Once part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex, Henry VIII’s mid-16th century hunting ground, it wasn’t until 1812 when the then Prince Regent engaged the royal, and now renowned, architect John Nash to develop the area for the ‘wealthy and good’, that it began to be transformed into the Regent’s Park we know today.
Revolutionary at the time, Nash’s plans for the 166-hectare park included grand villas, terraces, modest dwellings, a new canal and even a market that would sell produce and essentials. Sadly, Nash’s complete vision was never fully realised, but what was created is magnificent and includes stunning gardens, such as Queen Mary’s Gardens, which opened in 1932 and features London’s largest collection of roses, estimated to be around 12,000 flowers. The park is also home to a variety of institutions and attractions, such as the ZSL London Zoo. It was seen at its finest when Regent’s Park played host to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
If you’re looking for property to buy or rent in Regent’s Park, you will witness first hand Nash’s famed architectural prowess, as a beautiful mix of Georgian facades, Victorian houses and Edwardian cottages decorate the streets, but, unlike many period homes in London, many in this area have not been converted into flats.
No. 13 Hanover Terrace was the home of the famous writer and creator of ‘War Of The Worlds’, H. G Wells during World War II, during which he painted a large number 13 to show what he thought about superstition. He died here aged 79 on 13 August 1946. Hanover Terrace, with its grand John Nash terraces, has proven very popular with renowned artists over the years, including the horror novelist Wilkie Collins, who lived at No. 17. Ralph Vaughan Williams, the great English composer, best known for ‘The Lark Ascending’, also lived in the area, as did Joseph Haydn in 1791, when he moved to Lisson Grove seeking peace and quiet whilst he was composing. Regent’s Park is also home to a number of celebrities, such as the Beckhams, Liam Gallagher and Kate Moss.
Family friendly living
You will discover a wealth of activities and wildlife for you and your family to enjoy, from the lake with its heronry, waterfowl, and boating lake, to over 40 sports pitches, children’s playgrounds and a wealth of memorials, fountains and statues. At the heart of Regent’s Park is the ZSL London Zoo, with over 16,000 animals to discover at the Tiger Territory, Penguin Beach and the petting zoo, there is something for the young and old to explore.
Close by you will run into a wealth of celebrities and movie heroes – yes, they may be made of wax, but with with 14 interactive zones Madame Tussauds is perfect for a rainy day. Feed your children’s desire for learning at one of the number of museums on the doorstep including the British Museum and the Grant Museum of Zoology.
West London boutiques
The day breaks and you decide to take a morning stroll through the picturesque green space of Regent’s Park. After enjoying tapas at the Queen’s Head you need to decide whether you want to head to Primrose Hill to visit the array of independent shops and stylish boutiques, as you love browsing the fascinating stores, and popping into Primrose Hill Books to get lost in the shelves of second hand tomes. Or, is an afternoon of relaxation on the cards? Luxurious five-star hotel, The Landmark Spa and Health Club, offers a wonderful selection of day spa packages and treatments that could be just what you need after a busy week.
As evening approaches you decide to enjoy an early dinner at the Orrery Restaurant, as you’ve heard their food and service is exceptional, before you head over to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. The theatre has a wonderful programme of four annual productions running from May to September each year, watched by over 140,000 people. As you sit down to watch a performance of Henry V in the intimate auditorium, with a glass of Pimms in your hand, you look around at the fairy lights twinkling in the trees against the evening sky, and soak up the intoxicating atmosphere that surrounds you, feeling blessed to live in such an incredible area as Regent’s Park.