Richmond Park

Richmond park3

This is by far one of my favourite places in London and we even moved to be closer to it, despite making it more difficult for my husband to get to work.
Not only is this an amazing place to get away from the hustle and bustle of London, but it also has so many different elements to it, so even after 6 years of using the park, I still find new places and areas to explore.

Richmond park1

Now this is called a park, which has confused a few people I have taken their, as a lot of people thought it was going to be a London Park, like Hyde Park and hadn’t prepared properly with footwear. But it is more like a forrest park, if that makes sense, in that it is somewhat landscaped and has paved roads running through it, but with the feel of an open forrest and the nature life that goes with it, including deer, rabbits, parakeets and more.

Richmond park4

Richmond park2

My most visited places in the park has to be:

Pen Ponds and The Royal Ballet School. You can do a circular walk from the parking area, which takes you between the ponds, turning right after the ponds and then right again toward the ballet school, from there, there is a paved road back to the parking area.
There is so much bird life in the ponds and a great area for a picnic (though you might get uninvited guest coming up from the pond to see if you want to share your food, if you sit to close to the ponds). It is also a great place for spotting deer on your way, as they often gather around the path leading up to the ballet school.
Has a small outdoor cafe. Cash only.

The Isabella plantation. There has been a lot of work going into this place the last year, but the diggers has now moved out and the place it back to its beautiful self, but with easier walking access. It is definitely a MUST visit in the spring, where the whole place blooms and turns into a heavenly place where you are surrounded by beautiful coloured flowers everywhere you look. But it is really worth visiting all year round, with the little ponds, streams and beautiful plants.

King Henry’s Mound and Pembroke Lodge. This wasn’t an area we used that much in the beginning, as it looked like most of it was closed off to the public and that Pembroke Lodge was an expensive restaurant. But once we found out that this wasn’t the case it has become one of our favourite places for a cup of tea or something cold to drink in the summer.
There is a few elements to this area. First you have the Kind Henry’s Mound that sort of feels a bit like a secret garden. It has an amazing view of Twickenham and Ham one way and if you use the beautiful old looking telescope, you can see all the way to the St. Peters Cathedral in central London. If you follow the direction towards St. Peters Cathedral you will also find an amazingly beautiful newish gate in front of a path with trees on each side, showing THE WAY to St. Peters Cathedral.
Between King Henry’s Mound and Pembroke Lodge, there is a beautiful flower garden.
Then on to Pembroke Lodge, which is a beautiful building in it self, but it also has a self service tea room (mind you, the poshest self service I have ever experienced) filled with people having taken a nature walk in the park, with amazingly beautiful rooms to sit and enjoy your food or tea at a reasonable price (we paid £6 for a pot of tea, a cappuccino and a scone with jam at our last visit), but it also has an amazing view from some of the windows overlooking Twickenham and Ham.
On warmer days, there is also a beautiful terrace from where you can admire the same view. Only downside is if you are a dog owner, as dogs are not allowed on the grounds.
If you want a nature walk in this area, the best place is actually to stay on the same side of the road as Pembroke Lodge and walk down the paths to the left of the building.

Other good view point places are if you walk about 10-15 min down Sawyers Hill from Richmond gate, you will get the most beautiful view of London on a clear day.
Also by The Thatched House Lodge, there is an amazing view of Ham/Twickenham.

And if you have children, there is a play area by the Kingston Gate.

For more information on Richmond Park visit www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park
And for more information on Pembroke Lodge and what hot food they are serving on different days, visit www.pembroke-lodge.co.uk

Mia
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