The Avenue Gardens
The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill

Welcome to The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill

Slow down and smell the roses. Or work up a sweat. Grab a slice of culture or a slice of cake. Watch the birds or take in that famous view from Primrose Hill. There’s something here for everyone. 

Key information

5am - 4:30pm, vehicle gates 7am - midnight

Food & drink available

If you’re after horticultural excellence, head for Queen Mary’s Gardens. In the summer, when the heady scent of 12,000 jewel-like roses fills the air, you’ll understand why poet Sylvia Plath described it as a ‘wonderland’. Next, visit Avenue Gardens for vibrant floral displays that wrap around historic fountains and ornate planters.  

Did you know that the park boasts London’s largest outdoor sports area? At The Hub you can hire pitches for a wide range of sports – from football and rugby to cricket and lacrosse. Maybe you’d rather get out on the water? Head over to the lake, where you can hire a boat.  

Over 120 species of bird can be seen at The Regent’s Park each year. And it’s not just birds – the park is even home to London’s only breeding population of hedgehogs. With 5,000 varieties of tree, areas of wild meadow and precious historic grasslands, wildlife thrives here. See what you can spot!

And, of course, there’s that famous view. Hike up to the top of Primrose Hill to enjoy show-stopping views over the city of London. For generations, this vista has inspired artists and poets – what will it spark for you? 

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Frequently asked questions

Please find some of The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill's most frequently asked questions below. If you can’t find the information you need then you can get in touch by using our contact form.

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The pedestrian gates open from 5am and close at dusk each day, which varies throughout the year. The vehicle gates open from 7am and close at midnight each day. This week's opening hours, and any public notices relating to temporary closures (due to park events or maintenance, for example) can be found on the The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill web page.

The Regent's Park is well served by a range of different public transport services:

The closest mainline stations are London Euston - located to the east of the park, and Marylebone to the south-west. London Euston is served by services from Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway. Walking times to the park from both stations is under 15 minutes.

You can travel to The Regent's Park via the Bakerloo (Regent's Park), Circle (Great Portland Street) or Northern and Victoria (Warren Street) underground lines. Each of these is just a few minutes walk from the park.

There are plenty of options for getting to the park by bus. Use an online planner from TfL or Google to prepare for your journey.

Cycling to The Regent's Park has never been easier. There are a wealth of marked cycleways passing through and around the park, and there are several cycle hire points around the park. Full details of both can be found on the TfL website.

The Regent's Park is approximately 166 hectares (410 acres) in size - the equivalent of 11 London Zoos! The park's perimeter is approximately 3.3 miles long (excluding Primrose Hill). You can view or download the park map here.

Known as the 'jewel in the crown', The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill formed part of the vast chase appropriated by Henry VIII. Marylebone Park, as it was known, remained a royal chase until 1646. It was John Nash, architect to the crown and friend of the Prince Regent, who developed The Regent's Park as we know it today.

More information on the park's history can be found here.

The Regent's Park has plenty of on-street parking in marked bays around both the Inner Circle and Outer Circle. In addition, there is a single large car park specifically for visitors to nearby London Zoo at Gloucester Gate. This car park is not run by The Royal Parks, and the full tariff can be found here. Vehicle gate times are shown on the park web page.

Disabled parking
There are disabled parking spaces around both the Inner Circle and Outer Circle. Parking is free of charge for Blue Badge holders, but is subject to a 4-hour time limit.

Car parking in both the Inner Circle and Outer Circle of The Regent's Park is chargeable from 9am to 6:30pm, every day of the week - including Bank Holidays.

Payment methods
The parking machines in these roads accept both cash and cashless payments.

Monday to Saturday: 70p per 15 mins / £2.80 per hour / £11.20 for the maximum stay of 4 hours.
Sunday (and Bank Holidays): 50p per 15 mins / £2.00 per hour / £19.00 for the maximum stay of 9.5 hours.

Motorcycles can be parked for free, up to the maximum stay of 4 hours.

London Zoo car visitors car park (Gloucester Gate)
Visitors to London Zoo can use their large car park for £16 (term time, weekdays) or £17.50 (school holidays, weekends, bank holidays). It is free to use for Members, Fellows and Patrons of ZSL, and for non-visitors the charge is £70. This car park is not run by The Royal Parks, and the full tariff can be found here.

The Royal Parks do not process parking fines (or Excess Charge Notices - ECNs) in-house. These are managed by NSL Parking Services. You can pay your ECN online or by phone using an automated service on 0343 2082089.

Full details can be found here.

Yes, cycling is permitted within The Regent's Park, but only where stated (e.g. The Broad Walk, Inner Circle, Chester Road etc.). Smaller paths across the park where cycling is not allowed have clear 'no cycling' signage at ground level. Please be considerate and give space to other park users and the park's wildlife. Pedestrians have priority at all times.

You can check permitted cycleways on OpenStreetMap.

There is a 20p charge to use the public toilets in the parks. We have recently installed a contactless system which accepts credit/debit cards, prepaid cards and mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Cash is no longer accepted.

The Regent's Park has seven main cafés - Regent's Bar & Kitchen, The Broad Walk Café, The Espresso Bar, The Waterside Café, The Hub Café, Primrose Hill Café and the Park Sports Café. There are also several smaller refreshment kiosks dotted throughout the park. View the Food and Drink section for full details of each outlet, along with their latest menus.

You can find their locations on the park map.

The Regent's Park is perfect for a wide range of sports activities including running (the park has its own 385m cinder track) and roller-sports, or personal fitness. For team sports, The Hub offers grass pitches for football, rugby and lacrosse over winter and cricket, softball, rounders and touch rugby in summer. And at Park Sports The Regent's Park you can try a selection of sports including tennis, netball, padel and outdoor table tennis. If you'd prefer to take to the water, boating is also available in the park.

Discover more here.

Generally, dogs do not need to be kept on a lead in The Regent's Park. However there are several exceptions to this, such as Avenue Gardens, English Gardens, Queen Mary's Gardens, St. John's Lodge Garden and around the boating lake. Other areas where dogs are not allowed are listed in our Dogs in The Royal Parks policy document.

Commercial dog walkers
Please note, that if you want to use the Royal Parks for commercial dog walking purposes, you must have a Commercial Dog Walking Licence issued by The Royal Parks charity. 

No. Feeding birds and animals in the parks does more harm than good. You can learn more about why this is, and how you can help us in caring for their wellbeing here.

Getting in touch with park offices is quick and easy and all enquiries are handled by our dedicated Visitor & Park Support team.

Simply complete the short online enquiry form and your question(s) will be passed to the most appropriate staff member. To ensure an efficient service, please check that you have provided the following information:

  • Park 
  • Subject
  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your enquiry

You can also contact the park offices by telephone using the following numbers:

Contacting the police in an emergency
For police assistance, please call 101 for non-emergencies, and 999 for emergencies. You can also report a crime online.

To report lost property, please contact our Visitor and Park Support Team via their online contact form with the following information:

  • Your contact details
  • A description of the item
  • Date and time when the item was lost
  • Location (if known) where the item was lost

If the property has been found by staff or handed in to us we'll let you know.

To report criminal activity in the park you should contact the police. For non-emergencies call 101, and for emergencies call 999. You can also report a crime online.

Yes. You can use The Regent's Park as a location for personal training or group fitness sessions - providing you have a current fitness training licence issued by The Royal Parks charity.

Fitness training licences are also available for Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, The Green Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park. They are not available for St. James's Park, Kensington Gardens, Victoria Tower Gardens or Brompton Cemetery.

To apply for a fitness training licence please read the information here and complete the online application form.

If you are filming/photographing by yourself on a mobile phone or action camera for purely personal use then no you don't need a permit to film/photograph in the park. However, for all other purposes you will need to obtain a filming or photography permit from The Royal Parks charity. Full information and online application forms can be found here.

Yes, we welcome informal picnics in the Royal Parks. Please read our guidance document for maximum group sizes and what is and isn't permitted. Please note that barbecues are not allowed.

Every year, we welcome hundreds of small and medium events to the Royal Parks, including walks and runs, large picnics, concerts and community sports. Applications for such events are considered by our dedicated Parks Events team. To find out more, and submit an application click here. At least six weeks’ notice is required.

We welcome the use of our park bandstands for small public events such as music festivals, dance or group fitness workshops or theatrical performances. Applications for such events are considered by our dedicated Parks Events team. To find out more, and submit an application click here. At least six weeks’ notice is required.

For the safety of visitors and protection of park wildlife, public swimming is not allowed in any of the lakes and ponds of the Royal Parks. The only exception is the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park which is manned by lifeguards and open during summer months.

Sport and leisure in The Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill

Book a game of cricket or private tennis lessons.  Enjoy playing softball, rounders or a game of touch rugby after work. Hire a pedalo, or cycle the perimeter at sunset.  

Make the most of every minute in The Regent’s Park.

Keeping fit and active, in the fresh air

If you like to keep fit and active, you’ll find plenty to keep you that way in The Regent’s Park. Not content with being home to the world’s oldest scientific zoo, and the oldest open air theatre in the country, The Regent’s Park has an astonishing range of year-round sports facilities, including The Hub and the tennis centre managed by Park Sports

Over 50 bookable courts and pitches

Choose from football, rugby, lacrosse, cricket, softball, rounders, tennis, padel and netball. Or keep active in your own way, at your own pace. We welcome joggers and cyclists, but if you’re on two wheels please keep to the designated paths.

The Regent’s Park, along with Bushy Park, also offers Companion Cycling using modified bikes, so that the beautiful open spaces and surroundings are accessible to as many people as possible.

The Hub in The Regent’s Park

The Hub is central London’s largest, most popular outdoor sports facility, with grass pitches for football, rugby and lacrosse over winter and cricket, softball, rounders and touch rugby in summer. You can play as a team, or bring a school, hold a sports day here, host a works outing or a children’s birthday party. Whether you live close by or you’re just visiting, everyone’s welcome. Post-game, relax in the Hub Café, with panoramic views of London. 

Ready to play? Enquire about a pitch here.

Boating in The Regent’s Park

From April onwards, the bright blue pedalos and rowing boats for hire on the Boating Lake and the Children’s Boating Pond are a magnet for visitors, especially families. You can choose your own time – hire for half an hour, or a full hour – and there’s no need to pre-book. Boats take a maximum of four adults on the lake, and it’s strictly one child per boat in the Children’s Pond. Turn up – and take to the water! 

Keeping fit and active in beautiful natural surroundings improves our physical and mental wellbeing, and our quality of life. Make the most of your local Royal Park – it’s free to everyone and open every day of the year.

Playing tennis, netball or padel at the tennis centre in The Regent’s Park

With plenty of floodlit hard courts, a full tennis coaching programme, private lessons and summer camps, you can have a great game whatever your level of ability. It’s a great way to de-stress, keep fit and socialise at the same time.  

The courts are managed by our partners, Park Sports on a pay and play basis. Book in advance here or decide on the day.

Make a difference

Run, cycle or swim to raise vital funds for the Royal Parks in London's celebrated races.

  • The Hub in The Regent's Park

    The Hub

    The Hub is home to the largest outdoor sports facility in London, offering an array of sport activities and iconic views over The Regent’s Park.

  • Park Sports in Regent's Park

    Park Sports in The Regent's Park

    Park Sports The Regent’s Park provides high quality pay and play tennis, padel and netball. There is also a café overlooking the courts and gardens.

  • Boat & pedalo hire

    Boat & pedalo hire

    Embrace leisurely moments at The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill. Enjoy boat and pedalo hire for delightful adventures!

  • Gloucester Gate playground

    Gloucester Gate Playground

    The Gloucester Gate Playground in The Regent’s Park reopened in September 2020 following a complete transformation.

  • Hanover Gate playground

    Hanover Gate playground

    Located to the west of The Regent’s Park, Hanover Gate Playground has a traditional playground for younger children and a timber tree house for older kids.

  • Marylebone Green playground

    Marylebone Green playground

    Marylebone Green playground in The Regent’s Park is a wonderland of climbing frames, seesaws, and sand pits divided into themed zones.

  • Primrose Hill playground

    Primrose Hill playground

    Primrose Hill Playground improvement works are now complete, but the new shrubs and young trees need time to establish. The playground will reopen soon.

  • Deck chairs in The Royal Parks

    Park deck chairs

    Deck chairs are available for hire within the Royal Parks from March through to October. Find out about prices and book online.

Things to see and do in The Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill

The Regent’s Park is a record breaking Royal Park. Home to London’s largest collection of outdoor sports pitches, Britain’s oldest outdoor theatre and the world’s oldest scientific zoo.

The Regent’s Park – the park of discovery

Once a place of duels and prize fights, The Regent’s Park is famous for its stunning Regency architecture and landscaping. And it’s also loved by those who live locally for its thriving wildlife and glorious gardens, especially Queen Mary’s Gardens. If you’re visiting in June or July, don’t miss the sight – and scent – of 40,000 roses in full bloom.

This is a park with a rich history of royal ambition, scientific discovery and culture – home to London landmarks such as ZSL London Zoo with its iconic aviary, and the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, as well as the leading contemporary art fair Frieze London. 

Take a stroll through its elegant parkland, past the ornamental lake and the monuments, memorials and fountains, including the Ready Money Drinking Fountain. You can either explore yourself or join one of our nature or historical experts on a guided walk.

A park for nature lovers and gardeners

Whatever style of garden – or gardening – you prefer, you may find it here. The world famous rose garden is a must see, and if you want to encourage biodiversity in your own back garden, explore the Wildlife Garden, or discover more about growing your own food at our Allotment Garden. Like all the Royal Parks, we take our responsibility to look after the wildlife of the park very seriously – and our hedgehog conservation programme has been working with London’s only breeding colony of hedgehogs.

Playgrounds in The Regent’s Park

Children and parks were just made for each other – and we have four playgrounds in The Regent’s Park. If you just need to take time out from sightseeing on your trip to London or want the kids to burn off some energy and have a mini adventure, then hire a pedalo at the Boating Lake or dare to fly the 50m zipwire at Gloucester Gate Playground. This playground has a wheelchair-accessible roundabout and raised sandpits so everyone can join in and play together.

Relax on Primrose Hill

Our advice is – do nothing! Primrose Hill is one of the highest spots in London; a beautiful, wide open space to relax and take in the panoramic (and protected) view of the whole London skyline. It’s a great place for a run, too. You can pick up a coffee or light snack at The Primrose Hill Café, or bring your own picnic and just enjoy being closer to nature.

Something for everyone

Take a look at some of the most popular activities and events in The Regent's Park this autumn.

Had a wonderful time in The Regent's Park?

The Royal Parks are home to much of the city's wildlife and history. As a charity we rely on kind people like you to help us care for The Regent's Park. Any support you can provide will continue to protect and preserve it.

  • The Regent's Park Open air theatre

    Open air theatre

    The open air theatre in Regent's Park is the oldest, professional, permanent outdoor theatre in Britain. Home to theatre, music, comedy and film events.

  • The Regent's Park photographed using a drone

    ZSL London Zoo

    Situated north of The Regent's Park, ZSL London Zoo houses 755 species of animals and is the world's oldest scientific zoo.

  • Trees in The Regents Park

    Music for Trees mobile app

    An immersive soundscape that combines original musical compositions with the trees that inspired them.

  • Winter view of London skyline from Primrose Hill

    Primrose Hill

    Primrose Hill is located north of The Regent’s Park and the top of the hill is one of the six protected viewpoints in London, offering spectacular views.

Eating and drinking in The Regent's Park

A lakeside lunch, an ice cold drink overlooking the whole of London, or a steaming hot chocolate – we’ve got eight fantastic venues in The Regent’s Park.

Baguette by the boating lake, or afternoon tea before the matinee

Because The Regent’s Park is a big place, with an incredible variety of things to see and do, we’ve located our eight cafés and kiosks at some of the most popular areas in the park.

Wake up and smell the barista coffee – and the roses – at The Regent’s Bar & Kitchen, right next to the popular Queen Mary’s Garden and the Open Air Theatre. Or if you fancy a deli-style salad alfresco, head for the terrace at The Broad Walk Café on the northwest side of the park, close to ZSL London Zoo.

If you’ve just time for a coffee and pastry after a walk, try the stylish Espresso Bar, close to Chester Road. And if you’ve just come off the tennis courts close to York Gate, you can refuel at the Park Sports Café.

Watch the world go by, and admire the views

Located right beside the boating lake, The Waterside Café is a great vantage point to sit in the sunshine, watch the boats and the wildlife, as you enjoy a snack or a lunch with friends.

The Hub Café is literally the high point of The Regent’s Park. From here you’ll have 360 panoramic views of the city as you sip your cappuccino.

We also have four refreshment kiosks spread around the park, including one at the Gloucester Gate Playground, and The Primrose Hill Café beside the children’s playground.

Check out the park information boards or the park map here for your most convenient one.

Picnicking in The Regent's Park

The park is a great place for a picnic! A selection of freshly cut sandwiches, artisan baguettes and drinks are available in our cafés and kiosks.

Feel free to bring your own food and drink to enjoy in the park but barbecues and any sort of fire lighting is absolutely forbidden.

Please take your litter home with you or place it in one of our bins on the way out – wildlife and litter don’t mix.

Every purchase helps us care for The Regent's Park

A proportion of anything you spend at our cafés or kiosks goes straight back to help look after the Royal Parks, and the wealth of wildlife and natural habitats they contain.

  • The Regent's Bar & Kitchen

    Regent's Bar and Kitchen

    The Regent’s Bar & Kitchen is located in the middle of The Regent’s Park, on the Inner Circle. It is conveniently located next to the Open Air Theatre.

  • The Broad Walk Café in The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill

    The Broad Walk Café

    The Broad Walk Café located in The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill

  • The Espresso Bar in The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill

    The Espresso Bar

    The Espresso Bar on the Broadwalk at Chester Road serves Benugo blend coffee, wraps and home made cakes and pastries.

  • The Waterside Café in The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill

    The Waterside Café

    The Waterside Café is a family restaurant with a large terrace seating area. It is located on The Boating Lake near Hanover Gate.

  • The Hub Café in The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill

    The Hub Café

    The Hub Cafe is situated in the heart of The Regent's Park and has 360-degree panoramic views of the park.

  • Refreshment kiosk in The Regent's Park

    Refreshment Kiosks in The Regent's Park

    There are four kiosks dotted around the park during summer, offering freshly prepared sandwiches, cakes and dairy ice cream.

  • Primrose Hill Café

    Primrose Hill Café

    Primrose Hill Café serves a selection of hot and cold drinks and food items including wraps, sandwiches and snacks.

  • Parks Sports Cafe

    Park Sports Café

    Park Sports Café is a warm and welcoming space, adjacent to the tennis courts and a few minutes’ walk from York Bridge and York Gate.

The Regent’s Park gardens – where life flourishes

Avenues of cherry blossom in spring. 40,000 roses in full bloom in summer. Copper beeches in autumn. Brilliant scarlet berries in the depths of winter. 

In The Regent’s Park, you’ll find gardens for all seasons.

Six stunning gardens within one Royal Park

A new variety of rose in one of the 85 rose beds in Queen Mary’s Gardens, a visiting winter redwing in St. John’s Lodge Garden or a marbled white butterfly in the Community Wildlife Garden.

Whatever time of year you visit, you’ll see something in one of our gardens that you didn’t spot before. And wherever you are, look up! There are some stunning and unusual trees to spot in the park too – download our Music for Trees app that puts sound to some of the canopies here.

Queen Mary’s Gardens are the mecca for rose lovers. But it doesn’t stop at roses. There are showstopping seasonal set piece borders, a Mediterranean border, hidden benches and hideaways amid the shrubbery, and an ornamental lake.

The Avenue Gardens, designed by architect John Nash, has a stately English feel, with tiered fountains, spectacular seasonal displays and formal avenues of lime, juniper and tulip trees. A walk here will transport you back to the 18th century when The Regent’s Park was the place to see and be seen.

Best time to see Queen Mary’s Gardens

In early June, with 40,000 roses in full bloom, Queen Mary’s Gardens rivals opening night at the nearby Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Stunning – and running all summer long.

Best time to see The Avenue Garden

What could be lovelier than the explosion of pink cherry blossom and thousands of brilliant scarlet and yellow tulips in springtime? The timing of the blossom varies so it's worth checking ahead if you want to catch the cherry trees.

Gardens that give back – The Community Wildlife Garden and the Allotment Garden

In a world of garden grand designs, and landscaping for looks, it’s inspiring to visit a wildlife garden that puts biodiversity first. The Regent’s Park Community Wildlife Garden, near the Tennis Centre, is packed with wild and ornamental flowers grown to attract as much wildlife as possible. And the Allotment Garden, run entirely by volunteers, will give you masses of ideas and tips for your own garden too. 

The Winter Garden

The original Winter Garden in The Regent’s Park was the first of Europe's great glasshouses, filled with non-native palms and orchids. Today’s Winter Garden, at the Charlbert Gate entrance, is the complete opposite – embracing the cold British climate, with planting specifically designed to be at its best in winter and early spring. 

St. John’s Lodge Garden – the best kept ‘secret garden’ in London

The brief for this magical, hidden gem was to create a garden ‘fit for meditation.’ Robert Weir Schultz’s beautifully intimate layout, with its mixed borders, muted tones, and ornamental sculpture, is one of London’s finest surviving Arts and Crafts gardens. Enter St. John’s Lodge Garden through the Arbour, covered with clematis and honeysuckle, and relax in one of the hidden recesses in the yew hedges.  

Best time to see St. John’s Lodge Garden? 

 Late spring, or whenever you crave some time to yourself.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are very welcome in The Regent’s Park, but there are some parts of the gardens that they can’t go. You can’t bring them into Queen Mary’s Gardens, The Avenue Garden or St. John’s Lodge Garden, but they’re welcome on a lead in The Winter Garden and the Community Wildlife Garden.

Be inspired. Get closer to nature.

Join us for an upcoming event and go behind the scenes with hands-on experiences. 

  • The Avenue Gardens

    The Avenue gardens

    These Victorian style gardens are located at the end of the Broad walk near Chester Gate and include the Bog Garden, English Gardens and Lion Vase.

  • Queen Mary's garden

    Queen Mary's Gardens

    Queen Mary’s Gardens are world-famous and home to London’s largest collection of roses, with 12,000 roses in bloom each year.

  • The Allotment garden

    Allotment garden

    A food garden that features a wide range of fruits and vegetables and information on growing techniques.

  • Community Wildlife garden

    Community wildlife garden

    The team have been busy this year with the design and construction of a wildlife friendly community garden in The Regent's Park.

  • St. John's Lodge gardens

    St. John's Lodge garden

    Built around 1818 by John Raffield, St. John’s Lodge is now a private residence, but the main garden has public access from the Inner Circle.

The history and architecture of The Regent’s Park

Home of Regency architecture, scientific endeavour – and 40,000 glorious roses.

The jewel in the crown – The Regent’s Park

The Regent’s Park that we know today is the high water mark of Regency elegance. Designed by John Nash in the early 1800s, the park is a masterpiece of landscape design and town planning, as well as an enduringly beautiful green space.

The early days of The Regent’s Park

Originally, the parkland was part of the vast forest of Middlesex and known as Marylebone Park, after the nearby village and manor. Marylebone Park was thickly wooded, and full of deer. 

This caught the eye of King Henry Vlll. Not content with hunting at Richmond Park, Hyde Park and St. James’s Park, King Henry seized the 554 acres of Marylebone Park to add to his royal collection of hunting grounds. A ditch and rampart kept the deer in, the poachers out – and Henry happy. 

And so Marylebone Park remained. Between 1649 and 1660, as many as 16,000 trees were chopped down and land sold off to pay for the Civil War. For the next 150 years the park was leased to tenant farmers. 

But it was destined to become one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in London.

Grand designs in the 1800s – The Prince Regent and John Nash

By 1811, London and its population were growing – and there was more money to be made by building on Marylebone Park than by farming it. At the same time, the new Prince Regent set his heart on a new summer palace with its own exclusive grounds. He turned to celebrated architect, John Nash.
Nash’s bold landscaping design featured a vast, rounded park surrounded by highly desirable Regency residential villas, plus a stunning summer palace for the Prince Regent and a processional road linking this new palace with the prince’s other home, St. James’s Palace. 

Nash was a brilliant architect, but no businessman. The plans didn’t make a small fortune – they cost one. And the Prince Regent simply lost interest. Only 8 villas were built and the Prince’s summer Palace never materialised, but the processional route survives as Regent Street today.

The 1800s – becoming a Royal Park

At first, the only people allowed in the park were the exclusive residents themselves, and the fashionable 'carriage set' who took part in  weekly carriage rides. But in 1835, the east side the park opened to the public.

Science and the arts in The Regent’s Park

The Regent’s Park has a flourishing cultural life. In 1838, The Royal Botanic Society laid out the Inner Circle with lawns and a lake, now the site of the world-famous rose collection in Queen Mary's Gardens. The Regent’s Park is also home to the world’s oldest scientific zoo, London Zoo, and the oldest outdoor theatre in the world.

The history of Primrose Hill

One of the best views in London can be enjoyed from the top of Primrose Hill. In Roman times, the hillside was a wolf-infested forest, but by the 1400s, the forest had given way to meadows and open fields. Its name changed to Primrose Hill in Elizabethan times, due to the glorious spring flowers on its slopes. Primrose Hill became Crown property in 1841, and eventually linked to The Regent’s Park below it.

Be inspired. Get closer to heritage.

Join us for an upcoming event and go behind the scenes with hands-on experiences. 

Horticulture, vistas and landscapes

The Regent’s Park is known for its fine horticulture, vistas and landscapes.  Nearby Primrose Hill is celebrated for the stunning views of London from its summit. 

Both parks are also home to unique memorials. In Regent’s Park the Ready Money drinking fountain – one of the largest in London – can be seen to the north of the Boardwalk. This striking landmark was a gift from a wealthy Indian industrialist – ‘Ready Money’ was his nickname! 

Sticking with the theme of water, make sure you take a look at the famous Triton Fountain. A group of bronze sculptures crown the picturesque Queen Mary’s Gardens. 

The Griffin Tazza – often called the ‘Lion Vase’ – sits in the Avenue Gardens. Four winged lions hold a large stone bowl, filled with plants. This is one of about 30 ornate planters in this pretty part of the park. 

Next time you’re admiring the view from Primrose Hill, don’t forget to look down – you might spot a plaque commemorating Iolo Morganwg – a Welsh Bard who died in 1826. 

To find out more about these landmarks and discover other things to see, explore the links below. 

Boy and Frog statue

The Boy and Frog statue, located in Queen Mary's Garden, is a bronze figure of a boy and a frog sitting on a pedestal of Finnish granite, set in a pond.

This Grade II listed statue was donated by Sigismund Goetze, a local artist and support of The Regent's Park. It was designed by Sir William Reid Dick in 1936.

Boy and Frog statue

Griffin Tazza (lion vase)

To the left of the main path in the centre of the Avenue Gardens, stands a large circular stone bowl supported by four winged stone lions, known as the Griffin Tazza (often called the Lion Vase).

The Griffin Tazza was designed by Austin and Seely and installed in the Gardens by William Andrews Nesfield in 1863.

It was later repaired during the restoration of the gardens in 1993-1996 and is one of about 30 stone vases in the Avenue Gardens.

Griffin Tazza (lion vase)

Holme Green bandstand

The main bandstand in The Regent's Park is located on Holme Green, between the boating lake and Inner Circle. It was moved from Richmond Park to The Regent's Park in the 1970s.

On 20th July 1982, the bandstand was the target of a terrorist attack by the IRA. Seven bandsmen were killed and a further 24 injured during a concert by the band of the Royal Green Jackets. Eight members of the public, who were watching the performance, were also taken to hospital with injuries sustained in the bombing.

Today there is a small memorial plaque on the base of the bandstand that commemorates the seven bandsmen who were killed. Each year the attack's survivors, and the families of those who were killed, gather here for a short but poignant memorial service.

Two years after the bombing, the composer George Lloyd wrote Royal Parks For Brass Band, the second movement of which, In Memoriam is dedicated to the bandsmen who died. The piece still features in many band repertoires.

An earlier bandstand stood near the south-east corner of the boundary of London Zoo.

Holme Green bandstand in The Regent's Park

Hylas and the Nymph statue

Hylas and the Nymph is a Grade II listed, bronze statue of a boy and a mermaid on a stone pedestal set in a stone-rimmed pond. It stands in St. John's Lodge Garden, northeast of the Inner Circle.

This statue was donated by the Royal Academy of Arts in 1933 and designed by Henry Pegram.

In Greek mythology, Hylas was one of the Argonauts, the heroes who accompanied Jason on the quest for the Golden Fleece. During the journey, Hylas was kidnapped by the nymph of spring and never seen again.

Hylas and The Nymph statue

Iolo Morganwg memorial plaque

On 21 June 2009, a plaque was laid on the top of Primrose Hill to mark the site of the first meeting of the "Gorsedd of Bards of the Island of Britain" in its modern form and to commemorate its founder, Iolo Morganwg.

The Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle of Britain is a society of poets, writers, musicians, artists and individuals who have made a notable contribution to the Welsh nation, language and culture. The first ever Gorsedd was held on midsummer's day, 21 June, 1792.

Iolo Morganwg (1747-1826), also known as Edward Williams, was a poet, political radical and one of the founders of the Unitarian movement in Wales.

The Gorsedd now lives on as part of the annual cultural festival, The National Eisteddfod.

Find out more about the Gorsedd of the Bards of the Island of Britain from the National Museum Wales.

Iolo Morganwg memorial plaque on Primrose Hill

Jubilee Gates

The Jubilee Gates are grand iron and gilded semi-circular gates that were installed to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V and the official opening of Queen Mary's Gardens in 1935.

Located near York Bridge off the Inner Circle, The Jubilee Gates act as the main entrance to Queen Mary's Gardens.

The gates, which are Grade II listed, were donated by Sigimund Goetze, a wealthy and successful artist who lived in Grove House (now Nuffield House) on the northern perimeter of the park from 1909 to 1939.

Jubilee Gates

Ready Money drinking fountain

The Ready Money drinking fountain is a four-sided granite and marble gothic drinking fountain that gets its unusual name from Sir Cowasjee Jehangir, whose nickname was Ready Money. It is located in the centre of the Broad Walk.

Ready Money was a wealthy Parsee industrialist from Bombay who donated it to The Regent's Park in 1869 as a thank-you for the protection that he and fellow Parsees received from British rule in India.

The sculpture contains 10 tonnes of Sicilian marble and four tonnes of red Aberdeen granite. It was unveiled by Princess Mary of Teck, later Queen Mary after whom Queen Mary's Gardens are named.

Ready Money drinking fountain

Triton fountain

The Triton Fountain is a group of bronze sculptures that depict a sea god or triton blowing on a conch shell with two mermaids at his feet. The group stand in the centre of a round pool.

It is located opposite the Jubilee Gates at the end of the central walk which runs through the middle of Queen Mary's Gardens.

The sculpture group in the Triton fountain was given in Sigismund Goetze's memory by his wife, in 1950. Goetze was a wealthy and successful artist, who from 1909 to 1939, lived in Grove House (now Nuffield House) on the northern perimeter of The Regent's Park. He had a studio in the grounds and painted the walls of the music room with scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses. His wife was the founder of the Constance Fund which donated fountains to Green Park and Hyde Park.

The fountain is on the site of a huge conservatory measuring over 1,700 sq m. The conservatory belonged to the Royal Botanical Society, which gave up the site in 1931.

The sculptures were designed by William McMillan, who also designed one of the fountains in Trafalgar Square.

Triton fountain

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Habitats, havens and hideouts in The Regent’s Park

The Regent’s Park is perhaps best known for its famous rose garden and elegant, treelined avenues. But its 400 acres are a mix of wildlife habitats, from grassland to woodland, wetland and reedbeds to thriving wildflower meadows. Our role is to protect and conserve these historic natural environments, and to create new, biodiverse ones, such as the naturalised grasslands.

Although they don’t sound as romantic as a wildflower meadow, hedgerows and scrub are equally important wildlife habitats. Our goldfinches, robins and wrens can nest and roost safely – and timid mammals like hedgehogs love the safety of dense scrub for foraging. The Regent’s Park has the only breeding population of hedgehogs in Central London.

Primrose Hill itself includes an area of one of Britain’s rarer habitats – acid grassland. These areas are home to specialist native wild plants, including sheep's sorrel, common cat’s ear and red fescue.

The birds of The Regent’s Park

The Regent’s Park lake is an inner-city haven for bird life – home to the most diverse population of water birds in any of the Royal Parks. Look out for mallards, great crested grebes, grey herons, teal, and shyer birds such as widgeons and pintails. Around 50 cormorants regularly fly in at dusk to roost on the islands.

Keep your eyes and ears open for chiff chaffs, cetti’s warblers and reed warblers around lakeside scrub and reedbeds. Large carp cruise the surface of the lake, but you might also get lucky and see smooth newts or frogs in the more sheltered shallows and ponds.

A great way to birdwatch in The Regent’s Park is with our short, self-guided bird walk.

Letting the grass grow long – putting biodiversity first

Around the sports pitches, you’ll see we’re cutting the grass less , and naturalising the grassland with native wildflowers in order to boost biodiversity and attract more pollinators. In spring and summer, meadows are humming with bees and butterflies, from meadow browns and small tortoiseshells to the rarer marbled white.

We’ve now planted 10’s of thousands of native wildflowers, including lady’s bedstraw, red campion and devil’s bit scabious. If it’s quiet, you might spot a green woodpecker hunting for ants, or kestrels hovering overhead, on the lookout for wood mice and voles.

Wildlife and parklife – a delicate balancing act

The Royal Parks are unique urban parklands, where people and wildlife can come together. We have a responsibility to protect both, and to balance the best interests of the people, animals, birds, plants and planet for future generations. 

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Find out how you can help us care for these beautiful spaces and the wildlife that calls them home for generations to come.