Kensington Gardens vs. Regents Park

Jan 16th, 2010, 06:07 PM
  #1  
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Kensington Gardens vs. Regents Park

A new topic to consider. If you had to narrow down your choices for a day, would it be Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace or the Regents Park area with the Queen Mary Rose Garden and London Zoo?

Do you recommend seeing Regent's Park but skipping the zoo? Do they have an insect pavilion at the zoo?

How much time do you recommend for each place if you do recommend them? If you don't recommend them, elaborate as to why. As always, thanks in advance of your opinions.
europeannovice is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 06:49 PM
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When? That makes a big difference. Depends partly on whether the rose garden is in bloom. When it isn't - there isn't much to see.

There is a butterfly house but I don't remember an insect pavilion. May be though. The zoo would not be high on most visitor's list unless they had zoo-crazy little ones.
janisj is online now  
Jan 16th, 2010, 06:59 PM
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Time frame is June. How long are the roses in bloom? Are they in bloom in July too or is that past peak?

Would you prefer Kensington gardens instead of Regents Park? Or Regents Park is fine but just skip the zoo?
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Jan 16th, 2010, 07:14 PM
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Yes they are in bloom in June/July

One thing about Kens Gardens is it right in the middle of things - next door to Hyde Park, plus the palace, and the Orangery, and walking distance to Notting Hill/Portobello Rd. or, in the other direction, the museums.

Regents Park is much larger and is next to Primrose Hill from where there are terrific views of most of London. There is a lake, an open air theatre, and a few places to eat, football/playing fields -- but mainly it is a big open parkland.

Both Parks are wonderful - mostly depends which is more convenient to where you'll be that day.

If you want gardens - you could go to Kew which is HUGE and amazing.
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Jan 16th, 2010, 09:46 PM
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I second Kew Gardens. You can go by barge which is a nice trip on the Thames and come back by the Underground.
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Jan 16th, 2010, 10:40 PM
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"You can go by barge which is a nice trip on the Thames and come back by the Underground."

It makes a bit more sense to go TO Kew by tube and return by boat.

The boat trip can take quite a long time (the river is tidal and the current really affect the tour boats) and you wouldn't be able to get to Kew before lunch time.

If you take the tube, you can spend all morning have a nice lunch in the gardens or at the Maids of Honor across the road, and then either spend more time there or take the boat back.
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Jan 16th, 2010, 10:48 PM
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tod
 
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Definitely Regents Park and most definitely Queen Mary's Rose Gareden!
Get off the Tube at the Regents Park stop. Cross over the road and walk up either Park Square West or Park Square East.
I do suggest you use a map in a guide book on London to avoid going the wrong way later on. Turning left or right depending which route your chose, walk up the beautiful Broad Walk with it's manicured flowerbeds, fountains and find a bench to rest and take in the scene.
When you get to the junction of Chester road, turn in the direction of Queen Mary's Rose Garden. Here you will be met by thousands of magnificent roses of many descriptions. Beds are entirely one or another rose variety. There is a pond with ducks and can be negotiated over a small bridge.

Once you have taken all the photos you want, wander over to the delightful tea pavillion for a late breakfast (excellent scramble eggs made just like you want them by a chef) or squiz the aray of delicious items on offer for lunch! There is indoor and outdoor seating.

Following your repose you can continue on many of the pathways up to the Zoo and if I remember correctly, there is a landing on the Regents Canal where you may be able to climb aboard the narrow boat and float down to Camden Town for a poke around the flea market. You can come back the same way but stay on board until back at Little Venice.
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Jan 17th, 2010, 12:33 AM
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You might find this interesting - panoramic views of various places in London:

http://www.the-london-map.co.uk/
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jan 17th, 2010, 12:35 AM
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Some more here, while I think about it:

http://www.urban75.org/vista/index.html
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Jan 17th, 2010, 04:37 AM
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I found the Regents Park gardens to be much more beautiful (in June and in July) than Kensington but we weren't looking for specific flowers so I don't remember what was there.

Primrose Hill is worth the climb--great views!

Regents Canal is a sort of hidden gem--we rode the tube to Little Venice area, rode a boat along the canal to Camden Market area, spent time in that area, then walked back to Regents Park with a stop at Primrose Hill and on through the Park. A longish walk but do-able.

Both parks are lovely and accessible via Tube (or bus I'd guess) if you have time. Check out the Canal idea too, if you have the time.
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Jan 17th, 2010, 06:18 AM
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tod
 
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We once took a stroll through Richmond Park - now that is a very long walk! It was absolutely beautiful in the forrested areas with old decaying leaves forming a soft carpet under the bright green umbrella of new spring leaves. Resting on ancient logs to relieve our weary feet we sat in silence watching the deer grazing only a few yards away.

Entering the Isabella Plantation one finds a 'Fairies Hideaway' of little paths and a trickling stream among the enormous Rhodedendrons. From here you can make your way to an exit gate and a terrific pub across the road.
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Jan 17th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for the advice and pics!
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