When the sun comes out in London, Londoners head to the nearest park and take off their shirts. One of the favorites is Regent’s Park, 410 acres of green space (part of the ‘lungs of London’) tucked in behind Madame Tussaud’s just west of central London, and rising up to Primrose Hill, which has some of the best views of London. Once a hunting ground of Henry VIII, Regent’s Park now has wonderful rose gardens (more than 30,000 roses), the London Zoo, cafes and restaurants, and a lake where you can hire rowing boats. A summer bonus is the Open Air Theatre, which operates from late May until September in the park. Since 1932, the professional theatre company based here has been putting on performances in the outdoor amphitheatre that seats 1200 people. This year they’re opening with Lord of the Flies, then The Beggar’s Opera, Pericles, and finishing with Crazy for You, closing the season on September 10. Pack a picnic, see a show and take advantage of those nights of the year you can actually sit outdoors in London. One of the very civilized things London parks do is to hire out deckchairs in the summer months; in some parts of Regent’s Park you’ll find rows and rows of people sunning themselves in deckchairs, reading books, drinking Pimms and generally soaking up some Vitamin D. One of my friends saw a pigeon and a squirrel sharing a bread roll under a tree in Regent’s Park – since then it’s been my favourite London Park.
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