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The Lungs of London

Richmond Park

⏱️ Walk 3.5 hrs (13km)
📈 Total Ascent 140 m
⛰️ Highest Point 56 m

Welcome to this Signature Guide

This Quick Escape is an insider’s guide to the Richmond Park. Richmond Park is one of London’s eight Royal Parks. Created as a hunting ground by Charles I in 1637; he introduced around 2000 red and fallow deer to the park, the descendants of which still roam free today. 

Ready to walk?

Be sure to download your PDF guide for the walk and make sure you have the OS maps app downloaded.

Or email yourself the guide:

Before you start

Here’s 3 important things you need to know before you head off:

🗺️

Save This Guide

Save this guide on your device that you’re going to use on the walk. (This contains all the handy information, from how to get there, points of interest and pubs, taxis etc).

📱

Download the OS Map

This is how you will navigate your way around the route. The link for the route is in this guide and will take you to the OS Maps app.

Click here for Apple
Click here for Android

🔋

Battery

Make sure you have plenty of battery We hope you have a great walk.

The Curator Will Thompson

Meet the Curator

Will is one of Vespucci adventures’ designers. He loves the life and business of London but he really treasures the hidden spots where you can get away from it all and feel connected with nature. It’s no wonder Will is so fond of this walk when its one of the only spots in London where you could be tricked into thinking you are in the deep countryside!

“I’m delighted to share this meticulously curated walk I’ve developed over the years I’ve been visiting Richmond Park. As a local resident, this route holds a special place in my heart, evoking cherished memories of getting lost in the park’s woodland. The journey is a harmonious blend of rich history and natural beauty, offering a breathtaking vista, significant landmarks, and impressive stags.

This walk commences in the quaint suburb of Richmond, I have ensured this guide means you don’t miss any of the superb features that make the park such a favourite for so many locals. Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere, ancient oak trees and diverse wildlife that define this royal park. Meandering along the paths and concluding with some delicious food at The Teahouse in Petersham Nurseries.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this walk as much as I’ve enjoyed crafting it for you!

Hike Summary

Richmond Park, South-west London

With clean air filling your lungs, the chit-chat of birdsong, and the iconic and ever-impressive Red Deer roaming free; Richmond Park is sure to fill up your senses. Large enough to get lost, it is the one place in London you can really leave the urban sphere behind and enjoy open skies above your head. 

The deer in the park are amazing to see in person, they don‘t seem to mind you being there, the males are particularly impressive; but give them their space. The wildlife in the park is what makes it so special. The sunrise across Richmond Park is second to none, if you can get here in the morning you will never forget it.

This is definitely a trip for any day of the year. October to November is the time of year when the deer are in rut and the males are fighting for mating rights. Summertime sees the Isabella Plantation in full-bloom. Richmond Park is particularly magical in the winter, helped by it’s spectacular views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Hike Highlights

St. Paul's vista

Use the public telescope provided at the top of King Henry’s mound to view a 10 mile vista to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Petersham Nurseries

A stunning destination with various eateries. The Teahouse has seasonal menu and grows its own produce.

White Lodge

A grade I listed hunting lodge built in 1740. Now home to the prestigious Royal Ballet School.

London Underground – Start at Richmond Station, the station is served by the Overground and District line. We recommend using Citymapper to plan your route to the station.

Sometimes, we can get so caught up in reaching our destination that we forget to take in our surroundings. When in fact, some of the best moments on a walk are the ones spent not walking. It is not until you stop and look a little closer, that you truly see the magic of where you are.
Our hikes are not about how fast you walk, but about how much you take in. We share these beautiful trails with an abundance of wildlife and there’s always something to marvel at – so long as you take the time to look around.

Clothing
Walking boots/trainers
Waterproof jacket
Warm layer

Essentials
Backpack
Vespucci map & guide
Water bottle
Phone, wallet, keys

Winter / Off Season
Full waterproofs
Dry bag
Walking stick
Gaiters

Other bits
Snacks
Water
First aid kit

Points of interest

Places to enjoy along the route

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VALE OF THE THAMES
Just after Terrace Gardens there is a beautiful public garden where you’ll see one of the capital’s most lovely views of the vale of the Thames. This area is full of great pubs and restaurants for the end of your hike!
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ST PAUL'S VISTA
The top of King Henry's mound harbours an impressive secret. ‘TheWay’ is one of London’s eight legally protected views of St. Paul’s Cathedral; no new buildings can obstruct these views. Sitting some 10 miles away the cathedral is still clearly visible and there is a telescope provided for the public’s use. Sadly, due to planning mistake, a tower was illegally built behind St Paul's, obstructing the silhouette.
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THE ROYAL OAK
When Charles I first visited the area in 1625, some trees in the park were already centuries old; one of the most impressive of these is the Royal Oak, which is surrounded by a small fence and is estimated to be around 750 years old. Trees of this age are an ecosystem unto themselves, with hundreds of species living in & on them. This tree has watched the City of London grow from a city of 25,000 to over 8 million people. It has survived two World Wars, outlived 38 monarchs and seen England win the World cup a grand total of once.
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ISABELLA PLANTATION
The Isabella Plantation is a 40 acre woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation planted in the 1830’s. First opened to the public in 1953, it is best known for its azaleas, which line the ponds and streams and are at their peak of flower in late April and early May.
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WHITE LODGE
Originally constructed in 1727 as a hunting lodge for George II, it later became a royal residence. The current building, designed by Sir John Soane, was completed in the early 19th century. In the 20th century, White Lodge gained prominence as the home of the Royal Ballet Lower School. It has played a crucial role in the development of young ballet dancers, and its association with the arts has added a cultural dimension to its history.

What’s Next?

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