Address: Chester Road, London NW1 4NR


Time: 5.00am to dusk

Time Information:

Phone: 0300 061 2300

650m from Marylebone

0m from Regents Park

Regent’s Park is the most northerly of the main London parks and lies next to the park of Primrose Hill. It has many facilities, particularly sport but is probably best known as the home of London Zoo.

The history of the park can be traced back to Henry VIII who acquired the land for the Crown in 1538 and used it as a hunting ground. It was called Marylebone Park at the time. In the 17th century, when hunting had become less fashionable, the land was leased to farmers and then in 1811 events took place that really shaped its future. The farm leases weren’t renewed as the Crown saw more potential in the property market and there was a new Prince Regent, who later became King George IV. He embarked on a project to transform the site and employed architect John Nash to redesign the park with terraces, villas and a magnificent Palace. There was also a road to St James’s Palace which is Regent Street today.

King George’s attention turned to Buckingham Palace though and the scheme lost momentum, the summer palace was never built and only 8 of the 56 planned villas were completed, but the lake went in, as did the canal and palatial white stucco terraces. The park opened to the public in 1835. The Queen Mary Gardens opened inside the park in the 1930’s and is surrounded by the ‘Inner Circle’ walkway. Also inside the circle is a small lake and an open air theatre. There are mansions around part of the inner circle whilst the whole park is surrounded by the ‘Outer Circle’.

Popular uses today include cycling around the outer circle, running, football, rugby, hockey and rounders. These are at the northern end which has a pavilion and changing rooms. There are also three children’s playgrounds.

The park opens at 5.00am every morning and closes around darkness and is regarded as the best kept park in London.

Along with the adjacent London Zoo, the Park is one of the most northerly landmarks in central London.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.