The Regent’s Park is one of the largest green areas in the city and home to a variety of flora and fauna. This ground was supposed to serve the purpose of hunting grounds. King Henry VIII had himself selected it in 1538. Originally the park was called Marylebone. In 1811, the park was redesigned by the famous architect John Nash. He had huge plans for the 166 hectares of land. His grand plans included a canal, a lake and 56 planned villas. Only 8 villas could be built and today only two of them remain.
Until 1835, the common people were not allowed to use the park and entry was prohibited. More than a hundred years later, another landmark was added. By that time, the park was open to all. This park is also an important site for wildlife. It accommodates the London Zoo, which is the centerpiece of the park. The London Zoo is home to dozens of mammals, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish. The zoo is open year round. There has been a new addition to the park in recent addition of a “wildlife-friendly” community garden. Flower fanatics would love the colorful Queen Mary’s Gardens. This rose garden was named after the wife of George V.
Other attractions for the visitors include a pretty lake which is open for boating. There is also a small theatre situated near the lake. The theatre season stretches from early June to mid September.
The Regent’s Park (apart from the private villas) is managed by The Royal Parks, a government agency. The Crown Estate Commission manages certain aspects of the built environment of the park. The park is located within the City of Westminster. The Crown Estate owns the freehold of Regent’s Park. It is a very nice place for spending leisure time and a popular visiting site for children.