Kew Gardens are beautiful botanical gardens located in Kew, just a few minutes drive from Richmond. The vast garden complex consists of formal gardens, manicured lawns, botanical greenhouses, fabulous old buildings and much much more. One of the main attractions is the Palm House, a metal and glass greenhouse filled with tropical plants. It is sooooo humid in there!
There are different events throughout the year, depending on the season. In spring there is a stunning orchid festival, which is well worth a look. In summer make sure you check out the giant waterlillies, and how about those gorgeous autumn colours once the warmer days have passed. Even winter has something to offer, with flowering trees and shrubs and those magical Snowdrops.
The gardens are home to an ice rink for around 6 weeks each winter (check website for this year's dates) and during the summer they stage some musical events.
The perfect day/half day out for all the family.
St Matthias church is a bit of a hidden gem located at the top of Church Street on Richmond Hill. When you see it you will laugh at my description as it can hardly be hidden - it is so big!
The front of this church is really stunning - it has a very tall, handsome steeple and a huge rose window about the main entrance.
The church was consecrated in 1856 and completed in 1858. I read that it cost £9,000 to build. Inside it has lots of lovely stained glass windows.
During the week there is a small tea room at the church which seems to be frequented by elderly neighbours and stay-at-home mums.
If you do make it to Richmond make sure you don't leave before having a look at Richmond Bridge. The bridge is the oldest surviving bridge spanning the Thames. The first stone was laid back in 1774, and the bridge was opened to traffic in 1777.
This attractive stone bridge is a busy thoroughfare for traffic and pedestrians, joining Richmond to nearby St Margarets/Twickenham. It is worth taking a walk across the bridge to check out the view down the river, and to perhaps have a meal at the excellent A Cena restaurant on the other side!
The area down by the bridge is a very popular place for a promenade or to relax on one of the wooden benches and watch river life go by.
Situated just back from Richmond High Street is the aptly named Richmond Green. This lovely green sits in front of an old Royal Palace, and has been the venue for sporting events since the 16th century. It was home to tournaments and archery contests, but more importantly was the location of some of the greatest cricket matches during the 1700's, and is still used for this purpose today.
The green was also used for political meetings, military exercises and as a place to publicly display criminals. It is surrounded by some stunning period houses and home to the Cricketers Arms Pub, whose roots date back to 1770.
Also on Richmond Green you will find the beautiful Richmond Theatre. It was built in 1899, designed by renowned architect Frank Matcham. The theatre stages various plays, ballets and musicals, and has been used as a movie set many times over the years, more recently in a film called The Hours.
I worked for a while at a company located by the green and enjoyed being able to look at the window and check out the green view whenever I liked.
Richmond Park is an amazing place - I can't believe it is located in London! It is a 2,500 acre area of wild heath and woodland. The land was originally enclosed back in 1627 by Charles I as a hunting park. It is still enclosed today, and its gates are closed and locked at dusk all year round.
It is home to herds of red deer which run freely over the park. The male deer are very impressive with their majestic antlers. In years gone by the deer were hunted, but these days they can relax and enjoy their beautiful home.
The park is open to cars, and makes a sneaky thoroughfare, joining Richmond to Kingston & Roehampton. It is a very popular place for cyclists, people training for the London Marathon and just for those who want to go for a walk and check out the wildlife.
There are some stunning old lodges within the park. Pembroke Lodge used to be the home of the Prime Minister back in the mid-1800s, and is now a restaurant and reception venue. There is also the White Lodge, which was originally built in 1727 by George I as a hunting lodge. These days the lodge is used by the Royal Ballet School as a venue to train young dancers. The Holly Lodge operates as the park headquarters, and it was once the site of a farm back in medieval times.
The park is open from 7am in the summer and 7.30am in the winter, and closes at dusk all year round.
Richmond Hill is the area located, not surprisingly, on top of the hill, between the river and Richmond Park. At the top of the hill you will find Richmond Gate, which is one of the entries into the massive park.
Rising above the river are the beautiful Terrace Gardens. These gardens were laid out in the 1880s and consist of a maze of paths that twist and turn their way down to the river. There are some beautiful big trees here which seem to be very popular with the local squirrel population, and plenty of shady benches to relax on. You can stop by the Hollyhock Fairtrade Café for a coffee and snack.
A wide walkway along the top of the hill gives you a great vantage point for some magnificent views down to the river and surrounding area. Look closely and you may be able to see some cows grazing on Petersham Meadows or Twickenham Stadium in the distance.
You can also browse in the small group of shops on Friars Stile Road and photograph the impressive St Matthias church, or drop into one of the Richmond Hill pubs to wet your whistle.
There's another big gig coming up for all you R & B fans.
The Yardbirds will be playing at Twickenham Rugby Ground,(c/o Eel Pie Club), on November 5th,2004.
They will be supported by other great groups.All the familiar faces will be there, at the Bar, - Art Wood, Ray Majors, the Downliners, Tom Nolan and the Eel Pie Allstars etc., etc.
Will be a great night!
Wear your Vt T-shirts!
Venue for this year's gig not available as the building has been pulled down!
Check out the eelpie website for latest info.
All the regulars, above, play at the Cabbage Patch,(Eel Pie Club)in Twickenham, every Wednesday.The club is upstairs at the pub,in London Road,Twickenham.
Ronnie Wood turns up quite regularly and does a wicked 'Hoochey Coochey Man' with his brother Art!
The R.& B. 60s. celebration music festival takes place at Radnor Gdns.,Twickenham,beside the river Thames.
It's on June 20th,from 12.00-6.00 p.m.and is free.Lots of stalls,etc.+ food & drink.Look out for 'Eel Pie Club' stall.(CDs of Yardbirds,Stones,etc.for sale)
Trains run from Waterloo to Twickenham.Radnor Gdns. is down Cross Deep opposite the Pope's Grotto pub.You can also reach it by tube to Richmond,District Line,Westbound.Bus stops are outside Richmond Station.Buses,R70,R68,will take you to Twickenham Junction.Turn left down Cross Deep and Radnor Gdns is about 10 min.walk on the left.
Chairs are provided for the Oldies!
This happens each year in June, so info still stands.See below for Yardbirds next gig!!
There's a music festival on the banks of the Thames at Richmond this weekend,Sunday,28th August.Between 1.00and 8.00p.m.
It's called 'On the Edge'
African ,Latin and Cajun groups on Sunday.
Everyone dancing on the terraces of the Riverside Development is a wonderful sight and the music's fabulous.
And it's free!
This happens every year at the same time, end of August.Different groups from all over the world as well as regulars.
Just in case there will be any 'oldies' in Richmond in November- there is to be a Yardbirds gig at Twickenham Rugby Club on 5th.See www.eelpieclub.com for more details.
This was info for last year's gig.The Rugby ground venue has been pulled down, this summer.But check out the Eel Pie Club website for latest gigs and venues.
So... the mission this particular sunny Saturday morning, apart from meeting up with my lovely friends PetraE and sue_stone was to go to the Farmers Market and find those cupcake men! I had been informed that their presence at the market was erratic so there was no guarantee that there would be there this particular day.
After a nice stroll around the town with a coffee and a bit of shopping we came to the lovely little square where there were various stalls selling all kinds of organic, home grown produce, from vegetarian scotch eggs to pies, pasties, breads, and ........ cup cakes! Hooray! There were the delightful Canadians, Dave and Dave and their humongous cup cakes extraordinaire! It was a moment to savour - so difficult to choose which one to have because at £2 a cake it wasn't like you could just say "oh I'll have one of each" - so I eventually opted for the hundreds and thousands covered cake and took it home to have later with my coffee.
This view is looking towards Richmond Hill, from the Twickenham side of the river.This is where the Raft Man is moored.SEE:-Twickenham page!
Walking along either side of the river bank (the Thames)is a relaxing way of visiting the area.One can walk for miles in either direction, from Richmond and on one side, or from Twickenham on the other.
A good walk is to go to Kew and another in the other ddirection towards Ham & Kingston, past Petersham Meadows and further along,Eel PIe Island, which can be reached by ferry.
This is a fantastic pub, being a Free House, so the owner can supply whichever beers he wants!He specialises in Adnam's Ales as well as Scottish brews,West of England brews, and many others.He rotates the stock, so there's always a variety, from one month to the next.There are tables and chairs outside and a balcony, overlooking the rugby ground!
Functions can be booked in the large room upstairs, with a separate bar.It's free to hire!
The little pathway, to the lewft of the photo, is the end of my road-so I'm well placed for this fabulous pub!
The White Cross is a traditional Young's pub. Beer is very good!
They do hot food- curry, sausages, pastas,chilli and a selection of veggie items.
There is an outside garden area at the front.
An interesting extra here is to watch the parked cars at high tide!
High tide is often 7.5 metres.So the river comes right over the pathways and into the pub garden - people can be stranded in the pub!
The locals of course enjoy being 'stuck' in the pub!
I saw a new BMW submerged up to its steering wheel!Locals hang around, waiting for the drivers to return-just to see the look of horror on their faces!
They forget that the Thames is TIDAL!
Since writing this Tip the pub has been refurbished.The decor is OK- except for a tatty wooden floor in one of the bars.It looked grimey just a week after being laid.They've kept some of the carpet ,so if you don't like noise from a wooden floor- go in other bar.
We tried the food.I'm afraid the menu has changed.The food WAS great value- not any more.It looks like any other bistro bar food now - a shame, cos the locals and regulars went there because of how it remained an oasis that hadn't been up-marketed!
The food now can only be dsecribed as a rip off.
My friend had the chilli with rice at 8.95GBP.It was served in small pot .We asked where the rice was and were told that it was underneath the chilli.Well--the bowl was so small it didn't look as if it could have held rice also.
When tipped out onto the plate- we realised just what a rip off it was.Also very bland flavour.
I always had a giant bap roll filled with prawn salad for 3.95GBP- fantastic value. It was a huge amount to be called a sandwich!
Now - I still chose the prawn sandwich - what a disappointment. I had a piece of hard French bread and a few prawns and some leaves.That cost me 5.95GBP!!
We were both cross at how the place has changed--so BEWARE---go there for a good drink and to soak in the ambience of being by the river--but EAT FIRST somewhere else!
As you leave the farmers market in Heron square and descend the stairs through the archway, you come out onto a lovely stretch of river with grassy banks, boats and great views. There are a few pubs around here but we were visiting on a day when there was a game on at Twickenham and so most of them were already full of supporters!