Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye! We’re all familiar with the great sights of London. I’ll be the first to admit that Central London is enough to satisfy any visitor and still leave you wanting to come back for more.
However, after living in London for a year, sometimes I needed to just to get away. Luckily, I didn’t have to look any further than Zone 4 to do just that.
Located on the green District Line, you’ll find Richmond just across the River Thames in South East London. To be honest, I’m quite angry that it took me so long to explore Richmond. I only lived two tube stops away in Chiswick! Shameful.
Thankfully, when my friends and I decided to finally go, it was a gorgeous spring day.
There’s just so much to love about Richmond. The atmosphere down by the river is incredible with plenty of street musicians, restaurants, ice cream trucks (on the warmer days!), and row boats for rent. The houses in the area are absolutely gorgeous and ridiculously expensive of course but very fun to gawk at. Richmond also has a great high street with every shop you could possibly need yet it still retains that small river town feel.
My favorite thing about Richmond? Being able to hop on a bus right outside the tube station and in 10 minutes, you’re here:
Suddenly, I had been transported to the English countryside and stumbled upon Ham House. This old home dates back to the 1600’s and has been beautifully restored to its former glory. You can tour several rooms and explore the grounds where you’ll find beautiful gardens, a quaint little cafe, and plenty of picnic spots. It’s 10 pounds to see everything (you can pay less to see just the gardens/exterior) and I definitely think it’s worth the price. If you’re a history buff or just a sucker for pretty old houses like I am, Ham House is worth a visit whilst in Richmond.
If any of these rooms look familiar, you’ve probably seen them in a film! Ham House has been featured in Never Let Me Go, The Young Victoria, and Anna Karenina just to name a few. On our visit that day, they were setting up in a few rooms for a new film with Kate Winslet. I had a quick fan girl moment.
So next time you’re in London, do yourself a favor and venture outside the city center for an afternoon. Richmond and Ham House are not to be missed!