- Discover the largest Royal Park in London, with nature trails to traverse and wildlife to see.
- Explore the 40-acre Isabella Plantation within the park, an area full of natural beauty and vibrant wildlife.
- Witness an incredible view of central London’s St Paul’s Cathedral from the top of King Henry’s Mound.
- See the beautiful wild deer that have called Richmond Park home for hundreds of years.
Stretching over a massive 2,500-acre site in southwest London is Richmond Park, the largest of London’s eight Royal Parks. The park’s royal history dates back to the 13th century, and it was in 1625 that Charles I enclosed the space to create a London deer park. He brought hundreds of deer to Richmond to serve as hunting targets. The descendants of the original Richmond Park deer still inhabit the park, where over 600 red and fallow deer live today.
Richmond Park’s large open spaces are the perfect place to go for a family walk. The Isabella Plantation, which first opened to the public in 1953, is home to several species of rare and uncommon trees and plants. The garden was designed with the aim of providing an interesting and exciting visit for every season, meaning the plantation makes for a brilliant day out any time of year.
There are also two children’s playgrounds at the park. The Petersham Gate playground is aimed at kids of all ages and includes a sandpit and plenty of exciting things to play on. The Kingston Gate playground has been designed especially for children aged under five and features activities that will be exciting for toddlers.
The park is steeped in history, although its most famous tale may be something of a myth. It is said that King Henry VIII stood on a mound in Richmond Park to watch for the signal telling him that his second wife Anne Boleyn had been executed and that he was free to marry Jane Seymour, his third wife.
Whether or not the story is true, King Henry’s Mound still stands in Richmond Park as a top attraction. From the Mound, you can see an undisturbed view of the famous St Paul’s Cathedral, around 12 miles away in central London. The view is protected, meaning nobody is allowed to construct buildings that may block this incredible sight.
What to know before you go
- Richmond Park does not have specific opening times; the pedestrian gates to the park are open 24 hours a day, except during deer culling season in November and February. During these months, the gates are open from 7.30am - 8pm.
- You can relax in luxurious surroundings in the Pembroke Lodge; a Grade II listed Georgian manor in the grounds of Richmond Park. The Lodge serves tea, and other refreshments from 11am - 5pm daily.
- Other food and drink options include the Roehampton Café, which serves snacks, drinks, and ice creams and is open from 9am - 5pm every day. There are also three refreshment points in the park, at Broomfield Hill, Pen Ponds car park, and Pembroke Lodge car park.
- There are nine different toilet facilities in Richmond Park. Most of these facilities have wheelchair access and baby-changing facilities, including the Peg’s Pond toilets in Isabella Plantation.
- Both wheelchair and buggy friendly, the pathway has tarmacked pathways throughout.
- The deer in the park are wild animals, so the park asks that visitors keep a 50-metre distance between themselves and any deer they encounter during the visit. The park also asks that dogs are kept under control at all times because they can scare the deer.
- Richmond Park is a 45-minute drive from central London and can be found in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, TW10 5HS.
- There are seven car parks in Richmond Park. All Richmond Park parking is free of charge.
- Richmond station can be accessed by National Rail or the District line on the Tube, and is a 45-minute walk away from the park. From Richmond Station, buses 371 or 65 buses can take you straight to the pedestrian entrance of the park.
- As well as the 371 and 65, other buses that serve the Richmond Park areas include the 391, 190, and 419.