The largest and most elaborate of central London’s many Royal Parks, Regent's Park is one of the capital's loveliest green spaces. Among its many attractions are London Zoo, Regent’s Canal, an ornamental lake, and sports pitches where locals meet to play football, rugby and volleyball. Queen Mary’s Gardens, towards the south of the park, are particularly pretty, especially in June when the roses are in bloom. Performances take place here in an open-air theatre during summer.
The Prince Regent, the future George IV, commissioned architect John Nash (the man behind Buckingham Palace, Marble Arch and Brighton's Royal Pavilion) to design the park in what was once a royal hunting ground. The original design included a royal palace and houses for the aristocracy. Although only a fraction of the grandiose scheme ever came to fruition, you can get some idea of what Nash might have achieved by the look of the buildings along the Outer Circle.