Richmond, located in the South West of London, is a popular residential and tourist destination. The vibrant and leafy riverside town in Richmond Upon Thames is one of the most affluent areas of London and home to the largest park in London, known for its deer and rich variety of flora and fauna. Due to its unique qualities, it commands some of the most expensive real estate by square footage.
The speedy Waterloo connection makes it a desirable location for people who want to be close to London without having to live with the hustle and bustle of the city. Stylish cafes, high-quality restaurants, and chic boutiques thrive among quaint pubs and independent shops, easily supporting a sophisticated lifestyle.
The town has two cinemas and three theatres; there’s no shortage of entertainment. Sport clubs, such as the Richmond Cricket club, 2 golf clubs, rowing clubs, and Ham Polo club (the only polo club in London), leave you no excuse to keep in shape socially.
With a meandering river and vast amounts of green surrounding the area, it offers endless activities and a low crime rate; making it the perfect place for families and professionals seeking a relaxed, well-balanced lifestyle. There’s nothing not to love about Richmond!
Architecture style in Richmond
Notable neighbourhoods in Richmond, West London
Minutes from the train station, Richmond Green is easily accessible through charming streets. The rich heritage of Richmond Green becomes apparent as you walk through its cobblestone streets and historic buildings.
With its majestic homes that line the square, and the historic Richmond Palace as the backdrop, the green provides the perfect spot for a picnic on a sunny day. Since the 16th century, archery tournaments and competitions have been held on the green, while cricket matches continue today.
A walk with your dog is a treat, as well as trying artisan ice creams from the Gelateria Danieli and wandering in the green’s independent boutiques. The Cricketers and Prince’s Head pubs are perfect spots to relax and watch people enjoying the green. The Richmond Theatre, one of the oldest surviving theatres designed by Frank Matcham can be found on the Little Green. As dusk falls, the Green’s streets are charmingly lit with enchanting lighting, tempting you to take a retreat into its cosy cafes, restaurants and cocktail bars.
Just a short walk from Richmond Green, the Richmond Hill neighbourhood extends from The Old Ship, a local watering hole, and continues uphill after Richmond Bridge. On your walk uphill from here, you’ll find some cafes, restaurants, plant boutiques, Richmond’s smallest pub, The Teddington Cheese fromagerie, and The Poppy Factory, which produces the commemorative poppies worn by the English each November.
Halfway up, you’ll find a picturesque terraced garden with a cafe called Hollyhock Cafe, which has been open to the public since 1887. The properties of Richmond Hill get more impressive as you approach the top of the hill, where celebrities are known to live. There are excellent nurseries including and schools such as the Vineyard primary school in this area.
Once you’ve conquered the short walk to the top, you’re rewarded with sweeping views of the Thames and a sea of greenery that stretches as far as the eye can see. Along the leafy promenade you’ll find plenty of benches to rest and enjoy refreshments from The Roebuck pub. It is not uncommon to see newlyweds celebrating their union here! There is a gate leading into Richmond Park at the topside end.
Covering an impressive 955 hectares, Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London. Its landscape has remained largely untouched, with deer freely roaming through its meadows, forests, and lakes. There is a good chance that you will be able to get quite close to the deer, so you might want to have a camera handy!
Pembroke Lodge, a Grade II listed Georgian, sits on the highest point of the park, offering spectacular sights of its landscaped gardens, the Thames Valley and beyond. As the park’s only licensed venue, it makes for an excellent wedding venue. You’re able to collect picnic boxes from here to be enjoyed within its grounds or elsewhere in the park.
Due to its large size, there are plenty of roads cutting through the park from nearby towns that include Petersham, North Sheen, Roehampton, Kingston and Wimbledon. If you’re heading there with children, there is one playground on the west side by Petersham Gate, and two on the north side by North Sheen. On the park’s west side you’ll find the Richmond Golf Club, a private club that welcomes prospective members, if introduced by existing members.
Richmond Riverside and the banks of the Thames
The scenic riverside walk is one of the main reasons Richmond has always attracted visitors. As Richmond sits along a large stretch of the Thames, it offers plenty of things to do, including walking, cycling, playing sports, and enjoying food and refreshments.
To get the most out of your Richmond Thames bankside walk, consider starting from Cholmondeley Walk. Follow Old Palace Lane from south west of Richmond Green, then Cholmondeley Walk toward Richmond riverside. The Thames Towpath, the longest stretch of the bankside walk, lies just after the Richmond Bridge and the famous Tide Tables Cafe in a converted arch beneath the bridge. You’ll notice more and more nature taking over as your journey progresses!
Occasionally, tides can change quite dramatically by almost 5 metres, making some paths impassable for a brief period of time. Plan ahead by visiting this handy tide forecaster.
In the White Cross pub’s beer garden, many people still sit on high stools even as the tide takes over!
Primary, secondary state and independent schools in Richmond
With an Outstanding Ofsted rating, the primary school The Vineyard School has been operating for more than 160 years. The school is on the top of Richmond Hill, making it a central location that is easy for children in the surrounding area to attend. Situated on Queen’s Road, Marshgate Primary School is another Ofsted Outstanding school. It has wonderful grounds that include a special ecology area that enables children to learn from their surroundings.
Grey Court School is a secondary school on Ham Street in Richmond. The school gets its name from the Georgian Grey Court House because it is on the same land. Its sixth-form building was introduced in 2018 and is included in the school’s current Outstanding Ofsted rating. Located in Twickenham, Orleans Park School is a secondary school with an excellent reputation. It caters to students aged 11-19 and converted to academy status in 2012. For girls only, Waldegrave School offers a coeducational sixth form and specialises in science and also has a current Outstanding rating.
International schools in Richmond
The German School London, or Deutsche Schule London, is located in Petersham at Douglas House. The independent school’s bilingual curriculum makes it desirable for German expats living in Richmond. Furthermore, the school caters for children from kindergarten through secondary school.
The Richmond American University of London has a moved its campus from Richmond to Chiswick Park in January 2023. It is a private university with accommodations for students, making it an attractive place to study for international students. In Surrey, 35 minutes drive from Richmond, TASIS The American School in England is a leading independent, co-educational international school for day (ages 3-18) and boarding students (ages 14-18) offering the American high school diploma with a wide range of Advanced Placement courses and the International Baccalaureate diploma (IB).
In Barnes, you will find the Swedish Independent School, which offers classes to children from preschool through sixth grade. The school follows the Swedish curriculum, and its small class sizes give children excellent opportunities for academic growth.
Richmond is home to many Americans who attend the American University London. It’s also where the television series Ted Lasso is filmed. The German School is responsible for attracting most of the German community to Richmond. This, together with the mix of French, Italian, and Australian residents in Richmond and Twickenham, contributes to the rich diversity and culture in the area.
Arts and entertainment
Richmond is home to two cinemas; the Odeon and the Curzon as well as two well-known theatres. They provide entertainment to all age groups and benefit from the diverse culture in Richmond. The first is The Richmond Theatre. It is one of the oldest surviving theatres designed by Frank Matcham. The theatre shows a variety of musicals, dances, and operas over 49 weeks of the year. Second is the Orange Tree Theatre, an independent theatre that champions new work. It offers a unique and intimate experience as the seating is all around the central stage. The theatre is housed in a Victorian Gothic building that used to be a primary school.
Sports and leisure
Richmond offers a wide array of sporting clubs that keep you busy and healthy. Whether you want to play golf with 2 golf clubs, hit the tennis courts, or just cycle around Richmond Park, the area has everything you need. A great variety of trails, pathways, and roads are accessible for cyclists throughout Richmond Park, and the scenery is captivating. There are also plenty of activities by the river such as rowing and paddle boarding on The Thames. For those who prefer the ground and want to learn polo can get coaching at the Ham Polo Club. In addition, if you are a rugby fan, the Twickenham Stadium hosts all of England’s home matches. This is an excellent experience for everyone in the area and draws quite a crowd!
It has been shown in this location page that Richmond is renowned for its chic and cosmopolitan lifestyle. If you are looking for a picturesque riverside retreat with a village-like feel and lots of outdoor activities as well as local sports clubs, independent shops, charming cafes and modern restaurants, then, this neighbourhood is for you!