Richmond Park Walks: A Perfect London Day Hike

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It can be difficult to remember that London isn’t just the concrete jungle that it appears to be. The British capital is surrounded by beautiful nature accessible as a day trip including places like Epping Forest & the Seven Sisters, however, you could make the argument that no option is as convenient or unique as enjoying one of the many Richmond Park walks.

Located in the South of London, walking in Richmond Park is easily accessible by public transport or your own vehicle and offers a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re wondering what the best Richmond Park walk to take is, or how to get to Richmond Park, then read on to plan your perfect day hike from London!

How to Get to Richmond Park

If you don’t have your own car, then the easiest way to get to Richmond Park and start your walk is by taking the train to Richmond Station. You can either take the Tube (London Underground) which is on the District Line or you can use the National Rail Network which also goes to Richmond Park.

If you’re unsure about how to get to this station from wherever you’re staying in London, then I would suggest downloading the Citymapper App which gives you up to date information on exactly how to get from Point A to Point B anywhere in London (and many other cities around the world!)

From Richmond Station, it’s approximately a 1 mile (1.67 kilometres) walk to the entrance of the park, taking about 22 minutes.

There is also a longer walk between the station and the entrance of the park which takes you along the River Thames and is more scenic if you still feel like walking for longer either one your way to the park or when you’re done with your Richmond Park walk.

There are also a number of buses that go directly to Richmond Park and also from Richmond Station to the entrance of the park. Once again, Citymapper is the best resource to determine which buses you need to take!

Finally, there are also a number of parking lots around Richmond Park so it’s possible to drive directly to the park. Keep in mind that some traffic restrictions within the park, particularly on weekends, so it’s best to drive directly to your car park of choice and avoid driving inside the park.

Iconic Deers of Richmond Park
Iconic Deer of Richmond Park

The Perfect Richmond Park Walk

There are a number of Richmond Park walks to choose from for your day hike. There are trails that go throughout the park and you can easily pick and choose your path by simply looking at the trails available on Google Maps or Maps.Me (an offline maps app).

If you prefer to take a set hike, then there is a Richmond Park circular walk that goes around the perimeter of the park known as the Tamsin Trail. This circular walk takes about 3 hours to walk around the perimeter of the park and is approximately 7.3 miles (11.7 kilometres). If you’re coming from Richmond Station, then you will enter the park from the North West.

I would, however, recommend taking a couple of detours from this trail that will extend your Richmond Park walk.

For example, it’s worth detouring to Pen Ponds which is a lovely pond in the middle of the park. It’s also worth detouring to Isabella Plantation which is a dense woodland area of Richmond Park. There are also a number of lovely viewpoints within the park such as from Sawyer Hill where you get a beautiful view of the city.

Woodland in Richmond Park
Woodland in Richmond Park

If you don’t want to walk the whole perimeter of the park or are just looking for a shorter option if you’ve already done many Richmond Park walks then a great option is the following route. Assuming you’re coming from Richmond Station, you can walk directly to Sawyer Hill for the views before continuing directly to the centre of the park towards Pen Ponds.

From there continue going south towards Isabella Plantation before walking back up to where you entered from.

Before reaching the exit of the park, you’ll come across King Henry’s Mound which is a viewpoint protected by law that legally can’t be obstructed by any buildings or trees. You can even use the free telescope to see St Paul’s Cathedral on a clear day.

Pen Ponds in Richmond Park
Pen Ponds in Richmond Park

Best Place to See Deer in Richmond Park

If you’re coming to Richmond Park, chances are one of the big drawcards is to see some of the huge numbers of deer that call this park home! If you’re wondering what the best place to see deer is during your Richmond Park walk, then don’t worry – there are a number of great opportunities!

If you follow the Tamsin Trail (the Richmond Park circular walk) or the shorter route I’ve outlined below, you’ll hopefully be able to spot some wild deer during your day hike.

Spotting Deer in Richmond Park
Spotting Deer in Richmond Park

Eating and Drinking in Richmond Park

There are a couple of small cafes and refreshment booths within Richmond Park where you can pick up a light meal or drink during your Richmond Park walk. You can find some of these near Pen Ponds and Isabella Plantation.

If you’re looking for a pub or a restaurant then you’ll find a large selection of choices outside the perimeter of the park. If you’re after a pub near the entrance of the park then some popular options include The Roebuck which has lovely views from the terrace and The Marlborough which its large garden.

There are also a number of other restaurants and pubs on the way back to Richmond Station either along the river or if going directly back.

Views from Richmond Park
Views from Richmond Park

Taking a walk through Richmond Park is undoubtedly one of the best day hikes you can do in London. Perfect if you’re a tourist visiting London or a local who just wants a nature escape, this is one of the most scenic areas in the whole city!

Are you deciding between Richmond Park walks? What is your favourite route in the park? Let us know in the comments below!

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Michael is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. When not obsessively searching for flight deals, Michael likes being ultra-competitive at table tennis, gazing at street art, and contemplating life while sipping a dram of fine single malt whisky.

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