Richmond-Kew is a district in south-west London.
This is perhaps the area of outer London with the most to offer visitors. The London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, which includes Richmond and Kew is the only borough in London on both banks of the River Thames. This is a leafy and surprisingly rural borough with some lovely riverside scenery. The small area of Barnes is by the Thames at the eastern edge of the borough.
Richmond used to be a separate town and before 1965 a part of the county of Surrey. Surrey is still used as part of the postal address to distinguish it from the other town called Richmond in Yorkshire. The local inhabitants often view themselves (as do others) as something vaguely separate from the metropolis as a whole. This is perhaps due to Richmond's location on a large loop of the River Thames which surrounds most of the area, its enveloping by several vast royal parks and its previously independent identity. The parks are a major attraction for visitors as are the myriad of fine restaurants and interesting shopping. The areas north of the Thames around Twickenham, Hampton Wick and Bushy Park are part of Richmond borough and include the magnificent royal palace of Hampton Court. They were part of Middlesex until 1965 and Middlesex is still sometimes used for their postal addresses.
Located just to the north of Richmond and in the same loop of the Thames, Kew is mostly known for the world famous gardens of the same name. It is also home to some fine Victorian architecture.
The district is served by the following tube stations, in either Zone 3 or Zone 4:
- Richmond (Zone 4) – (District line)
- Kew Gardens (Zones 3 and 4) – (District line)
- Gunnersbury (Zone 3) – (District line)
- South West Trains services from London Waterloo station stop at Richmond. The journey takes 20-30 min, and trains depart every 15 min or so. South West Trains also service Hampton Wick and Hampton Court stations (although much less regularly than Richmond).
- The London Overground line from Stratford terminates at Richmond also stopping at Kew Gardens.
- 1 Kew Bridge station is served by National Rail trains out of London Waterloo.
Richmond is accessible by taxi in about 30 minutes from Heathrow Airport or from central London depending on traffic conditions - you can expect to pay about £50 or more for the fare. If you are driving yourself, then from outside London you want to come in on the M3 or the M4. From the M3 head towards Central London onto the A316 past Twickenham Rugby Ground until you get to the Old Deer Park. From the M4 leave at Junction 2 on the elevated section, cross Kew Bridge and keep going past Kew Gardens for a couple of miles. There is a fair amount of on-street parking, especially round The Green, but it's expensive - about £5 per hour, with a £60 penalty for over staying your time. The main off-street car parks are slightly cheaper: try the big Old Deer Park car park down by the A316, or the smaller one tucked away down Friars Lane near the Old Palace.
- Richmond has a bus station. The 337 bus from Clapham Junction, the 391, 33, 419 buses from Hammersmith, and the N10 night bus from Kings Cross all stop here, amongst others.
- Travel between Richmond and Twickenham is possible via the 33, 490, H22, R68, R70, and the N22 night bus.
- Kew can be reached from Richmond and vice versa via the 65 or 391 bus from outside Richmond station.
There are no regular boat services to Richmond from central London, but in the summer a service runs to/from Hampton Court, and pleasure boats can be hired by the hour near Richmond Bridge.
The 65 bus runs the length of the Kew Rd, and the 391 runs up Sandycombe and A316 roads. An active person could walk the length of Kew (from A316 to Kew Bridge) in half an hour.
Within the area, Twickenham can be reached from Richmond via the buses 33, 490, H22, R68, R70, and N22 night bus. The R68 also goes on to Teddington and Hampton Court.
- 1 Bushy Park. The second largest of the London Royal Parks, covering an area of 450 hectares (1,099 acres). Lying north of Hampton Court Palace, the history of the park is inextricably linked to the palace, yet it has always had its own distinct rural character.
- 2 Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey (Bus R68 from Richmond Station, or by rail from London Waterloo to Hampton Court), ☎ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 10AM-6PM, last admission 5PM. Historic home to English kings such as Henry VIII, now open to the public. There are many attractions which can occupy a whole day visit, including 60 acres of gardens with the famous maze, the Tudor kitchens, the Chapel Royal, the Great Hall, Mantegna's Triumphs of Caesar paintings, and various exhibitions about Henry VIII. Palace, maze & garden £17.60 adult (cheaper rates online).
- 3 Ham House & Garden, Ham St, Ham, TW10 7RS (Bus 371 from Richmond Bus Station), ☎ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale's elegant 17th-century manor house, a mile or so upriver from Richmond riverside.
- 4 Marble Hill House, Richmond Rd, TW1 2NL (Over the river from Ham House), ☎ . Was home to King George II's mistress, with well-manicured lawns by the riverside. Adults £5.70, children £3.40, concessions £5.10.
- 5 Richmond Palace. Remains of the once-magnificent palace, home to English kings since Edward I, adjoins Richmond Green, a pleasant open green space and historic cricket ground. Only the Gate House and Wardrobe, now converted into flats, remain.
- 6 Strawberry Hill House, Strawberry Hill, TW1 4SX, ☎ . Erratic hours, phone to check. Eccentric Gothic home of 18th-century poet and author, Horace Walpole, son of England's first prime minister.
- 7 Richmond Park (tube: Richmond, then bus 371 or 65). 7AM-dusk. The largest open space in London, covering almost 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) and home to a huge array of wildlife, including 400 wild deer. Also contains the Royal Ballet School, seen in the film Billy Elliot. Popular with cyclists, both for the on-road perimeter circuit and the off-road trails. There are several car parks for walkers and picnickers. Free.
- 8 Richmond Hill (From town centre walk up Hill Rise, which becomes Richmond Hill). The view from the top of the hill (between Friar Stile Road and Nightingale Lane) is protected by an act of parliament and takes in the river, the meadows at the bottom of the hill. Much painted by JMW Turner. Well worth the short walk up the hill and it is on the way to Richmond Park if you are walking from the town.
- 9 Twickenham, Twickenham Stadium, Rugby Rd, Twickenham, ☎ . Twickenham, which seats over 80,000, is the home of the England national rugby team, and is used mostly for major internationals and cup finals. Tour the stadium and visit the Museum of Rugby. Check their website to avoid being turned away on match days. tour £20, museum £8.
- 10 Twickenham Stoop, Twickenham Stoop Stadium, Langhorn Dr, Twickenham, ☎ (main switchboard), (tickets). Across the road from the main Twickenham Stadium is this smaller stadium (capacity about 15,000), popularly known as "The Stoop". It serves as home to one top-level team in each form of rugby football. Harlequin F.C., usually referred to as "Harlequins" or simply "Quins", are one of England's most historic rugby union (15 a side) clubs, and play in the Aviva Premiership, and in domestic and European cup competitions. They are affiliated with a rugby league (13 a side) club of more recent vintage, Harlequins Rugby League (aka "Harlequins RL" or "Quins RL"). The latter club play in Super League, a competition primarily contested in England that also includes a club from France.
- 11 Museum of Richmond, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Ave, TW9 1TP (tube: Richmond), ☎ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Sa 11AM-5PM. Exhibitions on Richmond's history. Free.
- 12 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Tube: Kew Gardens), ☎ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Open from 10AM everyday, closing times vary. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, these extensive, historic and beautiful gardens feature elements illustrating significant periods of garden and landscape art from the 18th to the 20th centuries, and a plant collection second to none in the world. Since their creation as a royal estate in 1759, Kew Gardens (as they are commonly known) have made a significant and uninterrupted contribution to the study of plant diversity and economic botany. The gardens cover 120 hectares (300 acres) and are over 1.5 km long. They contain glasshouses, a conservatory, and numerous installations of buildings, art and of course exotic plant species. The Temperate House, which reopened in May 2018, is the largest surviving Victorian glass structure in the world. Adult £16 (including £1.50 voluntary Gift Aid donation), concession £15, children 16 and under free.
- 13 The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, TW9 4DU (4 minutes walk from Kew Gardens Station, clearly sign-posted), ☎ . Tu Th 9AM-7PM, W F Sa 9AM-5PM, Su M closed. All non-classified government documents can be read and photographed here, with a (free) reader's card having been obtained. There is also a small museum, which does not require the card to access. Free.
- 14 Kew Bridge. Fine stone bridge linking Brentford/Chiswick with Kew.
- 15 Kew Green. Large lawn, split in two by Kew Rd, with St. Mary's Church, Kew Cricket Club and pubs set on or near it.
- Boat ride. In summer months, either upriver to Teddington Locks or Hampton Court Palace, or downriver to Westminster, offers a good way to relax while enjoying the riverside scenery. Some boats offer a commentary service. The boat ride to Hampton Court takes about an hour and a half, to Teddington Locks about 45 min, and to Westminster about two hours. Boats depart from a dock close to Richmond bridge. You can also hire rowing boats next to the bridge.
- Curzon Cinema, Water Ln (A narrow cobbled street which runs down to the river at the crossroads of Hill St, George St and Red Lion St). Arthouse cinema.
- 1 Orange Tree Theatre, 1 Clarence St, TW9 2SA (tube: Richmond), ☎ . Offers theatre in the round, where the audience surrounds the stage.
- 2 Richmond Theatre, The Green, TW9 1QJ (tube: Richmond), ☎ . See a pre-West End play at this pretty Victorian theatre.
- Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College offers short- to medium-term courses on subjects such as cooking, foreign languages, IT, and business.
- Richmond's high street, George St. Contains a few boutique clothing stores and all the standard high street chains, such as Habitat, Marks & Spencer's, WH Smith, Boots, and Robert Dyas. For more boutique clothes shops, such as Matches, and small art galleries and antiques shops, follow the road up the hill called Hill St, which turns into Hill Rise. The alleys off George Street are lined with mostly privately owned boutiques. Two of these are purveyors of fine chocolates: one is The House of Chocolate located on the corner of Brewers Lane, a long-standing family-run business; the other, a stone's throw to the west on Paved Court, is William Curley, a chocolatier whose award-winning fare, together with pastries and hot drinks, can be consumed on the premises. Another independent shop is Gelateria Danieli, selling gelato ice cream, located on Brewers Lane, which Time Out has listed as one of the best ice cream parlours in London.
- House of Fraser (Many locals still call it by its old name, Dickens & Jones) (On the corner of George Street and King Street). Department store.
- The Open Book, 10 King Street, ☎ . Independent bookshop. Rather cramped, but stacked with a very good selection of new books, including signed copies.
- Waterstone's (On the corner of Hill and Red Lion Sts). Branch of a big chain store.
- Farmers' Market, Heron Square (Off Hill St). Sa 11AM-3PM. For local produce.
- Kew Bookshop, 1-2 Station Approach, Kew TW9 3PZ, ☎ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 10AM-6PM; Su 11AM–5PM. Independent bookshop.
- Kew Retail Park. Marks and Spencer, Boots, Next, Costa Coffee, TK Maxx, Mothercare.
- Lloyds of Kew Bookshop, 9 Mortlake Terrace, Kew TW9 3DT, ☎ . Second-hand books.
- Lloyd's Pharmacy, 19-21 Station Parade, Kew, ☎ .
- Martin's, 10 Station Parade, Kew, ☎ . Newsagents.
- Mia Wood, 9 Station Parade, Kew, ☎ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Gifts.
- Olivers Wholefoods Store, 5 Station Approach, Kew, ☎ . Health foods and alternative therapies.
- The Shoe Station, 12 Station Parade, Kew, ☎ . Children's shoes.
- Tesco Express, 2/8 Station Parade, Kew, ☎ . 7AM-11PM. Small supermarket.
Most of the major restaurant chains can be found within a few minutes of the town centre. Aside from those, there are plenty of privately owned restaurants with culinary offerings from all around the world, including German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
Possibly the most upscale of Richmond's restaurants is located at the Bingham Hotel, which was awarded its first Michelin star in 2010.
- 1 Al Boccon di'vino. An Italian restaurant with no menu. The chef brings out dishes that he wants to cook.
- 2 Backhaus. A German bakery and general store selling a variety of German food items, including fresh bread and pretzels, sausages, cheese and sweets.
- 3 Chez Lindsay, Hill Rise. French cuisine.
- 4 Don Fernando's (near Richmond station). Offers decent Spanish cuisine, such as tapas.
- 5 The Dragon Inn, Sheen Rd. Offers Chinese cuisine and very friendly staff.
- Fish Works. Fish restaurant specialising in fish dishes, with a traditional wet fish counter that allows fish to be chosen and cooked to order.
- Gaucho's Restaurant (sits on the Thames towpath just to the west of Richmond Bridge). With indoor and outdoor seating directly overlooking the river.
- Gelateria Danieli, Brewer's Ln (alley between George St and Richmond Green. From George St it is the alley down the side of TopShop and jewellers Courlander's). Great ice cream shop as the queues on sunny summer weekends indicate.
- Hilltribe, Red Lion St. Thai cuisine.
- La Buvette, 49 Kew Road Richmond (in a former annexe to neighbouring St. Mary Magdalene Church.). Small restaurant that offers French cuisine.
- NDK. Offers a Japanese-style karaoke diner.
- Pembroke Lodge (in Richmond Park). Self-service restaurant open for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea, which sells good value traditional British food and has a lovely view if you sit outside on the terrace.
- Pizzeria Rustica (near Richmond station). Pizzas.
- Raj Bohan, 49 Kew Road Richmond (near Richmond Station). Authentic Indian shashlik and other cuisine.
- Stein's (on the riverside). A Bavarian bierhaus-style restaurant offering authentic German dark beers and food including imported sausages and sauerkraut.
- The Thai Elephant (opposite the Richmond bus station). Thai cuisine.
- Greedies (On a boat moored almost opposite Tide Tables). Serves breakfast, coffee and lunches. Great views of Richmond Bridge if you are lucky enough to get one of the outdoor tables at the end of the boat.
- The Hollyhock Cafe (In the Terrace Gardens between the Richmond Hill and the river). Great location in the gardens. It sells mainly coffee and cakes and a few lunch dishes.
- nano cafe (Richmond), 76 Sheen Rd. Lovely food & Italian coffee full of aroma & flavour.
- Petersham Nurseries, Petersham (off Petersham Road). Upmarket garden centre with a very upmarket and expensive lunchtime restaurant (closed M and Tu) and a cafe (closed M), which sells great soup and sandwiches at lunchtime in a really lovely setting amongst the greenhouses. They have some problems with too many cars upsetting the locals so they encourage people to walk (about 30 min from centre of Richmond) or take a 65 or 371 Kingston bus to Dysart Arms pub stop.
- Thai Cafe, Hill Rise (Heading towards Richmond Park). Thai cuisine.
- [dead link] Tide Tables. Vegetarian cafe under the arches of Richmond Bridge, in a great location with a large outdoor area overlooking the river and towpath. It does very good fairtrade coffee, juices etc and vegetarian food such as foccacia and quiches. Licensed.
- The Glasshouse, 14 Station Parade, ☎ .
- Ma Cuisine, The Old Post Office, 9 Station Approach, ☎ , ✉ email@example.com.
- Newens (The Original Maids of Honour), 288 Kew Road, ☎ , . Traditional bakery and tea shop, famous for its Maids of Honour cakes, which has been established for over 150 years.
- Rara Nepalese Dining, Rara Restaurant, 279 Sandycombe Rd, ☎ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A really smart Nepalese restaurant.
- Pubs on the Richmond riverside include The White Cross (an 18th-century pub on the Thames, with seating outside overlooking the towpath, and which is often surrounded by water at high tide), Edwards, The Slug and Lettuce, and the Pitcher and Piano which has a large outdoor terrace. The White Swan is set further back on Old Palace Lane between the river and the Green, and The Waterman's Arms, which serves Thai food, is on Water Lane, nearer the town centre.
- In town, The Old Ship, a popular sports pub, offers pub grub. The chain wine bar All Bar One is on Hill Street and also serves food.
- Near Richmond train station, The Bear, the Sun, the Orange Tree and The Railway Tavern are close by.
- Around Richmond Green, the Cricketers Arms, and the Prince's Head offer food and drinks while watching the action on the Green, with the Britannia slightly set back from the green. The Duke is a gastro pub near Richmond Theatre.
- Heading up the hill, the Victoria Inn on Hill Rise has a cosy atmosphere and further up the top of the hill is the Roebuck, which dates back to 1730 and sits on the brow of Richmond Hill. You can take your drink across the road to the Terrace which overlooks the famous view from Richmond Hill. Nearby is the Marlborough on Friar Stile Road, a family friendly pub with a large beer garden out the back (with a children's play area) and the Lass O'Richmond Hill on Queens Road and close to Richmond Park's Richmond Gate.
- Further towards Sheen, the White Horse (off the main road behind the Red Cow) has a gastro-pub menu and is family-friendly with a gate opening onto a children's playground, while the Red Cow offers sports television, and has a popular Tuesday night pub quiz.
- Bingham Hotel, 61-63 Petersham Rd, ☎ , ✉ email@example.com.
- Quinns Hotel, 48 Sheen Rd, ☎ .
- The Red Cow, 59 Sheen Rd, ☎ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Richmond Gate Hotel, Richmond Hill, ☎ , fax: .
- Richmond Inn Hotel, 50-56 Sheen Rd (opposite Quinns Hotel), ☎ .
- Richmond Park Hotel, 3 Petersham Rd, ☎ , fax: .
- Richmond Hill Hotel, 144-150 Richmond Hill, Richmond-upon-Thames, ☎ . 5-star hotel.