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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 31 January, 2023
Expert travel writer: Sarah Barrell

At a whopping 2,500 acres, taking in woodland, grassland, planted gardens and ponds, Richmond is the largest of London’s royal parks. It’s changed little since its inception as a deer park by Charles I in the 1600s (although the land’s royal connection dates back to the 1200s). A sense of that royal history remains.

Deer, red and fallow, still graze and shape the park, their outline as distinctive as its ancient oaks. There’s a myriad of nature trails and cycleways, making it a fine place to walk, cycle and even horse ride. There are views of the city’s St Paul’s Cathedral-crowned skyline from King Henry’s Mound.

Other highlights in the park include botanical gardens at the Isabella Plantation, a blooming technicolor treat in spring and autumn, and afternoon tea at Pembroke Lodge Georgian mansion.

Recommended itineraries by our writers that include this experience

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The closest train and underground station is Richmond (district line).Then walk or catch the 371 or 65 bus to the pedestrian gate at Petersham).

The park’s 7.2-mile perimeter is punctuated by five road access gates, and several others for pedestrians and cyclists.

There are six free car parks within Richmond Park. Bike hire is available at the car park at Roehampton Gate. Several local stables offer riding opportunities.

Friends of Richmond Park run regular free walks within the park, usually lasting about 2 hours and starting and finishing at one of the park gates. The walks are free of charge. Some are for members only, others are open to everyone. They also have a handy downloadable map of the Park on their website, showing various walking routes and transport hubs.

Check the website or pop into the visitor centre at Pembroke Lodge or the Park Office at Holly Lodge to find out about seasonal nature tours, special events (from organised bike rides to art exhibitions), and routes that explore the park’s highlights and history.

When to do it

Richmond Park open to pedestrians 24 hours a day most of the year (excepting the deer cull in November and February), but only open to vehicles at certain hours.

It’s lovely year-round, but especially atmospheric in autumn, thanks to the carpet of fallen leaves, crunchy bracken and flashes of antler in the golden afternoon light.

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Richmond Classic Walking Tour

Richmond Classic Walking Tour


Experience London's unspoilt countryside and riverside with this easy paced historic and scenic walking tour away from the congestion and qu...

£12 | Rating 5 / 5 [8 ratings]

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Tour supplied by:

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Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Richmond Harbour Hotel

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.9 miles]

A colourful and stylish ‘countryside retreat’ atop leafy Richmond Hill, overlooking the Thames and just 20 minutes from the city centre. Kew Gardens and Hampton Court are virtually next door.

Official star rating:

Bingham Riverhouse

London, United Kingdom (UK)[2.5 miles]

A lovely, tranquil retreat for those who want to dip in and out of central London. Richmond Park, Hampton Court and The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are on your doorstep.

Official star rating:

Number Sixteen

London, United Kingdom (UK)[9 miles]

Dazzling design and local colour abound at this intimate, under-the-radar bolthole in a convenient, upmarket location.

Official star rating:

Sydney House

London, United Kingdom (UK)[9 miles]

A value-for-money Georgian townhouse hotel that offers a pleasingly tranquil feel, set on a refined residential street in the heart of Chelsea.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)

World-class culture, fashion, music, food and history – and a mind-boggling array of bucket list experiences – packed into one extraordinary, incomparable destination. 

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Hampton Court Palace

London, United Kingdom (UK)[6.1 miles]

England’s greatest Tudor estate and the former home of Henry VIII and his succession of wives, preserved for the public to explore.

Best for ages: 4+ | £25

Natural History Museum

London, United Kingdom (UK)[9.2 miles]

Dinosaur skeletons, blue whales and chunks of meteorite set in a Romanesque, cathedral-like building – the world’s biggest and best such museum is a treasure trove of natural history.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Happy and excited adults and children on Scorpion Express. It is a mine train themed roller coaster. Screaming, laughing and enjoying ride.

Chessington World of Adventures

Chessington, Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)[10.9 miles]

One of Britain’s best adventure parks, boasting thrilling rides, a sea life centre and an impressive zoo.

Best for ages: 4+ | £30 | 1 day

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Royal Academy of Arts

London, United Kingdom (UK)[12 miles]

An 18th-century mansion of masterpieces sitting pretty on Piccadilly, home to one of Britain’s oldest collections of fine art and regular blockbuster exhibitions.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

Madame Tussauds

London, United Kingdom (UK)[12.3 miles]

Meet the queen, get a selfie with Stormzy and take the controls of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca at the world’s leading and original wax museum.

Best for ages: 8+ | £30

Exterior view of front facade with people walking in front

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

London, United Kingdom (UK)[12.7 miles]

London’s impressive aquarium, set on the South Bank, home to hundreds of species of fish and a selection of sharks.

Best for ages: Any | £27

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