Blooming marvellous green spaces to soak up this spring
With the daffodils waking up from their slumber and the blossoms taking a peek, it’s safe to say that nature is on its way to warming up the colour palettes of our local surroundings. With that, comes longer days and more opportunity for exploring those little pockets of nature that weave in and out of our city. Here are some of our top picks to explore some of the most beautiful green spaces in Richmond and beyond… and as seen as it’s just a stone’s throw away, we’ll start with Richmond Park of course!
Take a stroll up to Pembroke Lodge Tea Rooms, a listed Georgian mansion situated at the park’s highest point, securing views across the Thames Valley. With its own grounds, a beautiful terrace and plenty of foodie treats, it’s a great pit stop for your explorations. Riddled with native and exotic plants, the Isabella Plantation is the ideal place to get lost, and with over 40 acres of woodland garden it will be easy to! Admire the Kurume Azaleas or perhaps the Rhododendrons… whether you’re green fingered or not, it makes for the picture perfect day.
The second largest of all the Royal parks, Bushy is still pretty close to us here atop the hill, and is filled with so many fantastic sites to discover. From its medieval farming systems to 17th Century water gardens, there’s plenty of history and nature intertwined. We would suggest heading over to the amazing Diana Fountain. Commissioned in the 1600s by King Charles I, it is a monument steeped in history, with plenty of great features to look out for.
With over 50,000 species of plants to see at Kew, the expanse of nature makes for a day well spent… no literally, you can easily spend an entire day wandering through the Alpine House to the Japanese Landscape, and still find so much more to explore. With the added extra of ongoing and new exhibitions you’ll als be able to see some fantastic botanical based works of artists from all over the globe. If you find yourself looking for a moment to lounge, you can head over to one of five of the centre eateries. We would recommend The Orangery, where you’ll be treated to all of those lunchtime favourites - and if you’re visiting over the warmer months there are plenty of pop-up stalls to sample some goodies!
St James’ Park
If you’ve seen incredible footage of the mall flashed on your screens from royal celebrations gone by, then you’ll surely have caught a glimpse of the very famous St James's Park. Under an hour on the tube from us here, it’s a fabulous way to enjoy London without the hustle and bustle. With Buckingham Palace and many amazing statues and landmarks surrounding the park, you can live out all of your tourist dreams! And if you fancy a quiet seat with a view, then the St James's Cafe will be the place for you, boasting views of the lake. Introduced by means of a gift to King Charles II, Pelicans have ruled this park for over 400 years and are a great treasure for nature lovers and novists alike - it’s an amazing sight to see! Try your hand at spotting them on your visit.
London Wetland Centre
Explore the wild and wonderful wetlands centre with it’s wide open spaces, jam packed with flora and fauna for you to keep a beady eye out for! From otters to geese to a fantastic adventure play area for the little ones, the centre really comes to life in spring. Whether you want to curl up in a hide and watch nature's work unfold around you, get stuck in with some volunteering or are interested in one of the latest exhibitions on display, there is plenty of ways to get back to nature. If you’re ready to brave the early mornings, the dawn chorus event days are not to be missed!
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Get a bit peckish out on your explorations? We’ve got you covered! Year round from our Winter Warmer picnics full of pastries and seasonal soup to our afternoon tea picnics jam packed with all those traditional favourites, they’re the great accompaniment to any day out!