September….schools back, summer on the wain, but still the English countryside with often still gorgeous sunshine beckons. This is the perfect time to explore one of London’s most-loved Royal boroughs, Richmond Upon Thames for a perfect day out.
We couldn’t talk about Richmond without mentioning the iconic Richmond Park. Covering over 2500 acres, it’s changed very little since the 13th Century apparently. Hundreds of deer roam free here, and, instead of Henry V111 hunting, it’s now the home of cyclists, walkers, runners and twitchers. You can easily access this park from different gates around the perimeter.
Highlights would be the gorgeous Isabella Plantation (the rhododendrons), Pembroke Lodge (for tea) and the incredible views from the heights near Richmond Gate looking right across London to St Paul’s and beyond. If you exit from Richmond Gate, you come out onto the Jane Austen-esque Richmond Hill with its spectacular views looking down across the Thames. Walk down through the gorgeous Terrace Gardens (with charming Hollyhock cafe) and you arrive at the river and then a short walk into Richmond central.
Richmond has a wealth of culture. There is so much to see and do. There is a plethora of historic houses nearby, many open to the public. September is a great time to visit. Not too busy, still lovely weather – there are many exhibitions and talks to be had around this time of year before they close for the winter. Our favourites are Ham House, Marble Hill House, Strawberry Hill House, the Orleans House Gallery and Syon House and Park. Hampton Court, of course, is only a couple of miles away. Not forgetting Kew Gardens the Dale Chihuly exhibition is still on, and they are now open for the Chihuly nights, quite phenomenal. Read our blog post.
Click on the links to see ‘What’s On’ at these fabulous houses this Autumn. Don’t also forget Richmond Theatre which often shows brilliant plays and musicals before they transfer to the West End.
In addition to the park, the culture, the views and the ‘eating’ (see below), a day out in Richmond wouldn’t be complete without ambling down the towpath along the river. For a perfect day out, take a rowing boat out with friends and row away for an hour or so.. alternatively catch the boat to Hampton Court or Strawberry Hill. From Richmond Hill end, walk along and pop into some the pubs, cafes and restaurants on the river towards Richmond bridge. Dive into the old part of Richmond into elegant Richmond Green and onto the high street through some of the lovely little alleys with their eclectic mix of antique shops, milliners and ice-cream parlours.
Shopping in Richmond is wide and varied. Many of the high street favourites sit beside antique shops, independent jewellers, milliners, chocolate shops etc. Best to wander and discover.
Eating in Richmond
On the River
- Gaucho – for carnivores
- The Roebuck Pub
- The White Cross – fun, river-side pub run by rugby-mad kiwis
- Steins – casual beer garden on the river
- Jackson and Rye – fab American diner with prime river-front spot.
- Petersham Nurseries – sit in a very shabby chic (but v cool) greenhouse! Amazing lunch too.
- Kiss the Hippo – on high street – delicious coffee and the best lemon drizzle ever!
- Coffeology – in an old Victorian building, they serve up delicious artisan coffee & cakes. It’s very small so can get very busy.
- Ole and Steen
- The Retreat Kitchen (vegan) – up the Hill
- No 1a Duke Street (with terrace)
- Pembroke Lodge – in Richmond Park – coffee and cake
- The Ivy – high street
- Hollyhock Cafe – in Terrace Gardens. Toasted sandwiches etc.
- Pizzeria Rustica – yummy pizzas
- Debraggio – classic Italian – home-made pastas and deli
- Whole Foods
Ice-cream and tea
- Al Boccon di’Vino – amazing Italian – must book – no menu – you eat what they decide!
- Rock and Rose – on Kew Road. Really fun, good food, delicious cocktails
- Bingham Riverhouse – boutique hotel, cool restaurant with terrace overlooking river. Lovely.
He said: Great pubs, love the park.
She said: Love the shops. Great culture. Fab girls day out!
Teens said: Ice-cream on Richmond Green in the sunshine would be heaven.