Wimbledon Common, Richmond Park, and the Thames Path.
|Length||11.5 miles (18.5 km) to Kingston, many options to shorten and lengthen|
|Toughness||3 out of 10|
OS Explorer 161 (London South), a London A-Z, or even Google Maps on your phone
This gentle walk features Wimbledon Village and Common, Cannizaro Park, Richmond Royal Park and the Isabella Plantation, and a section of the Thames Path, all within the London Travelcard area.
It starts in Wimbledon, and heads for Wimbledon "village" (posh shops and cafes). It crosses Wimbledon Common to visit Cannizaro Park (faded formal gardens) and the Fox and Grapes pub. Then its north across the main part of Wimbledon Common (woodland) to Richmond Park (a royal deer park, with open grassland), visiting the Isabella Plantation (woodland graden) and Pembroke Lodge (terrace has hill top view) for tea.
Leaving the Royal Park, its lunch by the river in Richmond, where you can choose between the 2 banks of the Thames.
The south/east bank to Kingston
A longer, almost rural Thames riverside walk passing Ham House (NT) and Teddington Lock, finishing at Kingston (large shopping centre!). You can extend the walk further through Hampton Court or Bushy deer parks to Hampton Court Palace and station.
The north/west bank to Twickenham
A shorter walk on the opposite bank via several interesting attractions. These are Marble Hill House (English Heritage, soon to be free entry), Orleans House (an art gallery, free), York House's Italinate riverside garden (small, but amazing, with spectacular statues), and Eel Pie Island (a pedestrianised island), ending at Twickenham.
There is a link back to the main walk, but it has 2km of pavement walking, crossing back at Teddington Lock.
The deer parks (Richmond, Busy, Hampton Court) are particulary interesting during the deer rutting (breeding season) from September to November, when you can watch the boys square off against one another. Dog walkers take note - avoid deer, and keep on the lead.
There are trains from Waterloo to Wimbledon (Zone 4, 8+ per hour, 15 mins), Richmond and Twickenham (4 per hour, 20 mins), Kingston (4 per hour 25 mins), and Hampton Court (zone 6, 2 per hour, 30 mins). Richmond and Wimbledon are also tube stations. Buy a return to Kingston, Twickenham or Hampton Court (all valid via Wimbledon), or use Oyster/Contactless
By car: there is free parking around Ham, and west of Wimbledon Common, and on Sunday only, north of Wimbledon station.
Saturday Walkers Club: Meet at Wimbledon, by the barriers, in the main entrance (District Line side) at 10.30 (summer) 10.00 (winter).
|Lunch and Tea||
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Back (not a train station)
|Map Walk||This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.|
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
|Copyright||© Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml|
The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
You are encouraged to choose your own route through Wimbledon Common and Richmond Parks
- Turn right out of Wimbledon station, and walk (past Argos) up the hill along Wimbledon Hill Road.
- At the top of the hill, straight across the first roundabout, along "Wimbledon Village" High Street (shops, pubs)
- Bear left at the next junction to stay on the High Street until you reach the war memorial and the start of the common.
- Head west across open ground, just to the north of the pond, towards Cannizaro Park (pretty formal gardens, a little faded, free). The entrance is just to the right of Cannizaro House Hotel. The hotel is a good place for tea (expensive but recommended), but not if you've muddy feet.
- To visit Southside House: The north-south road on the edge of the common is West Side Common road. Go south (left if comming from Wimbledon) for 400 metres, and just round the bend is the recommended Southside House (small fee, need to book guided tour in advance). Opposite are 2 nice pubs, the Crooked Billet and the Hand in the Hand
- After visiting the gardens, head north along West Side Common Road (comming out of the gardens, turn left), with the common on your right.
- Along the first left (Camp Road) is the Fox and Grapes pub (very highly recommended - you will have to book for Sunday lunch).
- After 50 metres, the road turns left, and the common is straight ahead. Here you have a choice.
- To visit Ceaser's Camp: The southwest corner of the 'green area' on the A-Z is a private golf course. It contains 'Ceaser's camp', the remains of a Roman hill fort (marked on the A-Z). There is a public access path off Camp Road (at TQ225711) but its very limited - there's not much to see. Retrace your steps afterwards.
- To head directly to Richmond Park: Cross the common (heading north west) towards Putney Vale and the Robin Hood Gate ('top left' corner of the common). The most direct route is to follow Camp Road (mentioned above) to veer right on Robin Hood Road, which becomes a lane. At Sprigwell Cottage (small car park), veer right (north west). Or take a longer route exploring the common.
- To explore the common (north): If you have time, detour north via the Windmill (marked on the A-Z), the nearby cafe isn't recommended. A detour even further north to the excellent (but expensive) Telegraph pub on Putney Heath, (cross the north A3 via an underpass) isn't recomended, as this isn't the nicest part of the common.
- To explore the common (west): Another route is to head west towrds Warren Farm (turn left/west just before Sprigwell Cottage. Then turn right/north besides Beverley Brook
- Head for the 'top left' of the common, where you walk along a line of trees between 2 open playing fields towards a safe traffic light controlled crossing over the A3
- Enter Richmond Park
- Head due west, along the North Side of Price Charles Spinney (clump of trees), then head south west, and enter the south entrance of Isabella Plantation (pretty woodland gardens)
- Exit from the north side of Isabella, and head north west, cross the road, and continue north towards Pembroke Lodge.
- To explore the park: If you have time, loop via Penn's ponds, and take the path through a gate through Sidmouth Wood.
- Pembroke Lodge is a good spot for tea, and has a terrace with a fine panorama overlooking the Thames. Just north of it, through the lodge's gardens, is the King Henry VIII mound, with a telecscope to view St Pauls between an avenue of trees. This is a protected (and much over-rated) view of St Pauls
- A short cut avoiding Richmond, is to head straight down the hill at the back of the lodge, to Petersham (pubs) and the Thames path.
- Continue north, leave the park, turn right, and follow Richmond Hill Road, past The Roebuck pub.
- A shortcut is to head straight down to the river path, skipping a there-and-back route to Richmon town centre
- Head on into Richmond for lunch. After lunch, head for the river where you have a choice.
A) Follow the Thames Path south to Kingston and Hampton Court
- Turn left (south) along the Thames Path. Pass Ham House (NT), and continue to Teddington Lock.
- Continue, and eventually reach Kingston (train station). There are a couple of riverside pubs just after Kingston Bridge.
- To finish in Kingston: turn left at the bridge, and walk through the pedestrianised shopping area
- For a longer walk, turn right, and cross Kingston Bridge. Continue for 50 metres to the entrance of Hampton Court Palace's 'Home Park'.
- To walk through Bushy Park: Cross the roundabout at the end of the bridge, first major right hand turn, entrance is 25m, on the left. Walk through the park, and exit by Hampton Court Palace
- In summer, to avoid paying to enter Hampton Court Palace's formal gardens, head to the south of the 'long water', and exit onto the Thames path. In winter, or to vist the gardens, head to the north of the 'long water' (if you change your mind, there is an exit to your right onto the road, and you can walk around to the front of the palace.
- There is a pub opposite the palace entrance. Cross the river for Hampton Court Station
B) Follow the Thames Path south, along the opposite bank, to Twickenham
- Cross the river, and head south
- Pass Marble Hill House (its in its own riverside park). Just past it is the Orleans House Art Gallery.
- Pass the White Swan, an historic pub with a riverside terrace.
- The riverside path leaves the river between along a road between 2 tall brick walls, passing under a bridge connecting the 2 parts of York House Gardens. At the far end is the entrance to the riverside gardens with spectacular Italinate statues.
- Continue to the footbridge over to Eel Pie Island.
- Head inland along Water Lane, then London Road for Twickenham station.
- To continue along the Thames Path towards Kingston, there is 2km of mainly pavement walking. Easy, just an anticlimax. Head inland (in 25m) after Diamond Jubilee Gardens, and turn left to follow King Street, then the A310 south. After 0.8km, rejoin the river briefly at Radnor Gardens. Then its another 1.2km of road walking along Strawberry Vale road (becomes Twickenham Road then Manor Road) to another small riverside park (Manor Road park). Soon afterwards, turn left on Ferry Road, passing The Anglers riverside pub and take the footbridge over to Teddington Lock, to rejoin the main walk on the opposite bank.
C) Follow the Thames Path North to Kew
- To finish in Kew, Barnes or Putney, follow the Thames Path north, pass Kew Gardens, and eventually reach Kew Bridge. Cross it for the train station, or nearby Gunnesbury tube station, or continue on towards Barnes Bridge or Putney. Stick to the southbank to avoid inland detours.