12 Famous Parks in London

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A Guide for Visitors to Explore 12 Famous Parks in London

From the evergreen sweeping slopes of Primrose Hill and the exotic Rose Garden at Regent’s Park to the hidden gems of the royal gardens at Kensington Palace, London is a city that offers an exceptionally vast Royal Parks and exquisite green spaces as a welcome break from the busy city. Here is our selection of 12 famous parks in London and ways to explore these serene green spaces.


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Our selection of the 12 famous parks in London:

1 | Battersea Park London

Battersea Park, one of the famous parks in London is located on the South Bank of River Thames. Occupying an area of 200 acres, this Victorian park was built between 1854 and 1870. Home to a large lake, ecological areas, Pump House Gallery, sports facilities and the famous London Peace Pagoda.

The London Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park is one of the 80 Peace Pagodas around the globe. The Peace Pagodas were built as part of an advocacy for world peace and non violence by the Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fujii (1885 — 1985) who was the founder of Nipponzan-Myohoji Buddhist Order.

Standing at 33.5 metres, the Battersea Peace Pagoda has four bronze statues of the Buddha symbolising the four characteristics of Buddha’s life — birth, contemplation towards enlightment, teaching and death. The Pagoda is located in a serene location overlooking the Thames River, surrounded by lush trees and green lawns.

Good to Know Information about Battersea Park London

Open: 10:00 A.M. — 5:30 P.M. during Spring and Summer;

10:00 A.M. — 4:30 P.M. or dusk during Autumn and Winter

Where: Battersea Park, Battersea Park SW11 4NJ

Pedestrians can access Battersea Park via Albert Bridge Road, Prince of Wales Drive and Queenstown Road (SW11 4NJ)

2 | Kensington Palace Gardens London

Kensington Palace Gardens is a hidden gem! A delightful beautiful garden is located next to Kensington Palace, an 18th century wonder. This historic palace is used by the present day younger royal family. Located in the prestigious Kensington neighbourhood, Kensington Palace Gardens is open to the public and is one of the top destinations for Londoners to escape to amidst their daily chaotic city life.

Although Kensington Palace Gardens can be visited at any time of the year, it is best experienced in spring and summer, while a visit in the coolness of the autumn chill has its own charm.

Where: Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX

Getting to Kensington Gardens

Kensington Palace is located within easy walking distance of the following train stations:

>10 mins from High Street Kensington Underground Station

>10 mins from Queensway Underground Station 

>25 mins from London Paddington 

>22 mins from London Marylebone

>40 Mins from London Victoria

TTS Best Tips:

Take a very special journey in the royal footsteps and walk around the beautiful grounds with a local expert. You will be given interesting insights into the history of the royal family and see the statue of the late Princess Diana in the sunken garden. Afterwards, enjoy Britain’s most loved drink, tea like never before — a traditional British high tea.

Check availability of this unique activity to Kensington Palace Gardens and High Tea and book your experience.

NB: Entry to Kensington Palace is not included in this activity.

Recommended read: Kensington Palace Gardens — An Idyllic Getaway from Chaos of the City


Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

Kensington Palace Entrance Ticket

Kensington Palace: Kings Grand Staircase - The first link to the King's State Apartments. The walls surrounding the staircase was painted by William Kent in 1720, depicting George I's court.
Famous parks in London | Kensington Palace: Kings Grand Staircase – The first link to the King’s State Apartments. The walls surrounding the staircase was painted by William Kent in 1720, depicting George I’s court.

Visit the historic Kensington Palace while you are there. Bathe in the history and opulence of this remarkable 18th century wonder. Learn about the intriguing tales of the state rooms, the beautiful palace apartments, see the room where Queen Victoria was born, the tragic tales of the Stuarts, secret stories and public lives of the royals. Marvel at the mind-blowing architecture of the Cupola Room and the King’s Grand Staircase. Kensington Palace is definitely worth a visit if you like an insight into the royal lives, both past and present.

Book your ticket for a visit to Kensington Palace.

Recommended read: Kensington Palace — Why you should Visit this 18th Century Historical Gem


3 | Hyde Park London

Famous parks in London

Hyde Park is a Grade I listed park and is one of the eight Royal Parks in London. The most popular of green spaces in the City of London, it offers a venue for world class events, concerts and boating activities along with cycle paths, plenty of quiet spaces to relax, unwind and be ‘just be’.

This incredible green space in one of the world’s largest metropolises, is home to famous landmarks such as the Albert Memorial, Serpentine Lake, and the Speaker’s Corner. Hyde Park’s tree-lined avenues and winding walkways make a great escape to wind-down your day.

While anytime of the year is a great time to bathe in the serenity bestowed by this green space, you may want to visit at a specific time of the year to experience the changing seasons. Hyde Park is one place where the changing seasons are best noted, with snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses in early spring to summer and the absolutely beautiful vista of fallen golden, brown honey-coloured leaves in late autumn/fall.

Aside from being one of the famous parks in London, Hyde Park has another important role. Hyde Park London forms a chain beginning from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and through Green Park, past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace.

Open: All day

Where: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH

Getting to Hyde Park:

The nearest Tube Stations are: Victoria, Bond Street, Green Park, Paddington, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner.


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4 | Green Park London

One of the eight Royal Parks in London, this green oasis was officially named “Green Park” in 1746. Green Park, nestled between Hyde Park to the west and St James Park to the east is a peaceful triangle of open meadows of mature trees and grassland. The lack of flower beds or lakes does not deter Londoners from seeking a quiet retreat from city life.

Located next to Buckingham Palace, Green Park spans nineteen hectares (forty seven acres). It makes a splendid stop for a breather after visiting the nearby landmarks. The popular landmarks here which attract the most visitors are Buckingham Palace, Wellington Arch, and Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.

Where: Piccadilly, London W1J 9DZ

Getting to Green Park:

Green Park Tube Station is served by Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines


Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips on Famous parks in London:

Secret Gardens of London

For an off-the-beaten path experience of the best parks and gardens in London, join a unique small group tour specifically curated for garden lovers and lovers of flowers. This tour typically covers a full day and takes you on a journey to discover some of London’s best kept garden secrets — an experience that goes beyond the usual tourist haunts of the capital city. Added to gardens, flowers and learning about medicinal uses of some of the very interesting plants, you shall also enjoy High Tea at Chelsea Physic Garden.

Check availability and book your space on this unique experience of visiting the Secret Gardens in London.


5 | St James Park London

A charming parkland in the heart of the city, St James Park is the oldest Royal Park in London. Occupying an area of 23 hectares (57 acres), features a large lake and is primarily a wildlife sanctuary. A leisurely stroll through this green oasis allows for swans, geese, ducks and even pelicans.

Take in the spectacular views from the Bridge across the lake where you could see the Big Ben, London Eye and Buckingham Palace. There are several fountains, and statutes along with memorials to discover in St James Park.

At the very heart of the park is Tiffany Fountain. Tiffany Fountain is famous for the magnificent six metre plume of water it sends into the air. On some special occasions, the jet is illuminated in any one of the rainbow colours.

A monument to look out for is the Queen Victoria Memorial that stands in front of Buckingham Palace. At 25 metres, this incredible monument commemorates the passing of Queen Victoria in 1901.

St James’ Park borders Buckingham Palace to the west and you may also want to experience the Birdcage Walk and the Horse Guards Parade.

Make your way along The Mall, and if you are here at the right time, you may catch the moment for the Changing of Guard, a ceremonial event where soldiers stand down and are replaced by the next group.

More on “Changing of Guard” below.


6 | Regent’s Park London

Regent’s Park, named after Prince Regent who later became King George IV is a favourite haven for Londoners and visitors alike. The ample green space in this famous park of London encompasses 170 hectares (410 acres). A truly scenic park offering tree lined paths, children’s playgrounds and sports facilities.

The highlight of the park must surely be the award winning Queen Mary’s Rose Garden. The Rose Garden boasts the largest collection of roses in London with a reputed 12,000 roses planted here.

A serene Japanese Garden Island, enjoys a secluded area in the park, an open-air theatre for musical entertainment, boating lake, walking trails and a Zoo. Yes, London’s ZSL Zoo is within Regent’s Park.

Good to Know Information about Regent’s Park London | Famous parks in London | Famous Parks in London

Open: 5:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M

Where: Regent’s Park London, NW1 4NR

Getting to Regent’s Park London

Nearest Tube Station is Regent’s Park on the Bakerloo Line

Recommended read: Why Regent’s Park is the #1 Garden with a total Zen

7 | Kew Gardens London

Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been home to botanic collections since the 18th century.

“Home to the largest living plant collection on earth” Kew Gardens is a haven for nature lovers! This one hundred thirty two hectare (three hundred twenty-six acres) is a grand showpiece of landscaped gardens and architectural features. Home to flora and fauna from around the globe, Kew Gardens plays a crucial role in the fields of scientific, economic, botany and ecology.

Strolling through the Botanic gardens, it is easy to forget that you are in England. There are plants and trees from varying climate zones, ranging from desert to Alps. Asian magnolias in full bloom, Japanese cherry trees and in the lush Victorian Palm House, papayas!

The Princess of Wales Conservatory is another beyond-believe space at Kew Gardens. The gigantic waterlillies are at least a couple of metres in diameter! The iconic Palm House houses the oldest tree-fern, known as Encephalartos altensteinii which was brought from Africa to England in 1775, believed to be the oldest surviving plant in the world.

Pristine flower beds, exotic flowers, Victorian glasshouses and their winter spectacular makes Kew Gardens a perfect destination throughout the year.

Kew Gardens London is an unmissable destination for everyone, both young and old alike.

Good to Know Information for Kew Gardens | Famous parks in London

Open: From 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M, in summer

Where: Kew Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE

How to get to Kew Gardens, Richmond, London

1 | By train

Kew Bridge station is 800m from Elizabeth Gate, via Kew Bridge. South West Trains run services from Waterloo, via Vauxhall and Clapham Junction. There is no level access at Kew Bridge.

Richmond station has lift and level access. Take 65 bus (in the direction of Ealing Broadway) to Lion or Victoria Gate.

2 | By tube

Kew Gardens station is 500m from Victoria Gate. It is in Zone 3 and is served by the District Line (Richmond branch) and London Overground.

There is no level access from the westbound platform. It is possible to continue one stop to Richmond and catch a tube back to use the eastbound platform which does have level access.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

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Pre book your visit — Kew Gardens Entrance Ticket

Kew Gardens is fully wheelchair accessible.

Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Registered disability assistance dogs are allowed in the gardens.

8 | Richmond Park London

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Richmond Park, the largest of London’s Royal Park covering an area of 2500 acres, has some of the best wildlife. Designated as a National Nature Reserve, the park is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation.

The wide open spaces and grasslands are an important area for wildlife, such as rare species of birds, beetles, bats, deer herds and wildflowers.

There are about 650 wild deer within Richmond Park. Although historically the park was created for deer hunting by Charles I in the 17th century, these days the deer are mostly home across the pond, wandering delightfully in their natural surroundings.

Richmond Park London makes a perfect day out for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts. You could try power kiting, horse riding, golf or off-road cycling along the Tamsin Trail.

Good to Know Information about Richmond Park

Open: Typically open 24 hours except November to early December and February to early March, when pedestrian gates are open at 7:30 A.M. and closes at 8:00 P.M.

Where: Richmond Park, Richmond, TW10 5HS

How to get to Richmond Park London:

The nearest Tube/Train station is Richmond Station, served by National Rail or District Line. From the station, take bus #371 or #67 to the pedestrian gate at Petersham.

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9 | St Dunstan in the East London

An unusual but a beautiful park set amongst ruins of war, St Dunstan in the East offers a world away from the hustle and bustle of London city life.

Tucked away on a quiet street between Tower Hill and Monument, is the ruins of an old Gothic church that has a rich history. Often referred to as ‘London’s Secret Garden’, plants are allowed to reclaim their rightful place among the ruins, giving St Dunstan in the East a special, natural and quirky feel.

St Dunstan in the East is truly a charming little space where tranquility is experienced at any given time.

Good to Know Information

Open: 8:00 A.M to 7:00 P.M

Where: St Dunstan in the East

St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 5DD

Getting to St Dunstan in the East:

Nearest Stations are: Monument, Bank, Fenchurch Street and Tower Hill

Highly recommended read: St Dunstan in the East — 8 Reasons to Visit this Serenity amongst Ruins

10 | Holland Park London

Holland Park spans 54 acres and is the largest park in the affluent Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. There are plenty of things to do here including tennis, football, cricket and netball along with health walks which are regularly scheduled here.

Holland Park is famously known for its dahlias. The Holland House Garden has proudly grown dahlias year by year ever since these beautiful flowers were first successfully grown in England (1814).

There is yet another reason to visit Holland Park — an oasis of calm offered by the uniquely landscaped Japanese style Kyoto Garden, perfect for quiet reflection and relaxation. Tiered waterfalls, stone lanterns, Japanese maple trees, a pond full of beautiful koi carp. There are also a couple of peacocks wandering around. It is hard to imagine that you are in London when visiting Kyoto Garden, the zen here is incredible.

Good to Know Information about Holland Park London | Famous parks in London

Open: 7:30 A.M to 8:00 P.M. (or closes half an hour before dusk in winter)

Where: Holland Park,

Ilchester Pl, London, W8 6LU

How to get to Holland Park:

Nearest Stations are Holland Park, Kensington High Street, and Nottinghill Gate.

11 | Greenwich Park London

A much loved park by Londoners, Greenwich Park is one of the oldest in London and has a rich history. Established in the 15th century, Greenwich Park offers many things to do in and around the park or secluded spots if you wish to steal moments to yourself to bathe in the serenity of the gentle breeze and calmness.

Enjoy panoramic views over the Docklands and the City of London from atop Greenwich Hill. The views are absolutely spectacular at any time of day.

Visit the Queen’s House, play hopscotch on the Meridian, watch the Red Ball fall, explore British History, have tea in the Cutty Sark and discover the quaint pretty town of Greenwich. A visit to Greenwich will typically involve a day.

Good to Know Information about Greenwich Park London | Famous parks in London

Where: Greenwich Park, London SE10 8EJ

Open: From 6:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M (January & February), and 8:00 P.M from the start of British Summer Time.

Getting to Greenwich Park London:

By Train to Greenwich Station;

By Tube (Jubilee Line) to North Greenwich Station;

By Docklands Light Railway to Cutty Sark Station.

Recommended read: Greenwich in One Day – 45 Experiences and more to cherish

12 | Hampstead Heath London

Hampstead Heath is London’s beloved green space. Situated a little out of central London, Hampstead Heath offers green spaces with best views and highest points including Parliament Hill, Golders Hill Park, a lido that is open 365 days, swimming pond, sports facilities, playground along with an extraordinary pergola and hill garden. Added to stunning vistas are the natural habitat of the expansive grassland and ancient woodland.

Recommended read: Hampstead Pergola Serene Haven — includes a video for a sneak peek into the grandeur of run-down terraces.

Good to know Information about Hampstead Heath

Where: Hampstead Heath, West Gate Lodge, Hampstead Lane, Hampstead Heath. NW3 7JP

Open:

Hampstead Heath is open 24 hours 7-days a week;

Golders Hill Park opens at 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. during autumn and winter / 10:00 P.M. in the summer;

Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden opens at 8:30 A.M. and closes at 3:15 during the winter months and 8:00 P.M. in the summer.

How to get to Hampstead Heath London:

TRAIN (OVERGROUND)

Take the Train to:

Gospel Oak, to the south east, 1 minute walk

Hampstead Heath, to the south west, on the edge of the Heath

TUBE

Take the Northern Line to:

Hampstead, to the west, 10 minutes walk

Golders Green, to the north for Golders Hill Park and the Heath Extension, 10 minutes walk

Tufnell Park or Kentish town, to the south east, both around 14 minutes walk

For more information and a map of the area, go to Hampstead Heath.

ADD TO YOUR FAMOUS PARKS IN LONDON ITINERARY

1 | The Ceremonial Event of the “Changing of Guard”

The dazzling Changing of Guard is a much cherished tradition of the British monarchy. It is the time of day where the time honoured tradition of the Queen’s Household Cavalry change their shifts, when the palace guards are replaced by the next team of guards. This ceremonial event takes place at 11:00 A.M. and is free to watch.

It is a popular event for tourists and there are crowd control measures in place for safety.

There is no single spot for best views because the ceremony spans three locations — Buckingham Palace, St James’ Palace and Wellington Barracks. Hence, it is impossible to view the entire Guard Mount.

The following information will support your planning to experience the Changing of Guard.

How to experience the Changing of Guard at Buckingham Palace:

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace takes place at 11:00 A.M. on the following days:

August to May — Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays;

June and July — Daily

The timings to guide your visit:

>10:43 Old Guard leaves St James’s Palace;

>10:57 New Guard leaves Wellington Barrack;

11:00 Official Start Time

>11:10 St James’s Palace relief leaves Buckingham Palace;

>11:25 Relieved sentries leave St James’s Palace;

>11:40 Old Guard leaves Buckingham Palace;

>11:45 St James’s Palace Guard leaves Buckingham Palace.


Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

You may not need to join a guided tour to witness the Changing of Guard but as the highly popular event of Changing of Guard takes places along three different locations, we suggest the following three activities if you wish to end up at the right place at the right time, for best views and not much is missed. Select any to best suit your itinerary:

1 | Combine a visit to see the Changing of Guard and afterwards, explore the very grand State Rooms at Buckingham Palace on a rare occasion when it is open to the public — Changing of the Guard and Buckingham Palace Tour.

2 | Watch the ceremonial event of the Changing of Guard and explore the city of Westminster on a walking tour with a guide — Changing of Guard and Westminster Walking Tour

3 | Get closer to the dazzling action with a guide where you can follow the guards journey to Buckingham Palace on foot —Changing of the Guard Tour.


2 | The Iconic London Eye

Along the River Thames in Southbank neighbourhood stands the iconic London Eye, one of the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheels at 135 metres (443 ft). Famously known also as the Millennium Wheel, it is the most popular paid tourist attraction with almost 4 million visitors a year.

The ride on the Eye takes about 30 minutes, with captivating views of London’s skyline such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London. On a clear day, you may get to see as far as 40 kilometres!

Good to know Information on the London Eye for your famous parks in London itinerary:

Where: The London Eye, Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB

Open: From 10:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.

Nearest Tube Station:

Waterloo, Charing Cross, Embankment and Westminster.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips to Experience London:

London Eye with Fast Track Option

Join the fast track boarding and enjoy the gradual rotation of the wheel. Take in the mesmerising 360-degree view of captivating London and the city’s landmarks for 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you may want to see more of London for less by combining an experience of the London Eye with Big Bus and Thames River Cruise.

Recommended read: 18 Important Facts you would love to Know about the London Eye.


RELATED ATTRACTIONS IN LONDON WHILE ENJOYING THE FAMOUS PARKS IN LONDON

London has so many things to do that picking the best to do is pretty tough! However, if you are in town, enjoying the famous parks in London, there are some landmarks that are truly unmissable because these iconic sites are the roots to London as it is today. Here are two that may make a great start to your adventure in London:

1 | The Oldest Gothic Cathedral in London

Visit the oldest Gothic cathedral in London — Southwark Cathedral first established in 606 AD. While here, enjoy the cultural fusion of gastronomy at Borough Market, located at its doorstep!

2 | Tower of London

Tower of London — the most famous fortress in the United Kingdom and where the story of London began with William the Conqueror in 1066. Unveil the secrets, tragedies, torture, conspiracies, unsolved murders that took place in the Tower during the centuries along with centuries old traditions still practised today.

For more about London, navigate to Many Chapters in the Charming City London.


I sincerely hope that this article about the famous parks in London along with the recommendations for your itinerary in London is helpful for your London visit. If so, please use the links to book your activities, visits and accommodations. We earn a commission from qualified purchases and stay at zero cost to you. As always, we appreciate your continued support.

Have a super awesome time discovering London.

xoxo




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Why Regent’s Park is the #1 garden with a total zen

Why Regent’s Park is the #1 garden with a total zen

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.

Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill

Regent's Park and Primrose Hill
Regent’s Park in summer | Image: georgina_daniel

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.

Regent's Park | The bridge that takes you across to the hidden waterfall in Regent's Park, London
The bridge that leads you across to the hidden waterfall in Regent’s Park, London
Regent's Park | The waterfall in the Japanese Garden, Regent's Park, London
The mini waterfall in the Japanese Garden, in Regent’s Park | Image: georgina_daniel

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.

The view from the top of the waterfall, Japanese Garden, Regent's Park. London
Regent’s Park: The view from the top of the mini waterfall | Image: georgina_daniel

Rose Garden

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’

Doris Day - Rose Garden, Regent's Park
Doris Day | Rose Garden, Regent’s Park | Image: georgina_daniel

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’

Golden Smiles, Rose Garden in Regent's Park, London
Regent’s Park: Queen Mary’s Rose Garden . This variety is called Golden Smiles | Image: georgina_daniel

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’

Regent's Park: Queen Mary's Rose Garden. This variety is called
Regent’s Park: Queen Mary’s Rose Garden. This variety is called “Blue For You” | Image: georgina_daniel

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

Avenue Gardens, Regent's Park
Regent’s Park: Tiered fountains, evergreen hedges, spring bulbs and summer bedding at Avenue Gardens | Image: georgina_daniel

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

Wildlife in Regent's Park, London
Grey heron roaming freely in Regent's Park, London

Grey heron roaming freely in Regent’s Park, London

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].


Travel tips and Useful Information

Best Time to Visit Regent’s Park

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

Opening hours

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

Map of Regent's Park, Google maps
Map of Regent’s Park, Google maps

How to get to Regent’s Park

Info taken from Royal Parks

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

Recommended read > Tours of Parks and Gardens in London

Thoughts on Regent’s Park, the #1 garden with a total zen

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. The atmosphere 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.

I sincerely wish that this post is 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!

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Why Regent's Park is the #1 garden with a total zen
Why Regent's Park is the #1 garden with a total zen
Why Regent's Park is the #1 garden with a total zen
Why Regent's Park is the #1 garden with a total zen

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What went wrong with the Walkie talkie building?

What went wrong with the Walkie talkie building?

Walkie Talkie aka Sky Garden

The Walkie Talkie building also known as Sky Garden  opened in 2015 and it is a great place to visit at any time of the year. Suitable for solo travellers, couples as well as for families, a visit to this iconic building should be one of London’s “must do” items.

The building’s unique design has not always been a popular one and had drawn many glances, as well as comments which continues to do so to this day. Here is a brief look at what makes the walkie talkie the talk of town.

walkie talkie building in London

What went wrong with the walkie talkie building aka Sky Garden

The Sky Garden which stands at 20 Fenchurch Street is a uniquely designed building in the heart of London’s financial district. It is also known as the Walkie-talkie building because of its distinctive curvy shape which has a heavier top to maximise floor space towards the top of the building. It is an open and vibrant place of leisure offering visitors a different kind of experience of London.

The design of the walkie talkie building

This distinctive building, designed by Uruguayan architect, Rafael Vinoly, was not always a popular building. It was once described as “inelegant, bloated, thuggish” and in 2015, it won the Carbuncle Cup, for being the worst building in London. Referred to as “The heavy top sticks out like a sore thumb and does not fit into the rest of the buildings in London’s skyline”.

Moreover, the sun reflecting off the glass façade was said to have blistered paintwork on cars and shop fronts. The temperature was said to be so high that it could fry an egg on the pavement.

In addition, the shape of the building was said to create a wind tunnel at the base so strong that it started to blow-off food trolleys and people!

The “death ray” situation was fixed by attaching sunshades to the glass panels to prevent the sun reflecting off it and wind-turbines to help reduce the wind issues associated with the downdraught.

However, to a great extent, it is still true, I think, that it does stick out and does not fit into the rest of London’s skyline and the surrounding area that has low-rise buildings.


Recommended read: 5 Reasons Why you will enjoy a visit to the Sky Garden London


How about you?

What do you think? Does the Walkie Talkie fit into London’s skyline? Do let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, would love to hear from you.

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Look forward to connecting & happy discovering London

Georgina xx


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What went wrong with the Walkie talkie building? first published at timelesstravelsteps and is regularly updated. Last update January 4, 2022

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