• Start: sheen, richmond
  • End: sheen, richmond
  • Country: England
  • County: Surrey
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: The Tea Rooms (0208 940 8207)
  • Ordnance Survey:
  • Difficulty: Easy
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A short stroll out of Richmond takes you to magnificent views, riverside mansions and rock music heritage...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine October 2012

A short stroll out of Richmond takes you to magnificent views, riverside mansions and rock music heritage...

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Footnotes: all you need to know

Start: East Sheen Gate Car Park in Richmond Park Grid reference: 204745 Map: Explorer map number 161 Length of walk: Five miles, no stiles and no big hills Route: East Sheen Gate Car Park in Richmond Park, Roehampton Gate, Palewell Common, Hertford Avenue, Upper Richmond Road West, White Hart Lane, Railway Side, Barnes School, Idle Hour Pub, Brookwood Avenue, Barnes Green, Barnes Pond, Barnes High Street, Barnes Railway Bridge, White Hart Inn, Watergate Stairs, Mortlake High Street, Sheen Lane, Richmond Park Food/drink: The Tea Rooms (0208 940 8207), set within Pembroke Lodges elegant Georgian rooms, offer hot and cold treats daily, throughout the year. For something less formal, the jazz pub The Bulls Head (0208 761 9078) has been holding nightly gigs since the 1960s more recently they hosted one of Mick Jaggers most intimate concerts when he joined his brother Chriss blues band on stage for an impromptu performance in 2008 to 80 people. 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: Bob Hayward, for Surrey Area Ramblers.

Viewpoint 1
Found early on in this walk, Roehampton Gate gives access to Richmond Park, which is well worth a detour. As well as its famous deer, the Royal Park offers uninterrupted views of St Pauls Cathedral; a stunning woodland garden, the Isabella Plantation, created after World War Two; and Pembroke Lodge, which became the home of the then Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, and was later the childhood home of his grandson, Bertrand Russell (it is now a popular restaurant with glorious views across the Thames Valley).

Viewpoint 2
Historically part of Surrey, some of the oldest riverside housing in London is to be found along The Terrace, a road lined with Georgian mansions, in Barnes. These include Viewpoint 3. The village has quite some rock music heritage too, with Olympic Sound Studios having hosted everyone from Jimi Hendrix to the Arctic Monkeys, and Queens Ride being where the T-Rex singer Marc Bolan died in a car crash.

Viewpoint 3
The composer Gustav Holst lived in one of the beautiful Georgian houses on The Terrace, having come to Barnes in 1909 as the director of music at St Pauls School. He stayed there until his death in 1934.

Viewpoint 4
Tapestry Court, a converted Victorian public house off Mortlake High Street, is now a series of luxury residences but has an intriguing history. The building was formerly the Queens Head Hotel, built in 1885 on the site of John Dees laboratory (Dee is arguably Mortlakes most celebrated resident and was a key figure in the intellectual life of 16th century Europe) and adjacent to the site of the Mortlake Tapestry Works

Viewpoint 5
In 1995, Anheuser Busch, the American based brewing giant, took a lease on the old Watneys Mortlake Brewery, which has been producing Budweiser there ever since.

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