When visiting London, most visitors proceed directly to Central London, oblivious to a whole borough that exudes history, style, and unparalleled beauty. Enter Richmond upon Thames. For those seeking to get away from the tall glass skyscrapers that dominate central London, this picturesque borough in South West London, with its European influences, is ideal. If you’ve never been to Richmond Upon Thames, keep reading to get a quick travel guide that will take you to all the best Instagrammable spots!
1. Old Deer Park
Without a doubt, Richmond’s Old Deer Park is a treasure and defining feature among many others of the borough. Since it’s one of London’s biggest parks, it gets very crowded during the summer with picnickers, dog walkers, and, of course, plenty of deer—the name pretty much says it all! The deer naturally have the right of way; you can drive through a significant chunk of the park if you choose to visit it by car. So, if they do decide to cross the street and present you with the most breath-taking sight to witness, kindly treat them with respect and do not honk your horn to scare them away.
2. Isabella Plantation
Don’t forget to visit the Isabella Plantation after you’ve parked close to Old Deer Park. This 1830s-era Victorian natural forest plantation encompasses a 40-acre woodland lawn, a sight not to be missed!
3. Twickenham Stadium
The Twickenham Stadium, the Home of England Rugby, is conveniently located in close proximity to Richmond. So even if you’re not a fan of rugby, when you have some free time, visit the museum and get a backstage pass to explore the exclusive areas. Included in this are the England Rugby team’s changing rooms, viewing boxes and pitch-side seats, as well as a massive amount of rugby memorabilia. Visit the stadium’s website to learn more.
4. Richmond Riverside
Richmond Riverside, which is positioned only a stone’s throw away from Old Deer Park, is bordered by bars, restaurants and a large number of boats available for rental. With these boats, you can easily reach Kingston upon Thames on a warm summer day by sailing along the Thames. Of course, for panoramic views of Richmond and the Thames, be sure to swing by Richmond Bridge. The Grade I listed bridge, which was built in 1771, is one of the oldest in London. Still, it makes for the most aesthetically pleasing Instagram story highlights.
5. The remains of Richmond Palace
Regarding the town’s historical landmarks, if you look closely at the signs and plaques, you can make out the remnants of Richmond Palace. This palace, which should not be confused with Richmond Castle, once served as the residence of many English rulers, including King Henry VII, before it was destroyed by a fire in 1497. Sad to say, only a tiny portion of this palace’s structures still stand, including the Gate House, the Trumpeters’ House, and the Wardrobe.
6.The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Last but by no means least are the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is an attraction not to be missed because it has one of the world’s most extensive and diversified botanical collections. Make sure to schedule your visit to take into account the numerous events and light displays that take place throughout the year. To avoid the large crowds and schoolchildren on field trips, I personally advise visiting during off-peak seasons. Find out more information on ticket prices and availability.
So there you have it—a brief guide to getting around Richmond upon Thames. Of course, there is a heck of a lot of other activities as well, but these are my favourites. Even though you might not be able to fit in all the attractions in one day, you can extend your trip over the weekend by staying at an Airbnb or, if you want to be even more bougie, one of the upscale hotels with a view of Richmond Hill. Have a blast discovering the borough!