In the quiet, pastoral landscape of Richmond Park it’s hard to believe that you are still in the city of London. Peaceful green hills and woodlands with ancient trees are filled with deer, butterflies and birds and will make you feel like you are miles away from the hustle and bustle. It’s a great neighbourhood for kids because it is so safe and quiet and there are so many family friendly things to do. Here are some great ideas for days out in Richmond that will be fun for the whole family.
Climb King Henry’s Mound
Take a walk up to the top of this steep mound, which is thought to be where King Henry VIII was standing on that day in May, 1536 to witness a rocket that was to be launched from the top of the Tower of London. The rocket symbolised that Anne Boleyn (his wife) was put to death for treason and the King was free to marry the woman he loved – Lady Jane Seymour. Although this legend is unlikely to be a true account of what happened, this hill still offers amazing panoramic views of the Thames Valley and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Go for a Walk at Isabella Plantation
Take a stroll in this 40 acre woodland garden, set within a Victorian woodland plantation that was originally planted in the 1830s. There are many rare and unusual plants and trees including a beautiful collection of Camelias and Rhododendrons. You will also be likely to spot birds, bats and insects – so keep your eyes peeled.
Let the Little Ones Run Free at Kingston Gate Playground
This playground is the perfect spot for your small children and it offers multi-play equipment, children tables, seats and timber play structures including a tractor, trailer and a fairy pergola. You can relax and chat while you watch the kids burn off their energy playing on the equipment.
Have Some Outdoor Fun at Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens is a beautiful historic site in Richmond, a garden boasting 30,000 species of plants covering 300 acres. It’s a great spot for families to visit and your little ones will get a thrill out of the fish in the Marine Display aquarium in the Palm House and the outdoor Treehouse Towers play area with giant swings, slides and zip wires. Kew Gardens is open daily from 9:30am to 5:30pm and admission is £15 or free for children under 17.
Watch the Deer
Richmond Park is a nature reserve and there are 630 Fallow and Red Deer roaming freely here. When you are relaxing in Richmond Park there is a great chance that you will spot some deer, so keep a look out! If you are visiting during the mating season in autumn, you might see the males competing for the attention of the females by clashing antlers together in a spectacular battle.
Hire a Bike
Why not hire a bike at Parkcycle, which is located on the car park near Roehampton Gate during the summer months? Exploring the trails of Richmond Park on a bicycle can be a great day out for the entire family and there are a range of different bikes available for riders of all ages and sizes. They also offer baby seats and children’s trailers that can be attached to the trail bikes. Choose a bike, pack some water and snacks and start exploring the trails.
Go Fishing in Pen Ponds
The Pen Ponds are the largest ponds in Richmond Park and fishing by permit is allowed at specific points. These ponds are home to many birds and aquatic life and as you are fishing you might also spot deer wandering by. If your kids are interested in learning to fish you could take them here for a relaxing afternoon of casting and listening to the sounds of nature.
These are just a few of the fun activities in Richmond Park that you and your family can enjoy.
Photo credit: Image used with Creative Commons license and courtesy of Laurence Arnold.