Richmond is famous for its world renowned gems. You can discover Royal History at Hampton Court Palace, traverse the stunning diversity of Kew Gardens and get up close and personal with wild deer in Richmond Park; and yet Richmond has many hidden gems just waiting to be discovered around the next corner.

The following itinerary is perfect if you want to get away from established tourist attractions and explore some of Richmond’s best kept secrets.


► A morning Stroll in Crane Park


Crane Park follows the path of the River Crane between Twickenham and Whitton as far as Hounslow Heath. Often overshadowed by the Royal Parks in the borough, Crane Park possesses a fascinating nature reserve set against the backdrop of an old Shot Tower and pleasant riverside walks. Crane Park Island, the nature reserve is a mixture of interesting woodland, reedbeds and scrub habitats that are home to a number of different types of wildlife including the endangered water vole and from time to time the majestic kingfisher. A path intersperses these interesting habitats allowing you to get close enough to have a chance of seeing the wildlife but not so close as to be intrusive.

After visiting the nature reserve and inspecting the Shot Tower, you can follow the river path towards Twickenham eventually emerging in the area close to the Harlequins Rugby Stadium, from here it is a moderate walk into Twickenham for lunch.

Further information about the park is available here.


► Exploring York House Gardens after delicious lunch in Twickenham Town Centre


Rest your weary legs with lunch in Twickenham which has a wide variety of pubs, cafes and restaurants to relax and recuperate in. 

Hidden away behind the historic York House and situated along a picturesque stretch of the River Thames, York House Gardens is Richmond’s very own secret garden. Dating from the 17th century, the Gardens have a rich heritage. Many of the features you still see in the gardens today remain from an Indian Industrialist Sir Ratan Tata’s previous ownership, including the sunken lawn at rear of the house, the stone bridge, the restored Japanese garden and the sea nymph or ‘naked ladies’ statuary. The statue is the centre piece of the York House Gardens and represents a balance between maintaining the gardens history and creating a vibrant park area for all to enjoy. Whilst you soak up the ambience keep an eye out for the Gardens resident squirrels, they are generally happy to pose for photos!

If you have the energy you can walk into Richmond from here: follow the small road from the Twickenham riverside area leading to Orleans House Gallery and Marble Hill House, from there you can stroll down the river towpath emerging at Richmond Bridge.

For more information about the Gardens please see here.


► Discover Local History at The Museum of Richmond


Richmond is the boroughs largest retail centre and home to an array of shopping options, but don’t let the shops distract you from visiting the wonderfully informative Museum of Richmond.

In London, it is easy to become accustomed to the vast spaces and seemingly endless collections of the likes of the British Museum and lose sight of the smaller yet more personalised local museums. The Museum of Richmond is situated on the top floor of the Old Town Hall, and celebrates the rich heritage of Richmond and neighbouring Kew, Ham and Petersham. The museums displays cover a vast period from the medieval times till the present day with rotating exhibitions and events covering a borough wide perspective. Learn more about lesser known local topics such as how King Henry Vlll lived in Richmond before taking up residence in
Hampton Court.

The museum is currently running an exhibition called ‘1914-1918 Richmond at home and at war – local stories and their international links’, a fascinating insight into
Richmond’s experiences of the First World War, the exhibition is well worth catching before it finishes on 22 April 2015.

More information about the museum is available here.


Related

York House
Film/TV Location
A front shot of York House in Twickenham

A 17th century mansion with gardens sweeping down to the River Thames.

Museum of Richmond
Museum
A side shot of Richmon Museum

The Museum of Richmond is an independent museum and celebrates the heritage of Richmond, Ham, Petersham and Kew.

Crane Park
Park
An image of crane park

Following the meandering bends of the River Crane, this delightful park is a hotbed of wildlife. The riverbanks are home to a thriving colony of Marsh Frogs and the very rare Water Vole.

Royal Botanic Gardens / Kew Gardens
Botanical Garden
Kew Gardens

Explore the world's most beautiful collection of rare and exotic plants. Royal Botanic Gardens also know as Kew Gardens is home to the world’s largest and most diverse collection of living plants and is a scientific organisation of international renown. Set in a stunning landscape of 326 acres and just 30 minutes from central London, Kew Gardens makes the perfect day out throughout the year with so much for you to see and do.

Hampton Court Palace
Historic House
Garden History Tours

Experience the public dramas and private lives of Henry VIII, his wives and children in the world of the Tudor court. Admire Henry’s Great Hall and Tudor kitchens. Discover the spectacular baroque palace built for William III and Mary II and explore Hampton Court Palace’s outdoor spaces and 60 acres of magnificent gardens.

Richmond Park
Park
A shot of a deer

2,500 acre park enclosed in 1637 by King Charles I. Large herds of fallow and red deer wander freely. Designated a National Nature Reserve in 2000.

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