London: Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill

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Regent’s Park is a large urban park. In fact, there’s 395 acres of it. It’s one of my favourite parks in London. I love to spend an afternoon wandering around it. I like finding a quiet bench or shady spot to sit and write. I also really enjoy bringing my dog Bowser here for a walk and day out. The park stretches across a fair chunk of the city. You have the Sherlock Museum and Madame Tussaud’s off of one corner and Camden Road off of another. The park itself also hosts The London Zoo, Queen Mary’s Rose Garden, as well as sports facilities, a university and an open air theatre.

One of the major promenades in Regent's Park
One of the major promenades in Regent’s Park

Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill used to be used as hunting land, and then for a time it could be rented for hay and dairy production. In the early 1800s, the park began to be developed into the park it is today. However, it wasn’t open to the general public until 1835, and then only on a twice weekly basis. Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill have always been an affluent and highly sought after area in London, due in part to its close proximity to The City (the oldest area of London which originally laid within the ancient city walls.).

Only a few of the roses in Queen Mary's Garden at Regent's Park
Only a few of the roses in Queen Mary’s Garden at Regent’s Park

When visiting Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, it’s possible to understand why the area is so sought after. Regent’s Park is beautifully cultivated, with Queen Mary’s Rose Garden being my favourite section. The Rose Garden has around 400 varieties of roses. Each with their own look and scent. And then there’s Primrose Hill. At 256 feet high, it hosts one of the best views of central London. I always enjoy ending my time in Regent’s Park by climbing Primrose Hill and enjoying the view.

More roses in Regent's Park
More roses in Regent’s Park

Items of note:

  • Regent’s Park is very dog friendly. However, dogs are not allowed in The English Garden’s section of the park, as the plants in the section are delicate.
  • Restrooms are 20p, but clean and well maintained.
  • Primrose Hill is usually busy. Nonetheless, it’s worth the hike and the crowd for the view.
  • The London Zoo is on the opposite end of the park from Regent’s Park tube station. It’s about a mile walk. If you don’t want to walk that far, there’s information on which bus you can take when you walk out of the tube station. You could also take the same bus to Primrose Hill.
The view from Primrose Hill.
The view from Primrose Hill.

Now, the real question is, would I recommend you go visiting Regent’s Park if you only have two days in London? Yes. If you’re on tight schedule, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend spending time exploring the entire park, but I would take time to visit Primrose Hill and Queen Mary’s Garden if you love roses. In my experience, Primrose Hill is busy at dusk, but that’s when I would honestly go if I could only make one trip. I’d take a blanket, a picnic supper and watch the sunset over London. And then I’d lay back and enjoy looking up at the few stars you can see in London.

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