Kidadl
Woman and her dog sitting on park bench.
Path and grass.
Aerial view of Old Deer Park.
Obelisk in Old Deer Park.

Old Deer Park

Kidadl.com is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read our Terms & Conditions for further information.

Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines
  • Explore the beautiful Old Deer Park on the banks of the River Thames, one of the best parks in Richmond.
  • Discover the incredible wildlife that calls the park home, with many interesting animal and plant species to be found.
  • Get involved with the sports on offer, which includes recreational activities such as swimming as well as professional cricket matches.
  • Kids will love the two play areas, with plenty of exciting equipment to discover.


If you’re looking to escape the city for a while and get back to nature, Richmond’s Old Deer Park is the place for you. Just a short journey from central London, this large park has plenty of interesting things to do, including lots of natural landscape to explore. Whether you’re looking to visit in the height of summer or the middle of winter, the park has lots to offer.

Although there are no longer any deer in Old Deer Park, the park is a haven for local wildlife. The River Thames borders the park on its western edge, and attracts many different species of bird and other important wildlife for the local ecosystem. 

The park spans an impressive 360 acres, with plenty of semi-wild areas where you can find small mammals, insects, and birds. A walk in the wilds of Old Deer Park can really feel like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of London, despite only being a half-hour’s drive away.

To the north of the park is the beautiful Kew Gardens, which is one of London’s best destinations for incredible plant life. However, Kew Gardens does not have areas for sports or other activities, which is where Old Deer Park comes in. Old Deer Park is home to tennis courts, an outdoor gym, and all-weather sports pitches in London for football and rugby. 

The park’s history dates back to Tudor times, when Queen Elizabeth I spent much of her time at the nearby royal palaces of Richmond Palace and Hampton Court Palace. After her death in 1603, the new king James I turned the park into a place for hunting deer, which is how it got its name. 

Today, the park is well known for hosting sports events. The cricket stadium at Old Deer Park has been used for cricket matches for over 150 years, and continues to host County Cricket games, with Middlesex often playing here. It’s also the home ground of Richmond Cricket Club. The stadium was also the home of the now defunct rugby union team London Welsh.

One of the park’s most popular attractions is the Pools on the Park leisure centre. This large indoor pool can be found inside the park, and is very popular with visitors, especially in the summer months. With brilliant views of the park through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the building, it’s a lovely place to spend time during a visit to the area.

In the park, you’ll also find the beautiful King’s Observatory, now a Grade I-listed private residence. This fantastic building was created 1769 on the orders of King George III. The observatory was built to mark the transit of Venus, and was the site of many important astronomical discoveries during its time as a working observatory.

The park has plenty of space to relax and enjoy, with large open recreation areas that are always popular on a warm summer’s afternoon. There are two play areas at the park, both with lots of swings, slides, and climbing equipment for kids to explore. One playground is aimed at older kids whilst the other caters for younger children, meaning there’s something for everyone at Old Deer Park.

What to know before you go

  • Old Deer Park is open 24 hours a day throughout the year.
  • At the park, you’ll find the Pavilion Cafe near the sports ground. This cafe is open every day and serves a range of hot food, snacks, and drinks. There’s also the Cafe Sisi, which is next to the Pools on the Park leisure centre and serves lots of different food and drink options.
  • There are toilet facilities in the Pools on the Park venue, which have accessible features and baby-changing facilities.
  • The park is accessible for wheelchairs users and parents with buggies.

Getting there

  • Old Deer Park is in Richmond, around a 35-minute drive from central London.
  • The car park is located on Park Lane, just off Twickenham Road. There’s plenty of parking available at this pay-and-display car park.
  • It is is also very accessible by public transport. Richmond station is a six-minute walk away from the park, and has District line, London Overground, and Southwestern train service. 
  • There are also a number of buses that have stops within a few minutes’ walk of the park. These bus routes include the 65, 190, 490, and H37.

Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Government Guidelines

Location

Show on Google Maps