Top things to do in Richmond
Just 10 miles outside of central London and home to the largest Royal Park in London, Richmond also has great shops, historic palaces and riverside restaurants and pubs. These are just some of the things we love best about Richmond.
Grassy slopes flank the riverside promenade, overlooked by mock-Georgian facades (these houses were actually built in the mid-1980’s). This stretches along the Thames, offering pleasant traditional English views down the river. Cafés, pubs and views of fabulous houses and gardens enhance this lovely walk. Alternatively take it easy with a riverboat trip between Richmond, Kingston and Hampton Court.
Shops in Richmond
In the heart of Richmond town, designer names sit alongside small specialist boutiques. There are well-known brands galore, including Reiss, COS and House of Fraser, but there is also a welcome mix of independent names.
Green space galore
Not many cities can boast a city park that stretches to a massive 2,500 acres of green space. Richmond Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks with something for everyone. Families can choose from several playgrounds but the deer (more than 600, in fact, who roam freely) are as likely to hold the kids’ attention. Walking and cycling paths crisscross the grass and hiring a bike specifically for use in the park is a fun way to explore. Find out more about bike hire in Richmond here.
Flowers and tropical plants in Richmond Park
Richmond Park’s Isabella Plantation is one of London’s great secret gardens, effectively a garden within a park. Visit the 40-acre woodland garden in the Spring. During these months, you can enjoy carpets of bluebells, azaleas and rhododendrons in full bloom and spectacular giant foliage.
Kew Gardens UNESCO World Heritage site
Boasting the world’s largest and most diverse collection of living plants, Kew Gardens also has historic buildings, water features, a treetop walkway and an arboretum of over 14,000 trees. The gardens host a year-round programme of exhibitions and events.
Stately homes and palaces
Other favourite historic houses in and around Richmond include Ham House and Hampton Court Palace. Ham House is a grand 17th century house, with a beautiful walled garden and Kitchen Garden, and a riverside setting. Hampton Court is a short drive from Richmond. Owned by the 16th century Tudor King, Henry VIII, it is one of the largest of the royal palaces and unsurprisingly, steeped in royal history and drama. There are art works, porcelain collections and antique furniture on display in the palace while outside in the gardens, highlights include the Maze and a grape vine dating back to 1769.
Getting to Richmond: Transport connections are excellent. There are tube stations in Richmond and at Kew Gardens (District Line); National Rail connections from London Waterloo; and an Overground service from north London.