London area of Regent's Park guide
What to do and where to stay in London's Regent's Park neighbourhood
Regent's Park is a huge, thriving green expanse in the heart of the capital consisting of two circular areas (an Inner and Outer Circle). At one-time a hunting ground for the ever-ebullient Henry VIII, the Prince Regent (later King George IV) commissioned royal architect John Nash to transform the land in the early 19th century. Now most famously associated with London Zoo - positioned over on the north-east corner of the park - an open-air theatre, ornate bandstand, large boating lake, huge mosque and 100-acre sports field add to its many attractions. The rest of its 410 acres consists of vast open parkland interspersed with formal, landscaped gardens. Dating back to the 1930s, Queen Mary's Gardens are still regularly and fastidiously tended, while the rose gardens burst at the seams with over 30,000 flowers. A number of pretty eateries also populate the park, while Primrose Hill (to the north) is heaving with trendy cafes and bars, not to mention some fantastic views over Westminster and the City. The park's a worthy attraction in itself, and if you're visiting the zoo or theatre, do make sure you take a couple of hours out to explore the elegant surroundings. If you're staying nearby in one of the charming hotels, try an early morning walks when the park is at its most beautiful. The annual Freeze Art Fair takes place in the south of the park every October, attracting some of the art world's most famous faces for five days of schmoozing.