This is perhaps the area of outer London with the most to offer visitors. Both Richmond-upon-Thames and Kew are located (largely) south of the Thames in the western quadrant of the city. This is a leafy and surprisingly rural district with some lovely riverside scenery. The small area of Barnes is by the Thames at the eastern edge of the district.
Richmond was originally a separate town and before 1965 a part of the county of Surrey. Surrey is still used as part of the postal address to distinguish it from the other town called Richmond in Yorkshire. The local inhabitants often view themselves (as do others) as something vaguely separate from the metropolis as a whole. This is perhaps due to Richmond's location on a large loop of the River Thames which surrounds most of the area, its enveloping by several vast royal parks and its previously independent identity. The parks are a major attraction for visitors as are the myriad of fine restaurants and interesting shopping. The areas north of the Thames around Twickenham, Hampton Wick and Bushy Park are part of Richmond borough and include the magnificent royal palace of Hampton Court.
Located just to the north of Richmond and in the same loop of the Thames, Kew is mostly known for the world famous gardens of the same name. It is also home to some fine Victorian architecture.
South West Trains services from London's Waterloo station stop at Richmond. The journey takes 20-30 min, and trains depart every 15 min or so. South West Trains also service Hampton Wick and Hampton Court stations (although much less regularly than Richmond).
The London Overground line from Stratford terminates at Richmond also stopping at Kew Gardens.
Kew Bridge Station is served by National Rail trains out of London Waterloo.
Richmond is only a few miles away from Heathrow Airport, from where taxis to Richmond can be caught. Richmond is also close to the A316, accessible from the M3 and M4 motorways. From the direction of London, Upper Richmond Road becomes Sheen Road, which courses right through the town centre of Richmond.
Bushy Park, . The second largest of the London Royal Parks, covering an area of 450 hectares (1,099 acres). Lying north of Hampton Court Palace, the history of of the park is inextricably linked to the palace, yet it has always had its own distinct rural character.edit
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey (Bus R68 from Richmond Station, or by rail from London Waterloo to Hampton Court), ☎ +44 844 482 7777 (email@example.com), . 10AM-4:30PM daily. Historic home to English kings such as Henry VIII, now open to the public. There are many attractions which can occupy a whole day visit, including 60 acres of gardens with the famous maze, the Tudor kitchens, the Chapel Royal, the Great Hall, Mantegna's Triumphs of Caesar paintings, and various exhibitions about Henry VIII.£6.50-13. edit
Ham House, Ham Street, Ham TW10 7RS (Bus 371 from Richmond Bus Station), ☎ +44 20 8940 1950, . The Duke of Lauderdale's elegant 17th century manor house, a mile or so upriver from Richmond riverside.Free to members of The National Trust. edit
Marble Hill House, Richmond Rd TW1 2NL (Over the river from Ham House), ☎ +44 20 8892 5115, . Was home to King George II's mistress, with well-manicured lawns by the riverside.£2.50-5. edit
Richmond Palace. Remains of the once-magnificent palace, home to English kings since Edward I, adjoins Richmond Green, a pleasant open green space and historic cricket ground. Only the Gate House and Wardrobe, now converted into flats, remain.edit
Strawberry Hill House, Strawberry Hill, TW1 4SX, ☎ 0871 560 9489, . Erratic hours, phone to check. Eccentric Gothic home of 18th century poet and author, Horace Walpole, son of England's first prime minister.edit
Richmond Park, (tube: Richmond, then bus 371 or 65), . 7AM-dusk. The largest open space in London, covering almost 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) and home to a huge array of wildlife, including 400 wild deer. Also contains the Royal Ballet School, seen in the film Billy Elliot. Popular with cyclists, both for the on-road perimeter circuit and the off-road trails. There are several car parks for walkers and picnickers.Free. edit
Richmond Hill, (From town centre walk up Hill Rise, which becomes Richmond Hill). The view from the top of the hill (between Friar Stile Road and Nightingale Lane) is protected by an act of parliament and takes in the river, the meadows at the bottom of the hill. Much painted by JMW Turner. Well worth the short walk up the hill and it is on the way to Richmond Park if you are walking from the town.edit
Twickenham, Twickenham Stadium, Rugby Rd, Twickenham, ☎ +44 20 8892 8877, . Twickenham, which seats over 80,000, is the home of the England national rugby team, and is used mostly for major internationals and cup finals. Tour the stadium and visit the Museum of Rugby. Check their website to avoid being turned away on match days.edit
Twickenham Stoop, Twickenham Stoop Stadium, Langhorn Dr, Twickenham, ☎ +44 20 8410 6000 (main switchboard), 0871 527 1315 (tickets). Across the road from the main Twickenham Stadium is this smaller stadium (capacity about 15,000), popularly known as "The Stoop". It serves as home to one top-level team in each form of rugby football. Harlequin F.C.,  usually referred to as "Harlequins" or simply "Quins", are one of England's most historic rugby union (15 a side) clubs and currently play in the Aviva Premiership, as well as domestic and European cup competitions. They are affiliated with a rugby league (13 a side) club of more recent vintage, Harlequins Rugby League (aka "Harlequins RL" or "Quins RL"). The latter club play in Super League, a competition primarily contested in England that also includes a club from France. edit
Museum of Richmond, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue TW9 1TP (tube: Richmond), ☎ +44 20 8332 1141 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Tu-Sa 11AM- 5PM. Exhibitions on Richmond's history. Free. edit
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, (tube: Kew Gardens), ☎ +44 20 8332 5655 (email@example.com), . From 9.30AM everyday except Dec 24-25, closing time seasonal. This historic and beautiful garden features elements that illustrate significant periods of the art of gardens from the 18th to the 20th centuries, as well as a plant collection second to none in the world. Since their creation in 1759, the gardens have made a significant and uninterrupted contribution to the study of plant diversity and economic botany. The gardens cover 120 hectares (300 acres) and are over 1.5 km long. They contain several major glasshouse complexes, not least the famous Palm House opened in 1848, together with a museum and several follies.£10.25-12.25. edit
Kew Bridge. Fine stone bridge linking Brentford/Chiswick with Kew.edit
Kew Green. Large lawn, split in two by Kew Rd, with St. Mary's Church, Kew Cricket Club and pubs set on or near it.edit
The National Archives are four minutes walk from Kew Gardens Station. The route is clearly sign-posted. All non-classified government documents can be read and photographed here, with a (free) reader's card having been obtained. There is also a small museum, which does not require a card to access.
Boat ride. In summer months, either upriver to Teddington Locks or Hampton Court Palace, or downriver to Westminster, offers a good way to relax while enjoying the riverside scenery. Some boats offer a commentary service. The boat ride to Hampton Court takes about an hour and a half, to Teddington Locks about 45 min, and to Westminster about two hours. Boats depart from a dock close to Richmond bridge. You can also hire rowing boats next to the bridge.edit
Curzon, Water Lane (A narrow cobbled street which runs down to the river at the crossroads of Hill St, George St and Red Lion St), . Arthouse cinema.edit
London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes (tube: Hammersmith, then bus 283; or bus 33 from Richmond), ☎ +44 20 8409 4400 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Substantial nature reserve on the old disused Barn Elms Reservoirs. A major wetland habitat for wintering wildfowl and and an excellent choice for any keen birders visiting London.£4.50-8.13. edit
Orange Tree Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, 1 Clarence Street TW9 2SA. (tube: Richmond), . Offers theatre in the round, where the audience surrounds the stage.edit
Richmond Theatre, The Green TW9 1QJ (tube: Richmond), ☎ 0870 060 6651, . See a pre-West End play at this pretty Victorian theatre.edit
Richmond's high street, George St. Contains a few boutique clothing stores and all the standard high street chains, such as Habitat, Marks & Spencer's, WH Smith, Boots, Robert Dyas, etc. For more boutique clothes shops, such as Matches, and small art galleries and antiques shops, follow the road up the hill called Hill St, which turns into Hill Rise.edit
House of Fraser (Many locals still call it by its old name, Dickens & Jones), (On the corner of George Street and King Street). Department store.edit
Open Book, King St. Independent bookshop. Rather cramped, but stacked with a very good selection of new books.edit
Houben's, (On an alleyway called Church Walk off George St (up the side of Tesco)). Has new (particularly literature, art, history and philosophy) books as well as second-hand books in the basement.edit
Waterstone's, (On the corner of Hill and Red Lion Sts). Branch of a big chainstore.edit
Farmer's Market, Heron Square (Off Hill St). Sa 11AM-3PM. For local produce.edit
Don Fernando's, (Near Richmond station). Offers decent Spanish cuisine, such as tapas.edit
The Dragon Inn, Sheen Road. Offers Chinese cuisine and very friendly staff.edit
Gelateria Danieli, Brewer's Lane (Alley between George St and Richmond Green. From George St it is the alley down the side of TopShop and jewellers Courlander's). Great ice cream shop as the queues on sunny summer weekends indicate.edit
Raj Bohan, 49 Kew Road Richmond (near Richmond Station). Authentic Indian shashlik and other cuisine.edit
Greedies, (On a boat moored almost opposite Tide Tables). Which serves breakfast, coffee and lunches. Great views of Richmond Bridge if you are lucky enough to get one of the outdoor tables at the end of the boat.edit
The Hollyhock Cafe, (In the Terrace Gardens between the Richmond Hill and the river). Great location in the gardens. It sells mainly coffee and cakes and a few lunch dishes.edit
Pembroke Lodge, (In Richmond Park). Café, which sells rather average food and drinks but has a lovely view if you sit outside on the terrace.edit
Petersham Nurseries, Petersham (Off Petersham Road), . Upmarket garden centre with a very upmarket and expensive lunchtime restaurant (closed M and Tu) as well as a cafe (closed M), which sells great soup and sandwiches at lunchtime in a really lovely setting amongst the greenhouses. They have some problems with too many cars upsetting the locals so they encourage people to walk (about 30 min from centre of Richmond) or take a 65 or 371 Kingston bus to Dysart Arms pub stop.edit
Thai Cafe, Hill Rise (Heading towards Richmond Park). Thai cuisine.edit
Tide Tables. Under the arches of Richmond Bridge has a great location with a large outdoor area overlooking the river. It does very good fairtrade coffee, juices etc and food such as foccacia and quiches. licensed edit
Pubs on the Richmond riverside include The White Cross (often surrounded by water at high tide), Edwards, The Slug and Lettuce, and the Pitcher and Piano which has a large outdoor terrace. The White Swan is set further back on Old Palace Lane between the river and the Green, and The Waterman's Arms, which serves Thai food, is on Water Lane, nearer the town centre.
In town, The Old Ship offers pub grub. The Richmond Arms attracts a gay crowd and offers karaoke nights. Near the bus station is a wine bar called One Paradise Road, which also serves food. The chain wine bar All Bar One is on Hill Street and also serves food.
Near Richmond train station, The Bear, the Sun, the Orange Tree, and O'Neills, a popular Irish-themed chain bar, are close by.
Around Richmond Green, the Cricketers Arms, and the Prince's Head offer food and drinks while watching the action on the Green, with the Britannia slightly set back from the green.
Heading up the hill, the Victoria Inn on Hill Rise has a cosy atmosphere and further up the top of the hill is the Roebuck, from which you can take your drink across the road to the Terrace which overlooks the famous view from Richmond Hill. Nearby is the Marlborough on Friar Stile Road, a family friendly pub with a large beer garden out the back (with a children's play area) and the Lass O'Richmond Hill on Queens Road.
Further towards Sheen, the White Horse (off the main road behind the Red Cow) has a gastro-pub menu and is family-friendly with a gate opening onto a children's playground, while the Red Cow offers sports television, and has a popular Tuesday night pub quiz.
nano cafe (Richmond), 76 Sheen Rd. Lovely food & Italian coffee full of aroma & flavor.edit
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