London Parks – Richmond

London Parks – Richmond

Richmond Park, London. One of my favourite places in this wonderful city. Located in the south-west of the metropolis, the park covers 9.5 square kilometres, which makes it nearly three times larger than New York’s Central Park. Perfect for a day trip, the park also offers a unique opportunity for getting close to the nature – and it doesn’t cost a penny!

Richmond Park is one of those places I make sure to visit a few times a year. Getting there via public transport takes me quite some time (I live in the north-east of London, so on the opposite side of the city), but it’s definitely worth the commute.

Richmond Park is nothing like the elegant, tidy parks in the city centre. Forget paved pathways, rows of benches, flowerbeds and planted tropical trees. This park is all about the rough wilderness, in a managed fashion. There’s certainly lots of effort put into the maintenance of the park, but it still looks like a small piece of wild forest crossed with a savannah and it’s easy to forget that you’re still in the middle of one of the biggest European cities.

There’s a lot of open space in the park, with trees around the outer borders and a few random foresty patches in the middle.

London Richmond Park - open space
London Richmond Park

There’s a road running through the middle of the park, used by cyclists and cars getting to the car parks. Not ideal for a park to have a road cutting it in half, but the traffic is rather low and the park is so big that you likely won’t spend much time near it anyway. And if you’re a cyclist, you may enjoy using it.

Apart from the one road, there are no paved pathways in the park. You’ll mainly walk on grass, gravel or sand, which means accessibility is limited. Keep that in mind when planning to visit the park with a pram or a wheelchair. It’s not impossible to move through the park on wheels, but it will be more challenging than in other parks.

In the middle of the park, there’s a pond with an abundance of fowl – particularly the Canada geese, which inhabit almost every park in London.

London Richmond Park - geese
London Richmond Park – Geese

What makes this park special are the free roaming deer. Hundreds of those majestic creatures live in this park, patiently ignoring the human visitors.

London Richmond Park Deer
London Richmond Park

Looking for the deer is like an Easter egg hunt, but the eggs move around and the garden is the size of 1800 football fields. Fun! You know the deer must be somewhere in the park. Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and see them grazing at the entrance of the park. Other times, you’ll walk around for a couple of hours before spotting one. Patience is key, but it’s worth it.

On a hot summer day, you may want to check near the river. The deer may be taking a cooling bath.

London Richmond Park deers in the river
London Richmond Park Deers

Other times, the deer may be resting in the long grass, hiding in the shade of some trees. They can be in small groups…

London Richmond Park feeding deer
London Richmond Park feeding deer

…or you may find a hundred (or more) grouped in one place.

London Richmond Park lots of deers feeding in the open space
London Richmond Park Deers

Some will even be by themselves, enjoying an uninterrupted meal in peace (until a lost, two-legged wanderer shows up with a camera).

London Richmond Park grazing deer
London Richmond Park

In terms of amenities, you’ll find toilets at the park’s entrances (but not anywhere in the middle of the park). There are two cafes serving drinks and snacks in the park and – on summer weekends – there will likely be ice cream vans near the entrances.

Holland Park Kyoto Garden
London Parks – Holland Park
A big fountain in Regent's Park, London
London Parks- Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill
Greenwich Park Panorama
Greenwich Park Panorama
A curious squirrel of Ruskin Park on my leg
Squirrels of Ruskin Park, London

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