Our staff loves: Richmond
Written by Andrew James Masters (Astor Kensington)
Situated merely forty-five minutes from the front door of Astor Kensington, Richmond is a beautiful suburb situated on the river Thames outside the city of London. It has existed for over four hundred years and was originally founded as the location of Henry VIII‘s palace in the 16th century. The town itself is much quieter than the hustle and bustle of London city and is perfect for a day trip to walk around and to get some much needed relaxation.
The main street has dozens of stores; ranging from H&M to an Argentinian steakhouse, to quaint little bookstores and numerous little cafes. And speaking of cafes, I personally recommend the Australian/New Zealand cafe two doors down from the tube. It’s called Butter Beans and they make the most delicious coffee in the city. (Much nicer than what the English consider to be real coffee.) Conveniently, the tube station is situated right on the main road so getting around is extremely easy.
Once you’ve seen the town you can take some time out and take a relaxing stroll along the banks of the Thames and enjoy the stunning view. The traditional boatmakers still hand carve their boats along the waterfront of the Thames, and you can sit and admire their work while listening to any number of buskers that play for the crowds. On the weekend you can visit the Duck Pond Market just beside the river and sample delicious locally made food. (Think fresh brownies, home grown olives and delicious freshly cooked Moroccan Lamb.)
If you follow the river you’ll find yourself enjoying a peaceful stroll along a heavily forested bank – eventually reaching Ham House and Garden. A beautifully preserved 17th century manor that houses a grand collection of furniture and art of the time. If you still have the energy by now, head back up to Richmond and walk up the hill to the Richmond Park. You’ll find yourself in the largest Royal Park in London, with a full complement of deer to see. The park is truly huge and you could spend hours here alone. On your way back to the tube station stop at the historic view at the top of Richmond hill. The view itself is protected by an act of the UK parliament!