Regent’s Park London
Well, before I share my views on Why Regent’s Park is the #1 Garden with a total zen, I would like to ask you this.
When you work in a City like London, don’t you want to get away from it all every now and again, from the City’s fast-life? Sometimes, just for a little sunshine (if there is sunshine) fresh air and a place where you can have moments to yourself?
Well, there is a place, right in the middle of the City of London where you can do just that – Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, which is one of the Royal Parks in London.
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Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill
Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill is a large green space that offers a sanctuary for people who are constantly on the go with City’s hum-drum. Regent’s Park is different, from the other Parks in London because of its tranquil settings, beautiful landscape and the opportunity to catch either the sunset or the sunrise at Primrose Hill. There are flowers of all colours, roses especially, 12,000 of them, all named and planted in neat rows (more on this below). This is a place where you can spend hours admiring the sea of colours and enjoy the amazing fragrances. A total paradise.
For me, every visit to Regent’s Park had been a journey of new experiences and discovery, even more so on my recent visits which was part of MyCityMyTown – London Series.
My favourite part of Regent’s Park
My favourite parts of the Park are the two gardens, the Avenue Gardens near Broad Walk and Queen Mary’s Garden in the Inner Circle. Here, I could grab a seat on one of the many benches available which are spaced-out, spend my day just people-watch, read a book or write my blog and do pretty much anything I like.
However, my recent discovery has changed some of that. There is not much people-watch in my “new” spot, although I can still have a bench and write my blog or read a book. The beauty of it is I can do so in the midst of the delightful sounds of water coming from the hidden waterfall, surrounded by a Japanese Garden, an area of total zen.
Queen Mary’s Garden in Regent’s Park
This secret area of total zen is in Queen Mary’s Garden, in the Inner Circle of Regent’s Park, named after Queen Mary, who was wife to King George V. It is world famous and has been opened to the public since 1932. To find this hidden waterfall, walk across this beautiful bridge ⇓⇓⇓ and follow the path and the sounds of the water to see this splendid mini waterfall.
Then, follow the path up around the waterfall to the top for a stunning view of below. There is a circular seating area at the top with benches for you to take a break or have a picnic. It is quiet, less people here and surrounded by lots of green vegetation, simple flowers and buzzy bees. The sounds of the water is calming, soothing and peaceful.
In addition to the Japanese Garden, Queen Mary’s Garden is also famous for its Rose Garden which was completed in 1934. It is presently home to 12,000 or so roses of 85 single varieties in a perfectly tended landscape. This is a place of total delight and an uplifting experience. There is a sense of romantic playfulness too, when you walk through the elegant sea of colours, roses of different colours, combination of colours in one rose, the vibrancy in these colours amidst the amazing fragrances. At every bed of roses, you will want to smell the sweet scent of the fragrance.
The garden is somewhat magical in the evening sunlight. It is a place you would want to return again and again just to capture the peacefulness that exists here. I can only share some of these beautiful sights and hope it will inspire you to visit this beautiful garden at some point.
Meet ‘Doris Day’ – This lovely, full of sunshine, nicely perfumed of bright yellow roses with glossy mid-green foliage personifies the joyful, charming and amazingly talented “America’s Sweetheart” Doris Day. Named to celebrate her 90th birthday. These old-fashioned blooms form beautiful round clusters on vigorous stems and have a fruity and sweet spice aroma. You get to enjoy the gold yellow coloration until the petals drop. They are in bloom from June until hard frosts.
Meet ‘Golden Smiles’ – This unfading, golden yellow garden rose blooms in large clusters, has long-lasting petals that will stay pert in poor weather. The large, glossy foliage is disease resistant. It blooms from spring until winter.
Meet ‘Blue for You’ – The ruffled petals of this semi-double flowers are initially lilac with a blush white base, but as they mature, they turn slate blue. The stems are clothed in rich green foliage. They bloom quite freely, throughout the season.
There are other carefully tended, well-established flowers as well – The Delphinium, the Mediterranean and the Begonia Garden. There are about 9000 begonias which are planted twice a year. The entire landscape is perfectly planned, with shrubberies in strategic places to afford privacy to visitors and benches every 20-30 feet apart. There is a water-pond, tiny bridges and the encircled round of flowering shrubs. There is a sense of mystery too, as you turn every corner of these shrubs, not knowing what prettiness you might meet next.
I would highly recommend a visit to Queen Mary’s Garden.
The Avenue Gardens in Regent’s Park
The setting at Avenue Gardens, located near the Broad Walk is different to Queen Mary’s Garden. There are tree-lined path, tiered fountains, evergreen hedges, spring bulbs and summer bedding. There are ornamental bowls filled with flowers, some with year-round blooms. In the centre of the Avenue Gardens, sits a large circular stone bowl supported by four-winged stone lions, known as Griffin or Lion Tazza. More commonly called as simply the Lion Vase, it was installed in 1863 and recently underwent repairs during the restoration of the gardens (1993-1996).
Brief history on Regent’s Park
The green space which is now known as Regent’s Park (including Primrose Hill) was originally appropriated by King Henry VIII for use as a hunting ground. Often known as “the jewel in the crown,” it is in the heart of London and conveniently located (see useful information below on how to get here). It was only in 1646 that John Nash, an architect and friend of Prince Regent designed this vast circular-shaped of 197 hectares of green space to be a park as we know it today. The original plan was to build a summer palace surrounded by villas, a canal and a lake for the Prince but the summer palace was never built. There are only 2 villas of Nash’s original conception here, St John’s Lodge and The Holme. St John’s Lodge was built in 1818 by John Raffield, is now a private residence.
Regent’s Park today
Today, Regent’s Park is many worlds away from Henry VIII’s hunting ground. Besides Queen Mary’s Garden and Avenue Gardens, it is home to the largest green space for sports, offering a wide variety of activities, an Open-Air Theatre, the London Zoo, and a selection of cafes and restaurants. It is also home to Regent’s University, an institution with academic excellence. It has an inviting tree-lined path, the gardens are beautifully tended, lots of flowers of different names and flowering shrubs that adds a little mystery as you turn a corner.
Regent’s Park today is a Wildlife sanctuary
Regent’s Park is a wildlife sanctuary. Bird-watch has been taking place since 19th century and there are at least 200 different bird species listed. The mature trees here provide a home for species like Tawny Owl, Green Woodpecker and Kestrel whereas secluded shrubs provide nesting opportunities for tits, Robins, Blackbirds and other small birds.
The diversity of the grassland, woodland and the wetland support 21 species of butterfly and more than 230 species of moth. Hedgehogs still live here! As well as fox, grey squirrel, bats and woodmouse – these mammals form an unusual mix of inhabitants in a Central London park, so look-out for them when you are here. There are about ninety species of swans, geese and ducks that roam the waterways.
[NB: Feeding wildlife is strongly discouraged as it causes more harm than good].
For me, Regent’s Park is a huge garden planned to perfection. The rich sights and scents of these marvellous plants are a delightful experience that is inviting and I think it will make you smile as it does me. The colours are vibrant, harmonious and lively. There are parts to this garden that are quiet, relaxing and provides an oasis to refresh, connect and rejuvenate. This is a place where stress and tension can melt away. A simple walk in this little paradise within a metropolis is therapeutic to the soul and will make you return again and again.
Travel tips and Useful information
Best time to visit
The best time to see the blooms is in Spring but if you want to see the roses in all it’s glory, it will be the first two weeks in June. You can capture some fully bloomed and some just opening-up whilst some others still in their buds.
Entry : FREE
The Park opens at 5 a.m. and closing times varies in winter, spring and summer months. Please check https://www.royalparks.org.uk for closing times when you plan to visit.
Map of Regent’s Park
Getting here: Info taken from https://www.royalparks.org.uk
Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill are easily accessible by public transport.
The postcode for the park is NW1 4NR if you are using google maps or any other location app to find the Park. Just a word of caution, that this postcode is for guidance only as the park covers a large area.
The Tube stations closest to Regent’s Park are:
- Regent’s Park (Bakerloo line)
- Great Portland Street (Hammersmith & City, Circle & Metropolitan lines)
- Baker Street (Hammersmith & City, Circle, Jubilee, Metropolitan & Bakerloo lines)
- St John’s Wood (Jubilee line)
- Camden Town (Northern line)
Buses that stop around the park are:
- 2 Marylebone Station – Crystal Palace
- 13 Aldwych – Golders Green
- 18 Euston – Sudbury
- 27 Chalk Farm – Turnham Green
- 30 Marble Arch – Hackney Wick
- 74 Baker St Station – Roehampton
- 82 Victoria – North Finchley
- 113 Oxford Circus – Edgware
- 139 Waterloo – West Hampstead
- 189 Oxford Circus – Brent Cross Shopping Centre
- 274 Angel Islington – Lancaster Gate
- 453 Marylebone Street – Deptford Broadway
- C2 Oxford Circus – Parliament Hill Fields
Is this post valuable to you in planning your visit to Regent’s Park, London? If so, please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.
Have a splendid time enjoying the royal parks!
February 2020, Update
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“A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else.”