Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount
Car-free around RichmondGreater London
Explore Richmond Park, the gardens at Kew, the palatial grounds of Hampton Court or the little villa that the painter JMW Turner designed for himself. Get there by bus, bike or even boat; walk along the Thames or climb above it. One of London’s finest areas for a riverside stroll, Richmond offers scenic stretches of the long distance Thames Path, panoramic views, deer parks, stately homes and an optional ferry ride. And whether you fancy a pint in a waterside pub or tea in a hilltop mansion, this is a refreshing car-free destination for everyone. You can get to Richmond in half an hour on a district line tube from Victoria, in twenty-minutes via a train from Waterloo, or on the Overground line from North London. To use the 2 for 1 train offers (and there are several locally) make sure you follow the link and print the voucher. Or pick up a leaflet at the station.
1. Cycle or walk the Thames Path
To see what all the fuss is about, head straight for the Thames. If you’d rather cycle than stroll, pay a visit first to Richmond Cycle Centre, right by the station. Cross the road outside Richmond station and walk through the tunnel by Yo Sushi. Turn left on Little Green and diagonally right across grass ahead.
- Richmond Theatre here is a great place for a show, with everything from Marlowe to musicals.
- Reaching the post box on the far side of green, go straight ahead under an arch into Old Palace Yard. At Trumpeters’ House, turn R and go through the bollards, following a fingerpost towards the river. Turn left down Old Palace Lane, past the White Swan pub, and left again along the Thames.
- The riverfront is heaving with pubs and places to eat, from carnivorous Gauchos, serving Argentine steaks, to the veg-focused Tide Tables café under Richmond Bridge, with its new sister branch, Hollyhock Café, up in Terrace Gardens ahead.
- Elegant Richmond Bridge is the oldest surviving Thames bridge in Greater London.
2. Petersham Meadows and Richmond Park
With a good network of paths, you can walk everywhere in Richmond, but there are also some handy buses to help cover the ground.
- Bus 65 runs from stop D outside the station every 6 minutes in the day and takes about quarter of an hour to transport you to the edge of Petersham Meadows.
- Or take bus 371 from the same stop; after a magical mystery tour of Richmond’s historic streets, it arrives at the American University. Hop off and keep straight here for a stroll through Richmond Park, recently voted one of Britain’s top 100 walks. London’s largest royal park and is a National Nature Reserve, home to ancient trees and herds of free range deer.
- You can also arrive along the river. Walking for nearly a mile, under Richmond Bridge, keep straight across Petersham Meadows. Continue along a tarmac path. (Popular Petersham Nurseries is to your right, with a great conservatory-café). Just before the churchyard, turn left on a way-marked path and follow it, winding between fences, to Petersham Road.
- Cross the road, go through the gate opposite into the park. Head diagonally left uphill, on the grassy path marked with a lime green Capital Ring signpost. At top of hill, go through the gate ahead and turning right through the gardens to reach Pembroke Lodge.
- After tea and panoramic views, you can go on towards Ham (see 3 below) or back to Richmond.
3. Ham House, Hammertons Ferry and more
Hammertons Ferry outside Ham House runs every day from March to October, 10am to 6.00pm. You can get there from Richmond by strolling along the towpath under Richmond Bridge or by catching bus 371 to Sandy Lane and following the avenue. Or you can follow a longer walk from Richmond Park.
- From Pembroke Lodge, follow the steps down from the terrace and turn left out of the gate.
- At the top of more steps, turn right along a beech avenue parallel to Queen’s Road. Look out for deer and keep going in the same direction until you reach another road ahead and turn right to Ham Gate.
- Keep straight through the gate and take a permissive path in the same direction through Ham Woods nature reserve, with the road parallel on the right. Keep straight on the main road through Ham village, over the crossroads near New Inn and past the green.
- Before reaching the pond, turn R at a sign for Ham and Petersham Tennis Club along a straight avenue, crossing Sandy Lane (this is where the 371 bus arrives from Richmond), towards red brick Ham House ahead.
- At the front of house, head diagonally right to the river. Take Hammertons ferry across Thames and turn right along towpath, past Marble Hill House, back to Richmond Bridge (Don’t worry if the ferry isn’t running; it’s just as beautiful to turn right along the near side of river and return to Richmond that way).