Regent’s Park to most people spells the place where one may see the best menagerie in the world. It is the successor of Marylebone Park, a royal hunting-ground until Cromwell’s day. It was laid out in its present style after 1812 by Nash, the man who designed Regent Street, and named after the Prince Regent, who thought he would build a country house here.
It is so far removed from Mayfair that its glories have been neglected, but now that fashion has drifted north of Hyde Park and even Bloomsbury is having its recrudescence, Regent’s Park may wake up any day and find itself famous. It is beautifully laid out and tended, and garden lovers from other lands will like it immensely if they take a tube to Baker Street and spend an hour or so there, either boating on the lovely lake or walking in the gardens.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, enclosed by a circular walk, are reached from York Street by a road running north between Bedford Women’s College and the Toxophilite Society (which ordinary people are content to call the Archery Club). It is only open to the general public on Mondays and Saturdays on payment of one shilling.
On this west side of the park is St. Dunstan’s Lodge, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Kahn, who gave their house for some years to the late Sir Arthur Pearson for his hostel for the education of the blind.
It was once the home of the Marquess of Hertford, who was the original of Thackeray’s Marquis of Steyne in Vanity Fair.