Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.Government Guidelines
On the outskirts of southwest London lies the beautiful Bushy Park, a lovely Royal Park within walking distance of Hampton Court Palace and Hampton Park. This huge site has plenty of grasslands to walk around, historic architecture, and some amazing wildlife, making it one of the best things to do in South London.
Like many of London's Royal Parks, Bushy Park was created by King Henry VIII in 1529 as a deer-hunting ground just a few minutes away from his palace at Hampton Court. However, the history of the land dates much farther back than Tudor times; archaeological digs have found objects that are believed to be over 4,000 years old, dating back to the Bronze Age.
Perhaps the longest-lasting legacies of Henry VIII in the park are the beautiful deer that roam freely around the grounds. There are around 320 red and fallow deer living in the park. The deer is essential to the park's variety in wildlife because their grazing patterns help to maintain biodiversity. The deer at the park are wild animals, so it's important to keep a safe distance away from them if you see them.
The park is home to two designed gardens. The Upper Lodge Water Gardens were created by the Earl of Halifax in 1710, but over the years became forgotten and covered by shrubs. In 2010, the fruits of a 20-year restoration were realised as the gardens were reopened to the public for the first time in decades. The gardens feature waterfalls, pools, and even a canal.
The second garden in the park is the Waterhouse Woodland Garden. This garden features many attractive trees and plants and is an excellent place for a woodland walk with the kids. There's also a pond, where fish such as perch and bream live, and waterbirds feed and nest.
The centrepiece of Bushy Park, London, is the Diana Fountain, which sits in the middle of a small lake in the park. It was commissioned by King Charles I in the 1630s as a gift for his wife, Queen Henrietta Maria. In 1713, the statue was moved to its current location by Sir Christopher Wren, the man who also designed St Paul's Cathedral in London. The golden statue shows the Roman goddess Diana surrounded by nymphs and is one of the most important sculptures of the Stuart era.
There's also a children's playground at the park. The playground has swings, a climbing frame, and a large sandpit for kids to play in. It can be found near the Diana Fountain and the entrance to Hampton Court.
For sports fans, Bushy Park is the home of the UK's first-ever Parkrun, which began in 2004. Every Saturday at 9am, hundreds (or even thousands!) of amateur runners come to run the 5 km Bushy Park Parkrun through the park. It's one of the most popular events of its kind and attracts stars such as Mo Farah. Even with such famous attendees, everyone is encouraged to join in the run regardless of ability; it's not competitive and is an enjoyable experience.
Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.Government Guidelines
The Royal ParksShow more
The Royal Parks Limited is a UK charity organisation that manages London’s eight royal parks and other areas of significant greenery in the capital city. The Royal Parks are originally owned by the Royal Family and monarchy of England and make up some of the most famous and best-loved parks in London. Making up 5,000 acres of gorgeous green space across the city, the eight Royal Parks include Hyde Park in central London, its enclosed Kensington Gardens, Bushy Park near Hampton Court Palace, St James’s Park featuring the world-famous Mall, The Green Park - a hit with commuters, Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill with stunning views of the capital, Greenwich Park in South East London, the newly-restored Brompton Cemetery, Victoria Tower Gardens at the heart of Westminster, and of course Richmond Park - the biggest park in London. Four of the expansive parks also make up the Royal Parks Half Marathon route, which has been taking place in October each year since 2008 and ends in the iconic Hyde Park, attracting over 16,000 participants.