortoises, wallabies, numerous primate species, a colony of Humboldt penguins and plenty more.

The zoo makes for a great day out in London for families, animal-lovers and just about anyone else looking for something fun to do in the capital.

 

Stop and smell the roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens

Roses in Regents Park London

One of my absolute favourite things to do in Regents Park is paying a visit to the beautiful Queen Mary’s Garden, sitting within the parks inner circle.

Queen Mary’s Garden was named after the wife of King George V and is home to London’s largest collection of roses. There are approximately 12,000 roses across 85 beds, with every variety and colour of rose you could possibly imagine. Truly an oasis of beautiful colours and smells right in the heart of London

And Roses aren’t the only treasures that can be found within Queen Mary’s Gardens. You’ll also be able to enjoy stunning delphiniums and over 9,000 begonias too.

Don’t forget your camera for this visit!

 

Wander through The Avenue Gardens

Flowers leading to fountain in Regents Park in London

If you’ve ever watched a TV series such as Downton Abby or Bridgerton and wished that you too could frolic through perfectly manicured English gardens filled with grand fountains and ornate flower displays, this is your chance to do it (traditional attire optional).

The Avenue Gardens are Victorian-style gardens located near the Broad Walk in the southeast corner of Regents Park. The formal gardens, which date back to the 1800s, feature a central promenade bordered by ornamental planting beds and bowls filled with flowers, perfectly pruned evergreen hedges and multiple gorgeous tiered fountains.

In the centre of Avenue Gardens stands a large circular stone flower bowl supported by four winged stone lions which is known as the Lion Tazza and is one of the most important landmarks in Regents Park.

Take a stroll down the elegant promenade and feel like you’re in the private garden of an English stately manor rather than right in the middle of bustling London.

 

Admire the Ready Money Drinking Fountain

At the north end of the Broad Walk you’ll find the Ready Money Drinking Fountain, one of the largest drinking fountains in London.

The granite and marble gothic drinking fountain is a Grade II listed structure and dates back to 1869 when it was gifted to the park by Sir Cowasji Jehangir Readymoney – a wealthy Parsee from Bombay – as a token of thanks to the people of England for their protection of the Parsees during British rule in India.

The ornately decorated fountain no longer runs with water (there’s a new one nearby if you are thirsty) but is still an important landmark to visit in Regents Park.

 

Hire a boat on the Regents Park Boating Lake

Regents Park boating lake sits on the western edge of the park and offers rowing boats and pedalos for hire from the boathouse which is open annually from late March through to the end of October.

Sitting next to the large boating lake you’ll also find a much smaller lake with child-sized pedalos which makes for a fun kid-friendly activity during the school holidays.

Whether for a romantic date, a fun summer activity with friends or a day out with the family, heading out on Regents Park boating lake is always a great idea.

 

Go kayaking down the Regents Canal

SUP on Regents Canal London

If water sports are your thing, another fun activity you can do in Regents Park is kayaking or paddleboarding along the Regents Canal.

Regents Canal is a scenic waterway that runs across the northern edge of Regents Park, coming from Little Venice in the west then heading northeast on to Camden Lock.

Walking along the canal is a lovely activity in itself, but for those feeling a little more adventurous, there are several companies who offer activities including kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding on Regents Canal too. Paddle down the serene canal, past the many houseboats, and see if you can spot any of the animals at London Zoo which borders the waterway.

Read more about the companies offering Kayaking in London’s canals here.

 

 

Events in Regents Park

 

Taste of London

Taste of London

An annual event in Regents Park each summer, Taste of London is the capitals biggest and most popular foodie festival.

For five days each July, Regents Park is transformed into an exciting alfresco dining paradise, with many of London’s best restaurants and food traders gathering to show off their hottest new dishes.

You’ll find over 200 food and drinks stalls, live cooking demonstrations from top chefs, exclusive masterclasses and tastings, live entertainment and plenty more.

Don’t miss one of the highlights of the foodie calendar in London’s Regents Park.

 

Frieze Art Fair

Frieze Art Fair is another important annual event that takes part in Regents Park each year, with the park being turned into a popular open-air art gallery.

The event is split into two main exhibitions; Frieze London, which showcases the best of contemporary art, and Frieze Masters, which specialises in antiquities and historical artworks.

The 2020 fair also saw Regents Park’s English Gardens transformed into a ‘museum without walls’, with sculptures by more than 20 international artists taking over the gardens temporarily.

 

 

Attractions near Regents Park

 

Camden Market

Camden Market London Itinerary

Following the Regents Canal away from Regents Park to the northeast, you’ll reach the popular London neighbourhood of Camden.

Camden Town is known for being home to several adjoining markets that make up the iconic Camden Market where you can find hundreds of stalls selling everything from street food, tourist knickknacks, antiques, alternative sub-culture clothing and more.

Just a short walk from each other, combining a trip to Regents Park with a browse around Camden Market is one of my favourite ways to spend a day out in north London.

 

Madame Tussauds

On the southern edge of Regents Park, sitting on Marylebone Road, you’ll find another of London’s most popular attractions – Madame Tussauds.

London’s branch of the popular wax museum features more than 250 lifelike wax figures of famous celebrities, politicians and movie characters.

Loved by both kids and adults alike, a trip to Madame Tussauds is one of the most family-friendly activities in the capital and makes a great way to round off a day out at Regents Park.

 

Sherlock Holmes Museum

Close to Madame Tussauds on the southwest corner of Regents Park is one of London’s most famous addresses – 221b Baker Street.

The fictional home of one of the world’s best-known detectives Sherlock Holmes, the very real address is now home to the privately run Sherlock Holmes Museum.

The museum is dedicated to everything to do with the famous detective, with exhibits including items from different films and TV adaptations, as well as recreations of iconic scenes including the famous study.

Find more Sherlock Holmes attractions and locations in London here.

 

 

Regents Park Q&A’s

 

Can you park in Regents Park?

Yes, there is pay and display car parking in Regents Park from 9am – 6.30pm daily. From Monday to Saturday you’ll pay £2.80 per hour (4 hours maximum stay) or £2 per hour on Sundays and bank holidays (no minimum stay).

Is Regents Park safe?

Regents Park is a very safe area of London, especially if you stick to visiting during daytime hours. The park is quieter at night, except for when events take place such as a show at the open-air theatre or London Zoo Lates.

How long does it take to walk around Regents Park?

Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill Circular Walk is a 4.3 mile loop so will take most people around 1hr 30 at a leisurely pace. This is without stopping at the gardens or attractions.

Can you walk dogs in Regents Park?

Dogs are allowed off lead in large parts of Regents Park. Dogs only need to be kept on leads in the gardens and around the edge of the boating lake.

Can you cycle around Regents Park?

Unfortunately, cycling isn’t allowed in most areas of Regents Park. However,  you can cycle around the outside of the park and on the northern section of Broad Walk.

Does Regents Park have a playground?

Yes, there are a few children’s playgrounds in Regents Park, including the popular Marylebone Green Playground in the south of the park.

 

 

Other London parks you should visit:

 

 


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Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the south west. She has a masters degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works as a freelance travel writer, digital marketer and VA, splitting her life between London and travelling the world.

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