Looking for the best things to do in Richmond? From wandering through palaces to strolling through the iconic Richmond Park, here’s the best things to do in the area — from a Londoner.
Just a short train ride outside of Central London and you’ll find one of London’s most charming neighbourhoods, Richmond.
A South West hub dazzling with rich history and something new to explore on every corner.
Every time I visit I discover something new, and now you can too!
With ample green spaces, prolific wildlife, and a plethora of mouthwatering restaurants, here are the best things to do in Richmond, London.
The Best Things to Do in Richmond, London
1. Wander Richmond Park
Richmond Park is a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with tons of things to do within the park itself.
If you enjoy the outdoors, you have to take a Richmond Park walk to witness all the wildlife like deer, birds, bees, butterflies, and many more just going about their day-to-day!
Whatever you do, make sure you leave room to visit The Isabella Plantation.
Filled with rare trees, streams and brooks alongside plants, and shrubs each more unique than the last.
There’s also 50 stunning Kurume Azaleas that were donated to the park from Japan in the 1920’s.
The best part is Richmond Park is a protected National Nature Reserve, meaning it’s here to stay!
After all your exploring, find your way to the Pembroke Lodge for a bite to eat from a menu full of contemporary English classics.
P.S. – If you’re looking for a wonderful wedding destination, this might just be the place! The Pembroke Lodge has two beautiful suites and a fully experienced team to help with all things planning.
2. Have a Stroll on the Richmond Riverside
The Richmond Riverside is where locals go to take in the Thames, and is easily one of the best things to do in Richmond.
Start your adventure by renting a boat from the Richmond Bridge Boat Hire and sailing downstream, taking in idyllic panoramic views along the way.
When you finish, take a stunning sunny day walk along the Richmond Riverside (or even better, check out my walk!) and stop for a pint along the way at the White Cross Pub. A famed Victorian-style pub that sits directly on the riverside.
Perfect for taking in Richmond and watching boats pass by. Not to mention, sunset!
Read More: Richmond to Twickenham: London Walk Series (Episode #10)
3. See One of the Best Views in London at King Henry’s Mound
If you wander far enough into Richmond Park, you’ll soon find your way to King Henry’s Mound, where you’ll have a distant, but no less remarkable, view of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The outlook even has a telescope you can peek through for free for a closer look.
There’s benches around the mound too offering a place of respite if you’ve been walking for a while, or simply want a relaxing Richmond reading spot.
4. Shop Til You Shop in the Town Centre
If you like to shop, you can’t miss Richmond’s town centre during your trip.
Richmond is known for its thriving culture of unique small & independent businesses.
With shops like Kooks Unlimited, a quirky kitchen utensil shop, or the animated local children’s bookstore, The Alligators Mouth. And if you want to bring some of the famous Richmond green home with you, find yourself a new houseplant at Little Dobbies.
Whatever your taste there’s sure to be some retail therapy for everyone, and it’s a great way to take in the neighbourhood.
5. Have a Spa Day at the Richmond Harbour Hotel & Spa
Top of the list for luxurious things to do in Richmond is treating yourself to a staycation at the fabulous Richmond Harbour Hotel.
The Hotel Spa is ideal for a day of Richmond relaxing — where you can book a massage or spend time in the jacuzzi, sauna, and more.
Afterwards, you can head down to The Gate Kitchen Bar & Terrace, the hotel’s restaurant, and indulge in a delicious meal or Afternoon Tea.
The hotel is just a short walk away from local spots with stunning views of Richmond, and is in great location to destinations like Hampton Court Palace if you want to venture out for a day activity during your stay.
6. Go to Kew Gardens
Although Kew Gardens isn’t Richmond proper, it is super close and deserves a mention!
Located on an UNESCO Heritage site, the wonder of these botanical gardens is incredible, with over 50,000 plants all cohabitating on the same property.
The gardens have different areas you can visit, so it’s important to check out the website beforehand to see what’s in bloom.
It’s only about a 20-minute drive away, or even shorter if you hop on the train at Richmond Station and ride it one stop over, so definitely worth the trip.
7. Dine Richmond Style
All your Richmond wandering is sure to leave you in need of some good eats, here’s some spots to check out!
- Tapas Brandisa Richmond – Serving up the flavors of Spain, with insanely good tapas.
- Petersham Nurseries – Enjoy a seasonal menu of Italian food from inside a greenhouse!
- Afternoon Tea at The Bingham – Dig into a timeless afternoon tea, all-inclusive of finger sandwiches and freshly baked pastries.
- Megan’s at the Old Town Hall – Mediterranean inspired dishes right on the Richmond Riverside!
8. Grab a Pint at Richmond’s Most Historic Pubs
After your eating you can grab a drink in Richmond to feel like a true local, here’s where to go.
- The White Horse – Serving refined pub favorites in the beautiful main room or open-air patio!
- One Kew Road – A modern take on the classic pub experience (still serving favourites of course!)
- The Old Ship – Right on Richmond High Street, you can enjoy the timeless pub experience.
- Rose of York – A quaint hotel with a super relaxing atmosphere
- The Angel & Crown – Right in the heart of Richmond serving fine ales alongside classic English pub dishes.
9. Go to the Duck and Pond Market
Every Saturday and Sunday until 5pm, Heron Square, set just off the Thames, shifts from quiet town square to a busy artisan market, welcoming people from all over Richmond to shop independent.
With stalls of all kind, from flowers to food and jewelry, the Duck and Pond Market is a melting pot of ethical and local items from handmade crafts to tasty homemade goodies.
P.S – There’s entrances from Whittaker Avenue, Richmond Riverside, and Richmond Bridge.
10. Visit the Museum of Richmond
Opened in 1988, the Museum of Richmond is an independent museum is sharing the vibrant history of Richmond.
With exhibitions categorising the town’s history right up until modern day, there’s plenty to explore.
The exhibitions are always changing, so there’s bound to be something new with each visit.
The museum team also runs Curator’s Tours every Thursday where visitors can have a deeper look into the museum’s displayed collection.
Opening hours for the museum Tuesday – Friday 11am-5pm, and Saturdays 11am-4pm with free entry, and it is located on the second floor of the Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue TW9 1TP.
11. Have a Peaceful Moment at The Terrace Gardens
Terrace Gardens is a gorgeous public garden just off the Richmond town centre.
Undergoing a complete refurbishment in the late 2000’s the area is now more conducive to supporting wildlife and frequent visitors.
With the abundant ecosystem of sensational greenery and flowers, it’s one of the most peaceful things to do in Richmond.
My suggest? Find a spot on one of the benches or get comfortable in the garden’s cafe (open during the day!).
P.S – Due to the steep hill nature of the Gardens, there’s no step-free access unfortunately.
12. And at the Petersham Meadows
Cows in London? Yes! On some days you will be able to see a few grazing away in the peaceful Petersham Meadows.
The vast green space resided on the property of the Ham House well into the 19th century, and is now preserved as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance.
Located close to Richmond Station, the meadows are a public space available for anyone to enjoy, and it’s beyond easy to spend hours just wandering around on a warm London day.
Roam Grand Palaces & Mansions
While visiting Richmond, roaming around the historic palaces and mansions are an absolute must do.
Marble Hill House – With free entry, you can wander the halls of this grand house until your heart is satisfied. Inside you will find displays that tell the story of the residence previous owner Henrietta Howard, whilst outside you’re welcome to take a walk through the fabulous 60 acres of the property, and can even get a bite to eat at the Coach House Cafe.
Hampton Court Palace – With history of Henry VIII at every turn, this palace will hold your attention the entire visit. Also, if you know your shows it’s fun to note that some scenes of Bridgerton were filmed here, including the brilliant Privy Garden! Pre-book your tickets in advance.
Ham House – Part of the National Trust, this 17th-century mansion is worth every moment you spend there. Beautiful artwork is hung carefully on the walls and each room is almost perfectly preserved to its original state. Outside there are gardens alive with the flowers and shrubs that re-create what the might have looked like in the past. If you get hungry during your visit, there is an on site eatery, the Orangery Cafe.
Map of the Best Things to Do in Richmond, London
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