There is an enviable amount of attractive features packed into the borough of Richmond, South London. Its two main towns, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and Twickenham are nine miles south west of Charing Cross and have been a magnet for royalty, visitors and notable residents for centuries, including most of the King Henrys, Elizabeth I, Chaucer, George Eliot and lately, Mick Jagger and other glitterati.
The Thames meanders through the area and provides a riverside focal point for both towns. There are some pretty riverside restaurants and cafes in Richmond and the local canoe club means that you can row down the river at your own pace. If such strenuous exercise is an absurd idea, then you can take a boat trip down the river to Hampton Court Palace or to Kew Gardens – one of the world’s leading botanic gardens with stunning displays of exotic flowers and plants.
Richmond is certainly not deprived of green spaces and outdoor features. Richmond Hill, with views over the entire borough, including Petersham and Kew has Richmond Park at its foot – a vast and ancient royal park full of deer, hose riding, large ponds and beautiful plantations which provides a stunning backdrop for weddings. There is also a trail through the Old Deer Park which takes visitors to some gorgeous riverside pubs by Kew bridge and Richmond Green in the town centre, where much of the affluent community is centred.
Not forgetting the remains of Richmond Palace in Trumpeters House gardens, you realise how blessed this little town is. The town centre is relatively small, but brimming with some quirky shops, leading brand names and designer restaurants. To find any kind of serious nightlife though, you are better off going to nearby Kingston and its massive clubs.
Another draw to the borough is the world-famous rugby stadium in Twickenham. Home to the Rugby Football Union, the stadium seats 82000 people and is the largest rugby stadium in the UK.
Richmond is just 15 minutes from London Waterloo and half an hour from Victoria on the District Line.