- Start: From the centre of Richmond
- End: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, with boat, train and bus option back to Richmond available
- Country: England
- County: Surrey
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub: This is definitely one of those walks to make a day of it and there are plenty of dining options along the route. However, Bluebeckers bar and restaurant (0208 941 5959), just opposite Hampton Court Palace, is ideally situated at the end of the walk
- Ordnance Survey: Ordnance Survey, Explorer 161
- Difficulty: Medium
From the royal park at Richmond to Henry VIII's favourite palace at East Molesey via Kingston and its kings, this walk along a spectacular stretch of the River Thames really has it all
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine February 2011
From the royal park at Richmond to Henry VIIIs favourite palace at East Molesey via Kingston and its kings, this walk along a spectacular stretch of the River Thames really has it all
Foot Notes: All you need to know...
Start: From the centre of Richmond End: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, with boat, train and bus option back to Richmond available Grid reference: TQ 204 730 Map: Ordnance Survey, Explorer 161 Length of walk: Approximately eight miles Food/drink: This is definitely one of those walks to make a day of it and there are plenty of dining options along the route. However, Bluebeckers bar and restaurant (0208 941 5959), just opposite Hampton Court Palace, is ideally situated at the end of the walk Route: Richmond, Petersham Meadow, Teddington Lock, Kingston-upon-Thames, Hampton Court Palace Also nearby: Ham House, Richmond; Richmond Park, Richmond; Bushy Park, Kingston Recommended by: www.thames-path.org.uk Next month: Forest Green
Starting out from the centre of Richmond, if you fancy making a day of it, swing past the beautiful Richmond Park, where you can see the deer roaming free, before setting off on the official walk. Oh, and keep an eye open for Sir David Attenborough, too, who lives locally.
Head on to the Thames Path near Richmond Bridge to Petersham Meadows, with Richmond Hill and the Petersham Hotel on the left, before walking onwards to pass Marble Hill House, across the river, and the National Trusts Ham House, which has just celebrated its 400th anniversary.
Next, look out for the famous Eel Pie Island, which hosted rock royalty throughout the Sixties, including the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton among others.
As you get closer to Kingston, you pass The Boaters Inn in Canbury Gardens, a pleasant tree-lined park. Kingston is a historic town with plenty to see if you have a moment to spare in fact, it has its own Royal Walkabout, too (pick up a leaflet at Kingston Museum). Rather than heading into Surbiton, cross the bridge and youll find yourself in Hampton Court Park.
Henry VIII had at least five royal palaces in Tudor Surrey, but Hampton Court Palace in East Molesey was always said to be his favourite. Not only is the palace itself stunning, but the beautiful landscaped grounds are well worth taking a stroll around, too.
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2012
A ramble around Richmond
This beautiful walk takes in literary history, stunning views and possibly the odd celebrity sighting as well
Footnotes: All you need to know...
Start/Finish: Richmond Railway Station Grid reference: 181753 Map: Explorer Map 161 Length of walk: A five-mile circular walk, with a gentle descent and climb but no stiles (option to detour via the National Trusts Ham House) Route: Richmond Station, The Quadrant, Waterloo Place, Union Court, Paradise Road, Vineyard Passage, Onslow Road, Friars Stile Road, Richmond Hill, The Wick, Petersham Common, Petersham Road, Ham, Petersham Meadows, Buccleuch Gardens, Richmond Bridge, Old Palace Lane, Richmond Green, Little Green, Old Station Passage, Richmond Station Food: This walk passes The White Swan (0208 940 0959) in Old Palace Lane, which offers light lunches to a more substantial a la carte menu. The Duke Public House and Dining Room (0208 940 4067) at Richmond Green is a highly rated gastro pub. Also nearby: Built in 1610 for Sir Thomas Vavasour, who was Knight Marshal to James I, Ham House became part of the National Trust portfolio in 1948 and remains one of the most complete surviving mansion houses of the Restoration period. Recommended by: Walk by Bob Hayward. For other similar walks, go to www.richmondramblers.co.uk and www.surreyramblers.org.uk.
In 1915, Leonard and Virginia Woolf moved to Hogarth House in Paradise Road, which is marked by a blue plaque. This was part of the present Suffield House, at that time divided into two separate residences, situated next to the premises of the North Surrey Squash Rackets Club. The Hogarth Press was founded in 1917 by the couple and was named after the house, where they began hand-printing books.
Its no wonder that so many rock stars, movie icons and many others of note are attracted to Richmonds relatively green environs, and with views such as this from the top of Richmond Hill providing inspiration for artists and poets over the years, there is a certain romance to the town. It is also home to the Terrace Gardens, formerly brickworks but now known for their seasonal blooms.
The Star and Garter Hotel once stood on the site now occupied by the Star and Garter Home, which has been providing care to the ex-service community since it first opened in 1916. The hotel itself had previously hosted the likes of the great author Charles Dickens in its time. The author famously escaped there from London on the day that the first episode of Nicholas Nickleby was published. A second new home for the charity, which will replace this current Richmond icon, is currently under construction in Surbiton.
Named after its Yorkshire counterpart, which was the favourite Earldom of Henry VII, Richmond-upon-Thames was once home to a majestic palace. The gatehouse of the royal home, favoured by Elizabeth I, can still be found on Richmond Green.
Richmond Green is home to the historic Richmond Theatre, which as well as great drama has also hosted Hollywoods cameras on numerous occasions (see Surrey Film Locations), as well as the former residence of Prime Minister Harold Wilson at Little Green and some lovely pubs.