Royal Parks Series: The Regent’s Park

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Fully taking advantage of this sporadic, spring-like weather we set out to Regent’s Park for the day.

Regent’s Park is one of London’s eight Royal Parks. Located in North West London, the park boasts 395 acres of beautifully manicured foliage and has over 100 species of wild bird and water fowl.

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There is plenty to do at this park. Aside from enjoying the outrageously captivating scenery; there is paddle boating for kids and adults, a bird walk, a great place for a brisk run and even sports facilities that offer classes such as Pilates, Yoga and a Learning Disabilities Get Active class.

NuNu had such a wonderful time watching the ducks but when it came time to feed them crumbs of bread she couldn’t understand why she had to give up perfectly good food to some tiny flying creatures. She spent more time nibbling than feeding but was impressed to say the least. There is a children’s play area with slides, swings and full adventure playground that she couldn’t get enough of. She was too small for most of it but that didn’t stop her from trying!

There are several cafes and seasonal refreshment points to grab a bite to eat or a quick drink.  Regent’s Park is a fantastic place for the entire family and certainly offers a nice break from the concrete jungle.

Regent’s Park is also home to The London Zoo, Primrose Hill and The Open Air Theatre. The park is also close to nearby shops and attractions such as the Sherlock Holmes Museum and  the world famous Madame Tussauds.

For more information on Regent’s Park click here.

My favourite British spots are any of the beautiful parks, especially on a sunny day such as this, after a long stretch of cold, cloudy and rainy days.” ~Richard Schiff, actor

Hammersmith Park Hideaway

I am a lover of all things tranquil. I love peace, I love quiet and I love a bit of “me” time. Now that I am a mum, “me” time is hard to come by.  I miss taking long uninterrupted bubble baths, heck, I miss uninterrupted bathroom time as a whole! I long for those days where I could meditate in silence without freaking out because I hear NuNu whimper or stir in her sleep. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing like being a mummy and the up side is that I have a tiny little travel partner, a side kick, a captive lunch date and someone to hang out in the park with in the middle of the day. These days I have to get in those moments of tranquility whenever I can. One of the places that we steal away to is Hammersmith Park.

Hammersmith Park is situated within the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. You will not find this park on a list of “tourist hot spots” but it is on my list of simple places that are good to go to when I need to sit in peace or a place to have a good read. It is filled with a mix of beautiful flowers, a mini pond, hidden stone trails, a bowling green, and a gated adventure playground equipped with slides, jungle gyms and picnic tables. Most importantly it’s a quiet place.

Here are just a few of the beautiful images that I was able to capture:

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flowers

paths

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bowls
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Gated Adventure Playground

Gated Adventure Playground

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I still get wildly excited about little things…I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit

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I’m good at making excuses for not working out. Some of my favorites: “I didn’t have time”, “I will get to it tomorrow” (as if I will be rewarded with more hours the next day), “The cat ate my gymsuit” (I don’t own a cat), and my all time favorite…”I can’t go running because my arm hurts!”

Since being in London I have done lots more walking than usual but with “P” working from morning until evening it’s been really hard to get in a good solid workout. I enjoy getting my workout on early in the morning as it’s a good way to start my day. UNFORTUNATELY I have yet to purchase a jogging stroller and I can’t find a single place that will allow me to workout with my 6 month old close by. Ok…yet another list of excuses!

I have been so tempted to just throw my trainers (sneakers) aside, grab a tub of Bon Bons, tune into Jeremy Kyle on the telly and call it a day. I mean really, don’t I get a little credit for walking to get groceries and trekking up the six flights of stairs to get to the flat?

The good weather makes the guilt set in and my dream of being a proper lay about (couch potato) is short lived. With the weather being beautiful for what seems to be an unexpected lengthy summer (going on two weeks of pure sunshine), “Go England!”, I decided to walk to the outdoor gym. Sunshine+Baby Friendly Gym=NO EXCUSES.

I was thoroughly impressed. I am by no means a gym junkie but this place offers everything for the reluctant as well as those that religiously hit the gym. Outdoor gyms are very popular in London and you can find them in many neighborhoods. I didn’t really “get it” at first considering the weather typically isn’t good enough to frolic in let alone do chin ups and leg presses.

I was instantly amazed that I could park NuNu’s pram right beside me as I put in my best attempt at pull downs and sit-ups. There are some serious pluses to working out in this environment.  I am joined by other parents and their children, and people of various ages and stages of muscle tone. The machines are all powered by body weight so you won’t hear any clinking of weights being thrown about. Also, it’s open air and on a good day you will have a nice gentle breeze that will whisk away the usual smells you will get in an indoor gym. The greatest benefit is that it will save you the colossal membership fees associated with joining a gym in London.

This particular space is gated and has 4 “Zones” (Upper Body, Cardio, Lower Body and Core Strength). I moved along through each one, pushing NuNu along the way. By the time I got to the second zone she was fast asleep and I continued my workout.

Zone 1: Upper Body; Pull Downs, Chest Press and Pull Ups

Zone 1: Upper Body; Pull Downs, Chest Press and Pull Ups


Zone 2: Cardio

Zone 2: Cardio


(left to right) Zone 3 Lower Body, Zone 4 Core

(left to right) Zone 3 Lower Body, Zone 4 Core

The following day I’m super stoked. Going to the gym! I jump up, put my trainers on. I’m ready! Then I look out the window and I see an overcast sky. Looks like rain is coming. Oh well there goes my enthusiasm…maybe I will go back tomorrow…you know, when I have more time….

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, by Paula Danzger (1974)

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, by Paula Danziger (1974)

I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor” ~ Joan Rivers