Just a stone’s throw from central London, Richmond Park is gigantic gem of a park, enabling city-dwellers to enjoy a breath of fresh air and a taste of the countryside. Richmond is the largest of London’s eight Royal Parks, covering an area of 2,500 acres.
The park has been designated a National Nature Reserve, London’s largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation. There are vast areas for pup to joyfully roam, but visitors do need to be mindful of the local flora and fauna. Deer are common and fido needs to be kept on a lead when they are nearby, as well as around certain attractions.
A park highlight for fido will be the Isabella Plantation, a stunning woodland garden offering pup plenty of opportunities to sniff out some some interesting trails. Dogs do need to be on a lead here, but that shouldn’t stop pup’s tail from wagging as he explores the exciting woodland spot.
After exploring the plantation, you and pup can stop for a drink and a bite to eat at the nearby Broomfield Hill kiosk. This refreshment point serves a range of hot and cold snacks and beverages and is open from 9am-6pm in summer. Opening times vary in autumn and winter due to the earlier closing of the park.
Just North of the plantation is Pen Ponds Lake. Created in 1746, Pen Ponds is divided by a causeway and is a great place to spot birds. Dogs must be kept on a lead here as well, so as not to disturb the birdlife. (Dogs also need to be kept on a lead around Adam’s Pond, Crown Field and Lawn Field, when seasonal signs are displayed.) Pen Ponds Café is another lovely pawstop should you need one, located just next to Pen Ponds car park.
Alternatively, at the North-East end of the park close to Roehampton Gate, the Roehampton Café serves a range of snacks, drinks and ice creams. The café has outdoor seating for you to enjoy with pup, and is open from 9am-5pm daily.
You could finish your explorations with a stop at King Henry’s Mound, the highest point in the park. Located at the West end of the park, it offers uninterrupted views of St. Paul’s Cathedral, some 12 miles away. The Mound is close to the historic Pembroke Lodge, a Grade II listed Georgian mansion. This is a popular wedding venue, but unfortunately the house and gardens are out of bounds for dogs.
Not far from here is the west entrance to the park. This is a short trot from flower-filled Petersham Nurseries, which could make for an excellent dog-friendly pawstop after an exhausting day of exploring.
While in the Richmond area, why not follow a lovely long walk in the park with a stop at the delightful and very dog-friendly Petersham Nurseries.
At this bloom-filled oasis serving British and Italian influenced food, you can choose between lunch or a cream tea at The Teahouse or something more substantial at the Petersham Nurseries Café. You and pup will enjoy walking around the gorgeous plants and perusing the antiques and gifts in the shop. Say a waggy hello to the owner’s Shih Tzu!
Address: Richmond Park, Richmond, TW10 5HS, UK
Richmond Park boasts 8 free car parks at different entrances; 5 of these offer disabled parking. For exact locations, click here.
Visitors travelling by train or tube can take National Rail or the District line to Richmond Station, and then the 371 or 65 bus to the pedestrian gate at Petersham.
Alternatively, there are many bus lines that pass near the park. For your best route, use Transport for London.
One of Rigby’s favourite days out in the London area. Stay tuned, he will be paw-ing his review shortly.
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