Last weekend I went to Richmond in South West London. I had only intended to go for a few hours but ended up spending the whole day. I had such a lovely time and so thought I would share my experience.
Getting There: The town of Richmond is in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames. Richmond upon Thames is a South West London borough made up of different areas including Kew, Teddington and the town of Richmond. In this blog I will just be focusing on the town of Richmond.
There are lots of ways to travel to Richmond depending on where you are travelling from and how you are travelling. I drove to Richmond as I was visiting on a Sunday. I was able to find a car park where I paid for parking, which was quite affordable as it was a Sunday. I think if you drove there on a weekday it would be very difficult to find affordable parking. There are a few paid car parks including the station car park but from my research these can be quite expensive. Richmond Park has free parking but is about a 30 minute walk from the station (depending on what entrance you go in from).
Richmond Station is in centre of town and has the District Line, London Overground and South Western Railway. Richmond is around 20 minutes from London Waterloo Station and 15 minutes from Clapham Junction Station. National Express Coaches also run regularly from Victoria Coach Station to Richmond.
Accommodation: If you decide to stay overnight in Richmond there are lots of options of places to stay deciding on your budget. Have a look online for hotel, bed and breakfast and hostel options to suit your requirements.
Things to do and see: Richmond is a charming town with lots to do and see. It sits on a meander of River Thames, providing beautiful river views. You can pay to go on a boat ride or enjoy a meal in one of the riverside restaurants. You can also walk, cycle or just sit alongside the river and relax and appreciate the views.
Richmond Hill is one the most iconic places in the town. The views from the top are legally protected.
The town has lots of gardens and green spaces including Richmond Green, Bushy Park and the stunning Richmond Park. Richmond Park is the largest royal park and with 2,500 acres of land it is three times the size of New York’s Central Park. In the park there are lots of great areas to explore. You can walk, cycle or even book a horse riding experience to get around the park. The park is also home to over 600 beautiful deer.
The cobbled streets of the high street has stores like Boots, House of Fraser, Marks and Spencer and Whole Foods, as well as some great independent stores. The town also has a shopping centre, museums, galleries, theatres and cinema. The town is also home to the National Archives Centre and the Poppy Factory. The town hosts different events throughout the year including a Literature Festival.
Richmond feels more like a charming little village and as such is popular filming location including scenes for Sherlock Holmes and Billy Elliot.
Close to the town of Richmond are other well known locations including Kew Garden, Hampton Court Palace and Syon Park. So if you are planning to go to Richmond for a short break there is plenty to explore near by.
For more information about what to see and do in Richmond visit – http://www.visitrichmond.co.uk/
Food: There are lots of places to eat in Richmond, including cute cafes and great restaurants including Wagamama, Carluccios and Jackson & Rye. If you are looking for a treat then there is also the Petersham Nurseries Cafe and Teahouse or the Bingham Hotel. If the weather is good you can even take a picnic with you and sit by the river side or in a green space and eat.
We happened to stumble upon an independent weekend market called Duck Pond Market and had some delicious vegetarian lunch from the stalls there. For dinner we treated ourselves to the the Ivy Cafe which is a British eatery part of the Ivy Collection restaurants.
In terms of Halal food I can’t really comment as I only ate vegetarian food whilst in Richmond. I was personally really pleased with the vegetarian options and wasn’t really looking for places selling Halal meat. I did a quick search when writing this blog post and found a few Halal places in Richmond so if your looking for Halal food you should be able to find something.
Prayer/ Masjid: I wasn’t able to find somewhere specific to pray in Richmond. From some research I found Kingston Masjid is about a 15 minute drive away. Personally I am quite happy to pray in a quiet corner of a park or green space.
Final Thoughts: When your in Richmond you feel miles away from busy London life. I would really recommend visiting Richmond if you are looking for a day trip or quick get away from London. The town is very charming and has lots of lovely things to see and do.