Area Guide; Richmond Upon Thames

12th January 2021

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A brief Introduction to Richmond

Richmond Upon Thames has been named the happiest place to live in London for the sixth consecutive year and after reading this you’ll see exactly why!

A happy blend of town and country, its location is close to central London, and a Thameside setting in a prominent place in English history make it an enticing location.

Richmond is an affluent residential town bordering the River Thames. Attractions such as Kew Gardens and Richmond Park draw visitors in during the summer months, while the Quadrant and nearby roads have eclectic shops, casual and upscale dining, and performances at Richmond Theatre.

Richmond Transport Links

Richmond has great transport links to the neighbouring areas and into Central London. Richmond station serves a direct train to London Waterloo in just 19 minutes as well as London Underground’s District Line. For those travelling by car, The Quadrant is less than a minute’s drive from the A316 that leads to the M3 and the A307 that continues to the M4.

Where to eat

Whether you are looking for a casual bite to eat or a more upmarket restaurant to take a potential client, here are some of our favourites:

The Ivy Café –

A timeless and sophisticated place to meet clients or for a celebratory dinner with your team. Serving a Modern European menu of familiar dishes that will not disappoint.  The all-day menu offers up many of the Ivy’s legendary hits alongside breakfast, weekend brunch, afternoon tea and other sociable pleasures.

No.1 Duke Street –

Tucked away on a side road, this independent neighbourhood bar restaurant has an appealing rustic vibe with exposed brickwork and ceilings, and a sleek bar. Food-wise, the comprehensive menu includes everything from breakfast and all-day brunch on the weekends to sharing plates, mains, and Sunday roasts.

The Bingham –

Elegant simplicity is the hallmark of this Georgian house hotel bordering the Richmond towpath. The dining area occupies two spacious rooms; French windows overlook the river, bright chandeliers and large mirrors enhancing the gold tones and woodwork. The modern European menu is as highbrow as the surroundings, and dishes such as turbot on the bone with purple broccoli, fondant potato and warm tartare sauce are reasonably priced.

Franco Manca –

For a more casual affair, Franco Manco, situated in the old police station is the place to go. Beautiful wooden accents and exposed brickwork make the interior as cosy as can be, while the original sourdough pizzas are made fresh to order leaving you wanting more with every bite. The Specials’ selection changes according to the season and include meat, vegetarian and vegan options.

Richmond Vault Beer Cellar and Restaurant –

Richmond Vault Beer Cellar and Restaurant is a labyrinth of cosy areas, so whether you’re just looking for a pint and something to nibble on or a full sit-down meal, you can. Located in a fantastic basement beneath two Georgian buildings in the centre of Richmond, this super-friendly spot caters to children as well as adults, with a variety of different cuisines. From pizzas and burgers to seafood, salads and sharing boards, there’s something for everyone here.

Image of Richmond Riverside
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Image of Richmond Park

What to do and see

From gorgeous river views to cobbled streets lined with independent shops, there is much to see and do in leafy Richmond-upon-Thames to keep you entertained for several days.

Richmond Park –

Richmond Park is the largest of the Royal Parks, occupying some 2,500 acres. There are hundreds of deer roaming free across it, which draws in many visitors. Be sure to leave enough time to visit King Henry’s Mound to find the telescope which offers a distant view of St. Paul’s Cathedral. This view has been preserved by generations of landscapers who have created a tree-framed sightline from the mound to the famous dome. The view is protected and no new building is allowed to impede it – definitely worth a visit.

Beautiful views –

Nothing beats a river view, especially on a sunny day. You can sit along the steps of the towpath near the boats, have a picnic on the grass or frequent one of the several pubs and restaurants overlooking the river. A walk-up Richmond Hill for a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area also never disappoints.

Arts and Culture -

Located on leafy Richmond Green, Richmond Theatre showcases the best UK and West End productions throughout the year. Welcoming a quarter of a million visitors to over 40 productions annually, performing about 49 weeks per year. Also, the Curzon Richmond is a small independent cinema close to the river. Equipped with state-of-the-art digital projection, the Curzon specialises in classic and arthouse films.

The Riverside Gallery, located within the Old Town Hall, offers a diverse programme of free exhibitions throughout the year. You’ll find a peaceful atmosphere where you can fully appreciate the work of many talented artists.

Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew -

The Gardens stand at a whopping 300 acres, with lots to see here. The grand Victorian glasshouse remains a favourite with visitors, one of which holds the record for the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse. And if you want to explore elsewhere? Take a trip to the Tree Top Walkway! At 18 metres high, this trek through the leaves offers fantastic views of the grounds. Whenever you visit Kew Gardens, there’s always something in bloom. The website has a dedicated ‘what to see this week’ section, so even in autumn or winter, you can be assured you won’t just see a lot of old twigs.

Shopping –

With over 100 big names and speciality shops, stores and services, Richmond town centre is a real retail gem.

From fashion to fitness, and health to home interiors, Richmond boasts an unrivalled mix of national and independent boutiques, many located in the charming lanes throughout the town. If you love shopping, you’ll love exploring Richmond’s characteristic town centre.