Occupying some 2,500 acres, Richmond Park is London’s largest Royal Park. It’s beloved for its frolicking deer, sweeping views and historic buildings, like the Palladian splendour of Pembroke Lodge and White Lodge. Unsurprisingly, it offers up some excellent terrain for strolling, rambling and hiking. From hefty hikes to leisurely garden strolls, here are some of the best walks in Richmond.
The most scenic walks in Richmond
1. Tamsin Trail
Length: 7.5 miles (12 km)
Duration: 2.5-4 hours
To get a real lay of the land and tick off the park’s highlights, the Tamsin Trail is your best bet. It’s the park’s longest trail and loosely follows the perimeter of the park. The route connects the park’s entrances at Roehampton Gate, Robin Hood Gate, Kingston Gate, Ham Gate, Richmond Gate and East Sheen Gate. It is almost entirely car-free, which makes it an excellent option for families. It’s so comprehensive that you’re guaranteed to spot its most famous residents, red and fallow deer, too.
The route is well signposted and well-trodden, though there are some opportunities to veer off-course on some of the smaller paths (no bad thing in our opinion).
Length: 4.5 miles
Duration: 2-2.5 hours
This circular route links the National Trust’s Ham House and Garden with Richmond Station and includes the only view in England protected by an Act of Parliament. The seriously scenic walks include show-stopping views over the Thames, Marble Hill Park and across to Ham House. King Henry’s Mound, believed to be the spot where Kind Henry VIII would stand when hunting, is an excellent halfway point. It offers sparkling views of St. Paul’s Cathedral to the east and the Thames Valley to the west.
The route loops back on itself but it’s well worth stopping to explore Ham House, a 17th-century riverside house brimming with art, antiques and impeccably landscaped gardens.
Length: No official trail
Duration: 30 minutes–1 hour
Most people know Richmond Park as one of the city’s largest and wildest park, but fewer people know about its secret garden. The Isabella Plantation is a 40-acre woodland garden set within a Victorian plantation. Built in the 1830s, it didn’t open to the public until 1953. The garden encompasses lawns, glades, streams and ponds, with native and exotic plants, including the famous Japanese Kurume Azaleas planted by Ernest Wilson in the 1920s. It’s a beautiful spot all year round but it’s at its most magical in late April and early May, when the evergreen azaleas turn bright pink.
There’s no official start and end point, but the meandering trails are easy to follow.
4. Richmond to Twickenham
Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km)
Duration: 1 -2 hours (depending on whether you walk back)
For a borough as hilly as Richmond, this easy stroll is remarkably flat. The trail starts at Richmond Station and follows the part of the River Thames to Twickenham, the home of English rugby. Highlights along the way include English Heritage’s Palladian Villa, Ham House and Eel Pie Island, a little-known island in the River Thames. There are some excellent opportunities for a good pub lunch too, not least The White Swan.
Length: 6.5 miles (10.5 km)
Duration: 3 hours
This scenic walk stroll follows the Beverley Brook from New Maldon Station, through Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park, Barnes Common to Putney. It meanders through South London’s most spectacular scenery along the way, through ancient woodlands and rolling meadows. There’s quite a bit of town walking involved, but when you’re strolling past some South London’s best-looking houses, does it really matter?
Merton Council has put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to the walk here too.
6. Richmond Hill
Length: 3 miles (4.8 km)
Duration: 30-45 minutes
For a short, scenic stroll you’ll be hard-pressed to find better than Richmond Hill. Starting at the High Street, follow the signs to Richmond Hill… and just keep going. The route meanders through the Richmond Hill residential area, past two lovely churches and offers sweeping views of the River Thames. Best of all are the Terrace Gardens, formed from three 18th-century estates. Finish up with a light lunch at Petersham Nurseries – good for your blood sugar and your Instagram feed.
Length: 4 miles (16km)
Length: 1-1.5 hours
This lovely, leisurely stroll connects two pretty London neighbourhoods. Starting Richmond footbridge, the route skirts past the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Kew Palace and the London Museum of Water and Steam. Most of the trails is gravel and lined with trees, which makes for a picturesque excursion.
The route forms part of The Tames Path, a mammoth 185.2 mile (298 km) path following England’s best-known river from its source in the Cotswolds into the heart of London. So, if you’re feeling energetic, you could just keep going and see how far you get…