Places Of Interest / Leisure
Created by Charles I in the 17th century as a deer park, Richmond Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks covering 955 hectares (2,360 acres). Most of the park is classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a National Nature Reserve and Special Area of Conservation and is internationally recognised for its wildlife – it is home to 650 free roaming deer. With miles of walkways and cycle tracks, it is an incredibly popular destination for families and those looking to explore the outdoors. It also has fantastic views from King Henry’s Mound, a historical vista point, of London and beyond.
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is one of two remaining Tudor Palaces, set within wonderful gardens overlooking the River Thames. From royal re-enactments to the Tudor-themed playground, horse-drawn charabanc tours and ghost tours, to viewing the sensational art collections or exploring the haunted gallery, there is an endless array of activities for all ages to enjoy. Annual events at Hampton Court Palace also include the RHS Garden Festival, the summer Food Festival and an ice rink which is set up in the grounds – open from late November through to early January.
A UNESCO-listed venue, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew offers an exquisite collection of rare plants and flowers as well as 14,000 trees set across 326 acres (121 hectares). With free guided walking tours available you can also explore the impressive Royal Kew Palace and the Palm House (one of the largest surviving Victorian glasshouses) this is a popular destination for people of all ages.
Ham House and Gardens
Sat on the banks of the River Thames, Ham House is claimed by the National Trust to be ‘the most complete survival of 17th century fashion and power in Europe’. A stunning Grade I Listed house with Grade II listed formal gardens it is internationally recognised for its collection of paintings, textiles and furniture. Guided tours are run in selected rooms in the house during the winter months, with tickets on a first come first served basis.
Ranked the second largest stadium in the UK after Wembley Stadium and the fourth largest stadium in Europe, Twickenham Stadium is the largest stadium in the world dedicated to the sport of rugby union. The stadium is the home of the English rugby union team, who play nearly all their home games at the stadium and it also hosts England’s home Six Nations matches, as well as inbound touring teams from the Southern Hemisphere. It also includes the World Rugby Union Museum which covers the whole of the global game and tells the history of the sport through interactive displays. Tours of the stadium are also available to book through the museum.
Located just north of Hampton Court Palace, Bushy Park is the second largest of London’s eight Royal Parks, measuring 1,099 acres. Like Richmond Park it is home to free roaming deer (320 of them) and is an incredibly popular place for cyclists, runners, dog walkers, families and wildlife enthusiasts. The park also features the famous mile-long Chestnut Avenue, created by Sir Christopher Wren and the 17th century bronze Diana Fountain – a 2.38m statue of a goddess set on a marble and stone fountain, which sits as the centrepiece of Chestnut Avenue.
The Borough has excellent transport links, with 11 British Rail stations and two Underground stations which provide a fast link into Central London, neighbouring London Boroughs and various parts of Surrey. Richmond upon Thames is easily accessible by several motorways including the M3, M4 and M25 and is only 12 miles from London Heathrow Airport and 30 miles from London Gatwick Airport.