Nature Escapes in Kingston: Parks and Outdoor Activities

Nature Escapes in Kingston: Parks and Outdoor Activities
<a name="nature-escapes-in-kingston-parks-and-outdoor-activities">Nature Escapes in Kingston: Parks and Outdoor Activities</a>

Nature Escapes in Kingston: Parks and Outdoor Activities

We are pleased to announce that the free Richmond minibus (RP1) service is back for 2024. Services will resume on Friday 29 March, operating on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until Wednesday 27 November 2024. Skylark protection zones are currently in place – dogs must be kept on leads and visitors are asked to stick to marked pathways. From Monday 18 March we will be replacing a number of the gates into Pembroke Lodge Gardens. Gates will be temporarily closed whilst they are being replaced. All other garden gates will remain open and available whilst this work happens. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

This extraordinary landscape has been shaped by nature for over 700 years. Its ancient woods, rolling hills and wide-open grasslands are bursting with life – from historic herds of deer to birds, invertebrates, fungi and wildflowers. It's no wonder that the park is London's largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve – there's nowhere better to experience the great outdoors so close to the capital.

Explore the spectacular Isabella Plantation with its extravaganza of bright azaleas, venture up King Henry's Mound to admire distant views to St Paul's Cathedral or hire a bike to enjoy a leisurely cycle as you take in the sights.

Around the perimeter of the park, you'll find the Tamsin Trail – a scenic route of just over 7 miles, popular with joggers and hikers. For a more leisurely visit, head to pretty Pembroke Lodge. This historic Georgian mansion boasts elegant tea rooms and picturesque gardens with sweeping views over the Thames Valley.

If you're into history, there's plenty of it here. The park can trace its origins back to 1625, when Charles I brought his court to nearby Richmond Palace to escape the plague sweeping through London. He turned this landscape into a hunting park, filled with red and fallow deer. Amazingly, some of the trees that Charles would have ridden past still stand today.

Covering over 5,000 acres of historic parkland, the parks provide beautiful green spaces right in the heart of the capital where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

The Royal Parks is a registered charity (No. 1172042) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales no. 10016100 (VAT No. 261 4640 19)

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