Deer Park, Botanical Gardens and Riverside, 11.5 miles, moderate

February 22, 2020 @ 11:15 am
Richmond Station
07766 436355

Something a little different for the group, meet at Richmond station at 11:15 upon arrival of the 10:12 from Reading. The walk leader will be on this train so if it is delayed then the start of the walk will also be delayed. For those who wish to drive, parking is available at Richmond station where charges may apply.

We will begin by making our way through Richmond town centre to the Thames Path and then along the river to the Terrace Gardens. After meandering through the Gardens, we will come out at Richmond Hill where we will be greeted with some fantastic views of the Thames. After passing some high end properties, including Downe House, previously occupied by Mick Jagger, and Wick House, currently owned by Pete Townshend, we will arrive at Richmond Park.

The first part of our walk through the Park will take us through the grounds of Pembroke Lodge. After peeping through the telescope on King Henry’s mound for further views, we will arrive at the Lodge. Government business was conducted here by John Russell during Queen Victoria’s reign. Visitors included other prominent Victorians including Victoria and Albert, Gladstone, Dickens and Lewis Carroll.

After leaving the lodge behind, we will continue through Sidmouth Wood and down to the Pen Ponds. There will be a glimpse of White Lodge where the Queen Mother and other royals used to reside.

After continuing through the Park, where we may hopefully glimpse some deer on the way, we will arrive at Sheen Gate. After passing through some residential bits, we will arrive at the village of Barnes, where if time permits, we will sneak in our first pub stop. Otherwise we will cross the river over Barnes Bridge and re-join the Thames Path. Along the way, we will pass Mortlake, the end point of the Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge, and glimpse the Budweiser factory.

We will then arrive at Strand-on-the-Green, where a drinking interlude will take place as we make the most of a couple of famous pubs in this part of London, including the Bull’s Head, where legend states Oliver Cromwell sought refuge here once, and the City Barge, where a former incarnation of this pub was a filming location for the Beatles film “Help!”.

After our drinking break, we will carry on the Thames Path crossing Kew Bridge and pass the famous Kew Gardens. Unfortunately we will not have time to go into the Gardens themselves, (a potential future social for later in the year is in the works for those who are keen on a visit!) but there is the chance if you look closely to see some parts of the Gardens as we carry on walking.

We will then pass the Old Deer Park, which housed Kew Observatory during George III’s reign and on the other side of the river we will be able to see Syon House, the Duke of Northumberland’s London residence.

We will then arrive back in Richmond where we intend to visit a couple more pubs, as well as possibly grab dinner before getting the train home.

Please bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink. For those not wanting to do the full walk, there are public transport options back to the start which the walk leader can advise you on. Likewise, if anyone wants to join midway, please contact the walk leader beforehand so we can arrange to meet you.

Sat Nav: TW9 1DN or 51.4631 -0.3015

Grid Ref: TQ180751