Monday, November 06, 2006

The Boating Lake in The Regents Park - London

Boating Lake in Regents Park

This photo of the Boating Lake in The Regents Park, London is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

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Regents Park (officially called The Regents Park) covers 487 acres of land given over to a variety of activities. Among these is a Boating Lake where you can hire a rowing boat and relax on the waters among the swans, ducks and geese that frequent it. Afterwards you can get refreshments at the Boathouse Restaurant near to Hanover Gate, or walk through to the Garden Café in the Queen Mary Gardens. This photo of the Boating Lake in Regents Park was taken near to Clarence Gate, the entrance closest to Baker Street. The path to the right from this gate will take you along the lower end of The Regents Park to Avenue Gardens.

The Boating Lake is also surrounded with walkways and people can often be seen feeding the birds in the winter in Regents Park, the birds come out of the water to take bread from your hands. This is a popular pastime for many, as you can squat down and look a full grown swan eye to eye as it takes food from you. In fact, the number of birds that may surround you doing this can become intimidating.

Aside from being a relaxing place, the boating lake area of Regents Park plays an important part in conservation. The north-east section of the lake is fenced off and contains some of the 90 species of ornamental waterfowl (ducks and the like) that can be found in Regents Park. In the 1980s the area became the breading site for stock to supply other Royal Parks with waterfowl and a Nature Study Centre was established. There are currently some 650 birds on the lake including about 260 pairs of ducks that come from the Breeding Centre in Regents Park.

Herons are also common in this part of Regents Park, and can be often seen flying in low in the early evening, or standing in rows along the edge of the lake in the morning. Whilst this puts pressure on the aquatic life within the park, the herons are a welcome spectacle. Later on in the evening, especially in the summer, it is possible to catch sight of bats flying about the lights at dusk as they chase their own prey.

The nearest tube station to the Boating Lake is Baker Street, which is also close to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, and Madam Tussauds. If you are visiting London then passing through Regents Park and the Boating Lake is the best way to get to London Zoo. Access to both the Sherlock Holmes Museum and the London Zoo is free with the London Pass.

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The full panoramic image taken of the Boating Lake in Regents Park can be found on the London tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

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