In 1657 the Prince of Wales, George I, ordered the construction of an eight mile wall to contain a hunting ground. This wall formed the first boundaries of Richmond Park. The park is over 2,500 acres and now has a perimeter covering over thirteen miles. Richmond Park has been the home to an oak forest for almost one thousand years and as a result is abundant with nature. Red and Fallow deer graze freely with badgers, foxes and many rare birds finding their home amongst the trees, lakes and grassland.
At the centre of the park stands White Lodge- built in 1729 for George II, it now houses the Royal Ballet School and was the childhood home of Bertrand Russell.
In the Northwest corner of Richmond Park is Richmond Gate which was designed by Capability Brown and built in 1798. Nearby is Henry VIII mound- the mound upon which the king waited to hear confirmation of Anne Boleyn’s execution.
The Isabella plantation is a spectacular, man-made forest and lake complex with many beautiful flowers and fauna.
Adams pond is frequented by model boat builders.
Richmond Park is London’s largest Royal Park- it boasts two golf courses and is a favourite among cyclists, runners and nature enthusiasts.
The best walks around London
Take a boat, bus or bike down to Richmond from Embankment before you start your (long) leisurely walk and get prepared for the kinds of ponds, streams, deer and pure fantasy that make it feel like something out of The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me. The Isabella plantation holds the kind of outstanding beauty that makes Richmond Park the quintessentially London oasis, hence the Roald Dahl reference.
Attractions and activities for Animal Lovers
This wild park is home to a large population of deer (over 600 in total), who can easily be seen all year round despite their usual mistrust of humans. Be warned that you shouldn’t get too close or walk your dog in the park during summer and autumn when mothering deer are at their most defensive, but other than that you’ll easily get to watch these red and fallow deer going about their business in their natural habitat.