Discover - Richmond
From river views to quaint cobbled streets lined with independent shops, you’ll find there is so much to see and do in leafy Richmond-upon-Thames. If you’re travelling to Richmond by public transport, then the District Line Tube will take you from Earl’s Court to Richmond in about 20 minutes, while the train from Waterloo takes approximately 20 minutes. Here are the reasons why this beautiful part of southwest London deserves your attention.
You might not expect 2,500 acres of land devoted to a city park, but this is London after all. Richmond Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks, and is three times the size of New York’s Central Park. There are lots of walking and cycling paths to explore. Make sure you admire the beautiful and exotic plants and flowers in Isabella Plantation, and grab a drink and a bite to eat at pretty Pembroke Lodge. Kids can run around in the playgrounds and play hide and seek among the trees. More than 600 red and fallow deer roam freely – just remember not to chase or touch them. Look out, too, for stag beetles, foxes and bats.
Nothing beats a river view, especially on a sunny day. If you don’t have sea legs, walk up Richmond Hill for a beautiful view of the surrounding area. This renowned hill offers the only vista in England that is protected by an Act of Parliament, which was passed in 1902. The view has been immortalised in paintings by JMW Turner, and was described by novelist Sir Walter Scott as an ‘unrivalled landscape’.
Richmond has many independent boutiques as well as high-street names. Some of the well-known shops along and near George Street include House of Fraser, COS, H&M, Jack Wills, Jo Malone, Waterstones and Smiggle, as well as a string of independent stores – you won’t find any American-style malls here. Stroll from shop to shop and take in the beautiful architecture around you.
Located on leafy Richmond Green,the Richmond Theatre has a wide programme of performances, from plays and musicals to ballets and comedy shows – as well as a much-loved pantomime every winter. This month you can watch the musical Footloose (15-20 May), as well as comedian Russell Brand (30 May).
Richmond has some great restaurants. Stein’s is an outdoor Bavarian restaurant by the river – on a balmy day, there is nothing better than beer and sausages in the sun. Other good riverside restaurants include The Bingham inside the boutique hotel of the same name, and a branch of American diner Jackson + Rye.
If you prefer something lighter, there are lots of cafés, too. For great ice cream, head to Gelateria Danieli for gelato, frozen yoghurt and shakes.
Read Elfa Wilmot’s blog, Californian Mum in London, at www.californianmuminlondon.com