Extra Walk 188 – Richmond Circular
Length: 13.7 km (8.5 miles). Toughness: 2/10
12:58 Reading train from Clapham Jct, arriving Richmond at 13:06. There are no direct trains from Waterloo to Richmond because of engineering works on these lines, but you can take a connecting service to Clapham Jct on the Surbiton line (eg. the 12:39 to Guildford), or from Victoria (eg. the 12:41 to Epsom). Alternatively, travel direct to Richmond by Overground or District line tube: check travel times on the TfL website to arrive by 13:00 and meet upstairs in the foyer. Richmond is in TfL Zone 4.
There are fast trains back to Clapham Jct at xx:15 & xx:47, stopping ones at xx:04, xx:22, xx:34 & xx:52, plus frequent tubes and Overground trains.
Short half-day walks on Bank Holiday Mondays seem to be popular so here's a chance to join the crowds in Richmond Park. The walk starts with a section alongside the Thames and then loops through the park “exploring its varied and less visited landscapes”. Judging by its GPS route it does indeed carefully skirt the park's most popular features, but I recommend going off-piste to enjoy the Kurume azaleas in the Isabella Plantation, which should be at their most colourful.
As this is a short afternoon walk I suggest just having a tea stop at Pembroke Lodge, towards the end of the park circuit. If you want lunch, bring your own or take an earlier train and buy provisions from one of the places around Richmond station. There will also be kiosks scattered around the park for ad hoc refreshments en route, and pubs on the way down Richmond Hill to the station for something stronger.
Remember that as always there's no walk leader, so in order to follow the author's route you'll need to bring the directions from the Richmond Circular walk page. T=swc.188