‘So. that was the right bus to Richmond Park…’
I scratched my head looking at the departing bus from our Wimbledon bus stop and looked, with a big grin, at my friend who glared back.
We had been waiting at the bus stop for a while that Sunday morning and as soon as the bus arrived, I was convinced it was going the opposite direction. So, naturally, in my five years of new found travel wisdom, I placed to push back my friend on the chest and shook my head sagely. No, we would not be getting on this one. Tim was convinced it was the right one.
He was right.
As it was ready to depart, I glanced at the timetable and realised with an utterly sinking feeling that it was indeed the one to Richmond Park.
I yelled but it was too late.
Luckily, for us, it wasn’t long before the next bus arrived. That’s the great thing about London buses, they are always frequent.
‘Maybe we should have got the tube to Richmond…’
Tim grumbled. But both of us were back in high spirits when we watched London peel from the city to towns and then into the countryside, all basked in glorious Spring sunshine. It was the first time the UK actually felt we were entering Spring. The sun was warm, the sky was clear and the only thing for it was to head to Europe’s biggest urban park: Richmond Park.
Millions of Londoners and tourists visiting this special Royal Park over the year, only to check out the biggest enclosed space in London that doubles up as a National Nature Reserve, London’s biggest Site of Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation. The biggest draw has definitely got to be the herds of wild red and fallow deer that roam the park grazing peacefully. I’m sure the deer are happy not to get shot at by the royals and their costs in ages past!
Visiting Richmond Park
With only a short walk to the entrance from the bus stop, you’ll soon realise that you’ve entered nature! No more annoying traffic, no more irritating slow walking people in front of you and especially… can you breathe that? FRESH AIR!
London can be a little polluted with exhaust fumes and noise in a maelstrom that attacks your senses but once you arrive in Richmond Park, it’s all quiet, relaxed and serene.
The woods in Richmond Park showed signs of Spring, buds appearing on the branches, daffodils springing up from the ground and the smell of flowers lingering in the air. Were those bluebells I saw?
After a nice little ramble over the woodland, we soon found ourselves in a Botanic Garden-lite area of Richmond Park called the Isabella Plantation. This shows off the exotic flowers but unfortunately, as it was just before Spring solstice and the weather was not quite warm enough, it was still pretty much all green. However, paths are hidden discreetly away allowing you to wander with your partner in privacy offering a romantic atmosphere.
‘This is so romantic…’
I commented to Tim, who looked at me weirdly, and promptly picked up the pace.
Next, we found ourselves in the deer enclosure. You do have to remember that the deer are wild and should not be treated as a petting zoo. Keep a respectful distance and you can observe them frolicking with one another. The best time of year to see them definitely has to be in the Autumn when you see the stags rutting. Can you see them in my picture below?
You still will be able to marvel how MASSIVE Richmond Park is wherever you are in the park. I cannot believe that this area has been so preserved despite rapid urban planning development in London.
So after a good wander of a few hours, you surely must be feeling hungry, right? I’m not talking about foraging for mushrooms, eating bark or sucking up worms. You got to remember that Richmond Park used to be a Royal Park. Hence, gorgeous buildings such as manors, lodges and outhouses used to be here. The most famous one of them all is Pembroke Lodge. And within, lies a delicious secret.
Oh yes, CREAM TEAS!!!!!!
With lashings of clotted cream and jam upon buttery scones that crumble in your mouth as you soon as you bite into it, leaving a dollop of the white stuff on your nose, you’ll surely be making as much appreciative nosies as I did. Even Tim was a little concerned about how loud I was. More so, alongside it, you’ll get Earl Grey tea to go alongside it making this experience a pleasant Sunday afternoon.
Afterwards, it was time to go as the sun soon chilled reminding us that Winter isn’t over just yet.
However, I’m surely going to be back in late summer to see the deer, the exotic flowers and of course, more cream tea!
Now, where does that bus go?
Those scones look amazing. I am looking forward to many cream teas when I am back in England in June. I have never been to Richmond Park but looks like it is a great ‘green’ escape from London!