Richmond, as its name bears ‘Rich’, is a wealthy and affluent neighbourhood in south west London most famous for its lush green spaces and a very charming town center. River Thames cuts across the town and provides some scenic riverside views. Richmond park and Kew Gardens attract a large number of tourists and locals to its botanic wonders.
I visited this lovely town on a very windy day in autumn. It was crazily breezy and grey. I walked with my parents on riverside and all the way to Richmond park via Petersham road. This was my second visit to Richmond, but now I feel I need a third visit to only explore the Richmond park. There are several places in this neighbourhood which will be a great day out for family, kids and the walkers.
The 18th century arch bridge over Thames makes an idyllic picture of a small picturesque village with boats and thick foliage on both banks. Walk around on either side of the bridge which are lined with lovely cafes and gardens (Riverside area). The Richmond Boat club on the riverside is a good place to exercise your arms as you pick the oars or paddle your way after a heavy lunch.
The number 1 spot for which locals and tourists visit Richmond; 2500 acres of lush grasslands with herds of deer and exotic flora and fauna, Richmond Park is the largest royal park in London. It’s hard to believe such a vast open green space in one of the busiest cities of the world. You can walk from the town center, its a 25-30 min walk with a little uphill stretch. Or you can take a bus from the Richmond station ; 371 to Richmond gate or 65 to the Pedestrian gate. You can easily spot herds of deer, lotus ponds, botanical gardens and grand private cottages just outside the park.
Walk from the town center down Water Lane to the Riverside. You will cross the great house cinema and many traditional english pubs. There is also an artisan market on weekends which you can enjoy.
Town Center and Streets
Richmond has some very lovely streets including the fashionable High Street.
Eton Street, Red Lion Street, Sheen Road, George Street, The Quadrant are full of independent shops, cafes, specialist stores and florists. Explore them and pick your place for brunch, you will surely be spoilt for options. You will also find the 16th century St Mary Magdalene Church in the center of the town.
Petersham Road and Nursery
The road parallel to the towpath running from the bridge towards the Meadows is a beautiful winding way with some traditional pubs, cafes and grand hotels. It makes a lovely walk if you are game to walk to the Petersham Nursery and Richmond Park.
Petersham Nurseries is a London institution with its award winning collection of plants. The Nursery is famous for its cafe, which is not your usual afternoon tea one. Its a proper Michelin star resturant that can leave you with a lighter wallet on your way back.
Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace, Ham House
If you want to explore further, there are excellent options of visiting the UNESCO site of the botanical gardens, Kew Gardens, the Royal Palace of Hampton Court or a neared location Ham House.
Bus 65 stops at Ham House. The 17th century house has a beautiful garden and can be combined on a same day of visiting the town. However I would suggest separate visit to Kew Gardens or Hampton Court, they deserve a full day.
Address : Suburban town in south-west London
Nearest station : Richmond, Kew Gardens.
Web : https://www.visitrichmond.co.uk/
Entry : Free
Thumbs up : Lots and lots of green spaces; beautiful views of Thames, lovely cafes and choices of food
Thumbs down: Expensive boutiques and cafes
What’s next? : Head to Kew Gardens, Hampton Court palace, Teddington or Twickenham