Like some other royal parks, it was originally a hunting ground for King Henry Vlll. He famously hunted for wives, but he liked hunting deer as well. Only in 1835 did Regent’s Park open to the public.
It is roughly circular in shape. It has an outer ring road (the “Outer Circle”) and inner ring road (the “Inner Circle”) for vehicles and pedestrians. The Outer Circle is popular for cycling, especially in the morning before 7 a.m., when the park gates open for vehicle traffic. The Inner Circle is a popular resting place for cabbies.
The park is always busy because there are so many things to visit here, including London Zoo (opened 1828), the Open Air Theatre (opened 1932), Queen Mary’s Garden (London’s largest rose collection, opened 1934), Winfield House (since 1955 it has been the official residence of the United States Ambassador), Sussex Palace (main campus of the London Business School since 1970), London Central Mosque (built 1977), Regent’s University (built 1911), a lake and Regent’s Canal. The renowned and beautiful early 19th-century “Nash Terraces” (designed by prominent architect John Nash) surround the Park.
All in all, there is a very interesting selection of architecture. If you enter Regent’s Park from the south, near Baker Street, you are in central London, and if you walk all the way north to the northern boundary, Prince Albert Road, you find yourself in north London, and the character is different. Regent’s Park thus constitutes a peaceful and charming gateway in either direction.