One of the great things about living on London is that it’s such a green city. There are loads of parks here, where you can wander around, smell the roses or feed the ducks.
Some of these places are Royal Parks, which means that although they’re open to the public, they’re actually crown land. One of these is Regent’s Park, which is a massive 410 acres, which encompasses the London Zoo, an open air theatre, boating lakes restaurants and cafes, and large sporting grounds.
The park is famous in literature, with frequent mentions in Agatha Christie and James Bond novels, featuring largely in Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. And it’s also the place where Perdita and Pongo’s owners meet and fall in love in 101 Dalmations.
Historically speaking, the land was appropriated by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries (for a great novel set in this period, try Dissolution by CJ Sansom), it was then used as a hunting park til 1649, and in 1811 the Prince Regent (later King George IV, whose initials you can see on some of the ornate park gates) engaged John Nash to create a plan to develope the area. From 1835 it was open to the public, but initially for only two days a week.
One of my favourite parts of the park is Queen Mary’s Garden, which was created in the 1930’s and is home to over 12000 rose bushes of 400 different varieties. It’s hard to think of something more British or more beautiful than a royal rose garden in the heart of London.
If you’re looking for more information or thinking of visiting, here’s a LINK with more information.