The Regent’s Park is a 410-acre park in northwest Inner London between the Borough of Camden and the City of Westminster.
With the London Zoo and Regent’s University in sight, you might be iffy about using your drone here. Then again, there’s so much greenspace.
Can you fly your drone in Regent’s Park?
You can’t fly a drone in Regent’s Park, as London has prohibited the usage of drones in its Royal Parks since 2015. The only exception is Richmond Park, which has its own Flying Field on Sawyer’s Hill.
In this article, we’ll talk further about the drone laws at Regent’s Park and what happens if you violate them.
We’ll also suggest some great places you can use a drone instead, so make sure you don’t miss it!
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Can you fly a drone in Regent’s Park?
Regent’s Park is a beloved part of London. The land has stood since the Middle Ages.
The Crown has possessed the land since the 1500s, which, until that time, had been used for farming and hunting.
Where does your drone fit into all this? Can you take it for a spin around Regent’s Park?
Unfortunately, you can’t. Regent’s Park is part of the Royal Parks of London.
In 2015, the Secretary of State banned drones from all eight of London’s Royal Parks as part of the Air Navigation Order 2009 from the Civil Aviation Authority.
The CAA’s Air Navigation Order established drone usage rules in the UK and gave authoritative bodies the right to limit or stop drone usage if such usage could put the country’s national security at risk.
Around the time of the ban, a spokesperson for the Royal Parks expressed concerns that the use of drones in the Royal Parks could cause discomfort among its visitors and affect its wildlife.
It’s not solely Regent’s Park that’s affected by this ban but seven other parks, including:
- The 57-acre St. James’s Park
- The 2,360-acre Richmond’s Park (except for its model airfield)
- The 270-acre Kensington Gardens
- The 350-acre Hyde Park
- The 180-acre Greenwich Park
- The 47-acre Green Park
- The 1,100-acre Bushy Park
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Why can’t you fly a drone in Regent’s Park?
The risks to crowds and wildlife notwithstanding, there are yet plenty more convincing reasons why you shouldn’t use a drone in Regent’s Park. Let’s take a look.
The Regent’s Park is on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, which includes more than 1,600 historic gardens and parks.
The park is a Grade I.
Considering its longstanding presence in England, it’s not surprising to see Regent’s Park categorized in such a manner.
Due to its historical significance, drones should avoid the park as a whole.
Proximity to university
On the grounds of Regent’s Park is Regent’s University London, once known as Regent’s College.
This private university under the Galileo Global Education system specializes in courses on marketing, fashion design, liberal arts, business, and more.
Although the policies vary, drones are often forbidden from operating around university campuses. Thus, banning UAVs from Regent’s Park is a natural extension.
The Royal Parks are altogether a large attraction for tourists visiting London. They’re great places to take a stroll, breathe in some fresh air, and learn more about the history of this great city.
The aforementioned statement by a Royal Parks representative who talked about their worries about drone operation near crowds in the parks says it all.
The crowds are too large for drone pilots to weave through them safely, and the presence of drones can obstruct one’s experience at Regent’s Park or another Royal Park.
Lots of architecture
Regent’s Park has plenty of greenery across its 400+ acres, but the park also contains nine villas, the London Zoo, neoclassical terraces, a fountain, and facades around Park Crescent.
The risk of damaging these structures is yet another reason to put the kibosh on drone usage here.
Can you fly a drone right outside of Regent’s Park?
What about outside of the parameters of Regent’s Park? Well, let’s take a look at what’s around.
South of Regent’s Park, you’ll spot Madame Tussaud’s London, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, and London Central Mosque Trust & Islamic Cultural Centre.
Those are all interesting places to visit if you’re taking a trip to London, but as for using a drone around any of them? It’s not going to happen.
To the west of Regent’s Park, there’s Lord’s Cricket Ground and Abbey Road Studios.
Again, these are great places to explore if you’re in London on vacation and looking to fill your itinerary, but your drone will have to stay put back in your hotel.
Camden Town, a market, and the British Library are east of the park. You already know what we’re going to say – drones are off-limits in these kinds of places.
North of Regent’s Park is Primrose Hill, which has Regency townhouses in dreamy pastel hues and Victorian terraces. The eponymous hill affords views of London and Regent’s Park.
However, over safety concerns and worries about preserving local wildlife, Royal Parks later extended the ban of its parks to Primrose Hill, although Primrose Hill itself is not a Royal Park.
As you can see then, you really don’t have anywhere to operate your drone around Regent’s Park.
What happens if you get caught flying a drone in Regent’s Park?
If a constable catches you using your drone in Regent’s Park, they will speak to you about it.
Similarly, other park visitors who catch you with a drone will likely report you, which will still lead to an interaction with the constable.
Perhaps the constable only warns you not to use your drone in the park in the future. If so, you’ve gotten off lucky.
You could also receive a fine for illegal drone use up to 5,000 pounds or $6,965!
Where in London can you fly a drone?
Although you’ll have to avoid operating your drone in Regent’s Park, London still has many spots throughout that permit pilots with UAVs.
Here’s a selection of places to explore.
In nearby Enfield is the 100-acre Rammey Marsh in Lee Valley Park. The marsh is a simple stretch of green grass field with trees and electrical towers in the distance.
Historically, the marsh acted as a floodplain to the River Thames. Its grasses were also a spot for grazing back in the Anglo-Saxon days, especially in the summer when the grasses grew tall and lush.
Later, into the 20th century, Rammey Marsh received a gravel extraction and was, for a time, a landfill, although it’s today an appealing piece of land once more.
You can also take your drone to Morden Park in the Merton borough. This park has a stretch of suburban homes from the 1930s but also includes plenty of greenspace.
The park contains an Iron Age burial ground from Saxon or Roman times. Some evidence of the speedway that once existed here from the 1960s to the 1990s is still on the grounds.
Referred to by locals as the Scrubs, Wormwood Scrubs in Old Oak Common is 170 acres and an open grassy area with blue skies (on clear days) and some trees.
While you can use your drone in this area, you must keep your distance from the Linford Christie Stadium and the other sports facilities. A pony center in the Scrubs is also off-limits to drone pilots.
The woodland and grassland that is Chingford Plain creates a relaxing atmosphere for flying a drone on a clear afternoon.
Do not operate your drone near the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge, and steer clear of the wildlife in the area, which are mostly cows. The cows gather most plentifully in the summer to graze.
People often venture out to Chingford Plain for a picnic or a stroll, so keep your distance from crowds.
Richmond Park Flying Field
Although Richmond Park is one of the eight Royal Parks, drone pilots can gather here since it has a Flying Field. Do be forewarned that you can only operate a drone in the Flying Field and in no other part of the park!
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Regent’s Park in London is a Royal Park that forbid drone access.
The areas around Regent’s Park aren’t conducive to operating a drone either, so choose a different part of London for spending an afternoon!