Hidden gems of Richmond: find out what you never knew!

Get ready to be amazed by the hidden wonders of Richmond! This incredible location has so much to offer, from stunning green spaces to historic landmarks and unique attractions. With our help, you'll be able to uncover the hidden gems of Richmond and discover the fascinating secrets that have been hiding in plain sight. From…

Edited by Victoria Bhouddhavongs

This charming location is filled with secrets and surprises that are waiting to be uncovered – Did you know it is the only borough in London that is situated on both sides of the River Thames? Do you know that the highest point in the park provides a view of St Paul’s Cathedral, more than 10 miles away? More than a happy place, it also has attracted some of the world’s most well-known companies, including Unilever, PayPal, Gumtree, and eBay. 

From its fascinating history to its stunning parks and unique attractions, Richmond is a treasure trove of hidden gems. Let’s take a look at them!

Richmond Riverside, view from Petersham

Richmond-Upon-Thames borough in numbers 

Richmond upon Thames boasts a wide range of cultural, recreational, and sporting facilities. With 12 libraries, 8 accredited museums and heritage sites, and 6 theatres and arts centres, the borough is a hub for art and culture. In addition, Richmond upon Thames has an abundance of green spaces, with 130 parks and open spaces, 64 playgrounds, 12 outdoor fitness sites, and 6 sport and fitness centres. For those who enjoy tennis, the borough has 11 public tennis court sites. With so much to offer, Richmond upon Thames is a vibrant and dynamic place to live, work, and visit.

Half of the borough is actually green space

It has a population of 195,232 (according to ONS figures from mid-2021) and covers an area of more than 5000 hectares. There are 21 miles of riverfront in the borough, with 57% of it being open space. 

Richmond Park

Richmond-Upon-Thames is unique

It is the only Borough of London which is situated on both sides of the River Thames. 

Richmond is the happiest Borough in London

In Rightmove’s most recent annual Happy at Home Index, local friendliness and community amenities are compared, as well as access to open space and the happiest communities in the country. Richmond Upon Thames in London came first end of December 2022, after being first for 7 years in a row in the past! Islington is second and Westminster third.

Richmond Park is the biggest of London

Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London, with over 1000 hectares (2500 acres) and 650 deer roaming freely. A wild meeting you will remember!

Map Friends of Richmond Park

Big companies are based in Richmond

There are several well-known companies that have their headquarters in Richmond, London. One of the most prominent is the British consumer goods company, Unilever is relocating its offices to Kingston, bringing 2,000 jobs to the riverside town. A £250 million deal signed with Developers Cube Real Estate will allow Unilever Global HQ to occupy the new offices in 2025. Unilever is known for brands such as Dove, Knorr, Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s or Lipton. 

Paypal, Gumtree‘s and eBay‘s UK headquarters are located by the river in Richmond town, in the commercial building Hotham House, while the famous marketplace called Not On The High Street, can be found just off Richmond Station. 

Richmond River Side
Richmond Riverside and commercial building Hotham House

Where to see St Paul’s Cathedral and why? 

There is a magical point of view located within the breathtaking Richmond Park. From this incredible viewpoint, you can feast your eyes on some of the most breathtaking views of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is a staggering 10 miles away. But that’s not all – legend has it that King Henry VIII himself used to stand at King Henry’s Mound to look out for a signal from St. Paul’s that would indicate the death of his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Here is the location of King Henry’s Mound, near Pembroke Lodge.

Pembroke Lodge

From a vegetable garden to one of the biggest Rugby Stadiums in the world!

Twickenham Stadium is built on an old vegetable garden, which is why it is known as the ‘cabbage patch’. The stadium is now one of the largest dedicated rugby stadiums in the world, with a capacity of over 82,000. 

The Poppy Factory is supporting veterans 

Up Richmond Hill is the Poppy Factory, where all the poppies and wreaths for Remembrance Day are produced. Since 1922 when it was founded, the factory has found employment for veterans with health issues. So the next time you see a poppy or wreath, remember the story behind it and the incredible people who made it all possible at the Poppy Factory in Richmond.

“As well as making individual poppies, our first workers quickly established a tradition of making Remembrance wreaths for The Royal British Legion and the Royal Family. We are proud to continue fulfilling our role in this important tradition.”

The Poppy Factory
The Queen Elisabeth visiting the Poppy Factory

The Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes; the birthplace of many musics

Olympic Sound Studios, located in Barnes, was the first to record The Rolling Stones. In 1906, it opened as an entertainment centre and hosted many famous artists.

Richmond is a popular filming location

Recently, what has been filmed in Richmond? These are the most recent films where you can recognise Richmond streets and parks:

  • The dark fantasy TV Show called the Sandman (2022)
  • There is a lot of footage shot in the real-world Richmond, as Ted’s fictional employers are AFC Richmond (fictional football team inspired by Crystal Palace’s). These include his apartment, Richmond Green and the Prince’s Head Pub. (2022)
  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021)
Paved Court, Richmond

Richmond attracts celebrities

Richmond is not just a stunningly beautiful place, it’s also a magnet for celebrities! It is well known that the legendary Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones, used to live at Downe House. And if you’re lucky, you might run into the world-renowned naturalist and film director, Sir David Attenborough, who has proudly declared Richmond as his favourite place in the world. Even Hollywood‘s finest, Tom Hardy, is known to frequent the area. And let’s not forget about the power couple of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who fell in love with Richmond so much that they bought a family home here in 2012. It’s no wonder why so many famous people are drawn to the magic and charm of Richmond – it truly is a special place that captures the hearts of everyone who visits.

Nortfolk Lodge, Richmond Hill

There is no doubt Richmond-upon-Thames is a great destination for anyone looking to experience the charm and beauty of London‘s southwest. With its rich history, stunning parks, and bustling town centre, it is no wonder why this area is one of the happiest places to live and is loved by filmmakers. Discover more about the beauty of Richmond by enjoying its riverside and picturesque walks.

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