Exploring the Verdant Corners of Richmond, London
Living in London offers many contrasts, especially those of a metropolitan city versus green, nature-led spaces. With a love for parks and nature-getaway within a bustling city, I’ve discovered my favorite green corners of the Richmond neighborhood in London. Bordering the river Thames and home to the Kew Gardens, Richmond is a destination for botany fanatics as well as those looking for a respite from city life. It is often forgotten by tourists, but offers a true venture into proper English gardening.
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Where to stay
Bingham River House
Just outside London, this boutique gem has gorgeous gardens overlooking the River Thames and a popular restaurant.
Coach & Horses Hotel
A proper London boozer with gorgeous rooms, perfect for day trips to Kew Gardens and Richmond Park.
The Petersham Hotel
Quintessentially British stay for walks by the Thames and a top notch Afternoon Tea.
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Things to do
Spending time at the botanical gardens
Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy fascinating English history away from Big Ben. If you’re heading out for nature-exploration in Richmond, you’re bound to rent a bicycle to explore the neighborhood.
Start at Richmond Park and then head over to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew & Kew Palace. Allow at least a half-day to wander these gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site considered to be the most biodiverse place on earth. From the main entrance at Victoria Gate, begin your visit with the latest exhibition at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, then walk to the Temperate House, the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse and home to rare and threatened plants. Pause for a moment of reflection at the Japanese Gardens of Peace, Activity, and Harmony, then ascend the Treetop Walkway and experience Kew’s magnificent arboretum from a unique vantage point.
Finally, leave time to admire the 18th-century summer home of King George III and the oldest building in the gardens, Kew Palace (open seasonally). Don’t miss picking up a nature-themed souvenir from the exceptional gift shop!
Television sightings and art exhibits
For fans of the hit Apple TV show Ted Lasso, visitors can tour Paved Court in Richmond (a filming location for the show) to walk in the coach's footsteps.
When you’re ready to go indoors, head across the river Thames to visit England’s great landscape painter J.M.W. Turner’s retreat, Sandycombe Lodge (open seasonally) or check out the contemporary art exhibits at Orleans House Gallery.
Then hop the Hammerton ferry back across the Thames to tour 17th-century Ham House & Gardens, considered one of the grandest Stuart houses in England, with formal gardens and grounds that are ideal for a picnic. Make your way back to central Richmond along the riverside path to see the Thames in a completely different way than in the heart of London.
A note from Tara
Kew Botanic Gardens has a variety of festivals throughout the year, including the orchid festival in February and the music festival in the summer. Check their website before you visit to learn about current events.
Places to eat & drink
Coffee & breakfast
Kiss the Hippo Coffee: A specialty Richmond coffee shop featuring international and house blends to either drink there or take away for a stroll. The coffee shop takes particular to the quality of its beans and their sustainability offset. Grab a croissant while you’re there, too!
Lunch & dinner
Petersham Nurseries Cafe: A Michelin-guide restaurant that sources food right from their kitchen garden and into what is an indoor secret garden dining room. Stop by for afternoon tea at the teahouse or a full lunch at the cafe featuring seasonal, hearty dishes.
The Dysart at Petersham: A family-owned and run restaurant specializing in fine dining and wine with exquisite presentations. Located within a garden setting, this Michelin-starred restaurant sources the freshest and highest quality ingredients for their seasonal dishes. Many traditional, yet now quite unusual, herbs are used in their drinks!
The Glasshouse: A Michelin-starred restaurant with scrumptious house baked breads and fish dishes open for lunch and dinner. Pop in for a prix-fixe three course Sunday lunch, and make space for dessert as the black fig with hazelnut financier is a fan favorite!
The Tap on the Line: A pub and restaurant in Kew that offers up a great selection of food and drinks with an old English vintage charm.
Antipodea All-Day Brasserie: An all-day Australian brasserie that is becoming a coveted dining destination featuring healthy lunch options to enjoy at their outdoor seating area.
White Cross: A local riverside Richmond pub known for its ales and home cooked seasonal British dishes. Come by on a Sunday for their roast.
Stein’s Beer Garden: A restaurant and biergarten on the River Thames featuring a wide selection of international beers and a relaxed vibe.
A note from Tara
Richmond is becoming increasingly more popular. I highly recommend booking your reservations beforehand for Petersham Nurseries, the Dysart and Glasshouse restaurants.
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