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Richmond is part of London, but it feels like a whole other world. Filled with some of the best green spaces in Greater London, Richmond is an excellent escape from city life that’s only a short train ride away. It’s close enough to central London that you can easily take a Richmond day trip & even combine it with other nearby places such as Windsor or Hampton Court Palace. This Richmond travel guide contains details on how to get there, things to see & do in Richmond, where to eat & drink, & more.
Getting to Richmond from London
Public Transportation from London to Richmond
Richmond is located at the end of a branch of the District Line, making it incredibly easy to get to from central London in about 30 minutes or so. Depending on where you are traveling from, Overground trains or regular railway trains from London Waterloo are other options.
Richmond Tours from London
At the moment, there are no major organized tours to Richmond from London, although there are tours specifically to Hampton Court Palace.
Things to do in Richmond (Parks & gardens, tourist attractions, museums, food & drink, & more)
With tons of parks & gardens, Richmond is an especially great place to visit when the weather is nice. Here are the best Richmond activities, including gardens, parks, riverside activities, television filming locations, food & drink, and more.
Kew Gardens is one of the best botanical gardens in the world, making it one of the most popular Richmond day trip activities. Operated by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the 330 acres of Kew Gardens contain over 50,000 living plants. The gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With the vast diversity of plants, plus indoor glasshouses, there’s plenty to see at Kew Gardens at any time of year. The springtime cherry blossoms are just one of the many highlights of Kew Gardens.
Other popular things to see at Kew Gardens include the treetop walkway, the Hive (which highlights the importance of bees), the Alpine House, the Palm House, the Princess of Wales Conservatory, the Great Pagoda, the Japanese Gardens, and Kew Palace. The gardens are part of the London City Pass.
Book tickets for Kew Gardens here
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is another popular place to visit on a day trip to Richmond. While not in central Richmond, Hampton Court is part of the larger Royal Borough of Richmond upon Thames.
Hampton Court Palace was first built for King Henry VIII. It remained a royal residence until the 1700s, undergoing several rounds of expansion & updates that ultimately replaced most of the original construction with a mix of domestic Tudor and Baroque styles. Highlights include the Base Court, the State Rooms & Apartments, the Tudor Kitchens, the Baroque Palace, the Haunted Gallery, and the Puzzle Maze.
The impressive grounds were first opened to the public by Queen Victoria. Today, the beautiful gardens & buildings of Hampton Court Palace make it one of the most visited attractions in all of England.
Book tickets & tours for Hampton Court Palace here
Richmond Park is the largest royal park in London, covering some 2360 acres. It was first created as a deer park by Charles I in the 17th century, and it’s still filled with over 600 deer today. The park is both a nature reserve & a popular place for recreation.
Popular activities in Richmond Park include wildlife watching, walking, running, cycling, golfing, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking, & more.
The park has notable viewpoints toward Central London from King Henry’s Mound & Sawyer’s Hill.
River Thames activities
The River Thames winds its way through Richmond. It’s both a place for water activities as well as enjoyment from the shore.
Get out on the River Thames by trying out stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking, or let someone else do the work by taking a ferry or other boat rides.
Along the River Thames, you’ll find also plenty of restaurants & bars, as well as gardens, terraces, and walking paths.
Richmond Green is a popular recreation space near the centre of Richmond. Back in the Middle Ages, it hosted jousting competitions. Today it’s home to other sports, including cricket.
Ted Lasso filming locations
Fans of the Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso” will be familiar with Richmond, as it’s home to the fictional AFC Richmond Greyhounds. The show has filmed on location in several spots around Richmond, including Richmond Green & along the River Thames. Most notably, The Prince’s Head pub serves as the inspiration for the pub on the show, as well as exterior shots. The doorway of the flat that is depicted as Ted Lasso’s is actually a storefront in real-life. It can be found along Paved Court, right near The Prince’s Head & Richmond Green.
Terrace Gardens overlooks the River Thames, just south of the Richmond centre. The well-kept garden is a nice place for relaxing. Near the top is a water feature with a statue known locally as Bulbous Betty.
Ham House & Garden
Ham House & Garden is a 17th-century house overlooking the River Thames. The Stuart house has a large art, furniture, & textile collection. Oh, and it’s also rumored to be haunted.
Museum of Richmond
The Museum of Richmond is a free museum about the history of Richmond, from medieval times to the present day.
The Richmond Theater hosts over 40 productions a year, including musicals, drama, opera, dance, and more. The theater was designed by famed theater architect Frank Matcham, and it’s considered one of the best surviving examples of his work.
The Poppy Factory
Since 1922, the Poppy Factory has employed disabled veterans to make poppy remembrance wreaths & has also provided valuable training that can lead to other employment. The factory has produced millions of poppies over the years. Tours are available, though they are primarily for groups except for limited individual visits.
Marble Hill House is a Palladian villa built for Henrietta Howard. She purchased the land with money she received via gifts from King George II, whose mistress she had been. Howard was a notable figure in the Hanoverian court, also corresponding with prominent writers of the time such as Jonathan Swift & Alexander Pope. The house, which is just across the River Thames in Twickenham, has similar designs to American plantation houses. Entry is free, though the house itself is only open seasonally (the park surrounding it is open year-round).
World Rugby Museum & Twickenham Stadium
Twickenham is the home of English rugby. England plays their home matches, including the famed Six Nations, in Twickenham Stadium. The World Rugby Museum is devoted to the history of the sport. It can be visited along with a tour of the stadium.
Where to eat & drink in Richmond
There are plenty of great places to eat & drink on a Richmond day trip. For Italian, Al Boccon di’ Vino & Sebastian’s are two highly rated options. Stein’s is a popular riverside spot for German food & beer. The Ivy Cafe has a wide variety of dishes served all day long. Diba is known for great Persian food.
In addition to several traditional pubs, there are also several great craft beer bars in Richmond, including Tap Tavern & Richmond Vault Beer Cellar.
Here are some great London tours & activities & other things to see & do in London.
If you’re looking to stay longer on your Richmond day trip or haven’t yet booked local accommodation, check out these London hotels.