I visited Richmond Park with my boyfriend earlier this month. The park’s landscape looks different from season to season. At the end of winter, the land was still bare without the tall grass and bracken that you would normally see in summer.
This made it easier for us to spot the red deers, which normally hide in the bracken with their newborns during summertime.
Richmond Park is a 1000 hectares of land situated in Richmond upon Thames. It is the largest Royal Parks, and one of the best in London. The park is well known for its herd of red and fallow deers.
Richmond town is often described as a village, although it isn’t really a typical English village. The high street is lined with high profile brands and designer shops that you would normally see in the West End, which gives you an idea of the population’s demographics.
Nevertheless, it is a pretty and peaceful town with a stunning view of the river Thames curving around its hills.
You’d almost forget that this place is so close to London, until the you hear and see the aeroplanes flying low towards the nearby Heathrow airport.
The deers blended into the woods’ background from a distance, until we recognised the velvety brown herd as we got closer. There must be about 50 to 60 of them.
We approached the deers slowly and they didn’t seem to mind us at all. I saw a few stags clashing antlers excitedly, so I decided that it was not a good idea to be too close to them.
The male and female deers live separately, until the rutting season in autumn, when they have to mate. The newborns would arrive in spring. For the rest of the summer, the deers will be hiding in the woods with their offsprings.
The park is also a great alternative for cyclists who want to escape the touristic stampede of Hyde Park. There is a great cycling and walking route along the river, where you can spot birds such as cormorants, herons and many more.
Just make sure you have a bird-watching manual or an app handy on your mobiles, such as Twitcher.
Today, the public can enjoy Richmond Park freely, thanks to a legal action brought by a local brewer, John Lewis in 1758, who confirmed the right of access for pedestrians at all times.
On the way back, we stopped for beer at the Roebuck pub on top of Richmond Hill, which overlooks an eyot (pronounced as ‘ait’) in the middle of the river Thames. The water gleamed like mirrors in the late afternoon.
It was definitely one of my perfect days in southwest London.