Bushy Park Hampton Reviews
Pleasant green space in outer reaches of London Mar 01, 2015
Located a stone’s throw away from Hampton Court Palace – undoubtedly the star attraction in the Richmond/Kingston area of London – this royal park is the second biggest in London. It’s worth popping in to if you have a couple of hours to spare after visiting Henry VIII’s famous palace, or just if you happen to be in the area and want to find an alternative green space to the ones located in the hustle and bustle of central London.
The park is a sprawling canvas of wide open spaces flanked by wild woodland, broken up stretches of rippling ponds and topped off with a couple of baroque-influenced gardens. Throw in roaming deer – wild, but so used to people that you can get reasonably close to them as long as you tread softly – and you get the perfect ingredients for a pleasant afternoon ramble.
The majority of the attractions are in the western half of the park. Entering from here, you’ll immediately see the iconic Diana fountain: unlike the Hyde Park memorial, this is not named after the late Princess Diana, but the Greek nymph sometimes known as Arethusa (‘the waterer’). Fittingly, the statue is surrounded by a basin of water, so it’s not possible to get up close and personal, but it’s a splendid site nevertheless.
Just north of the fountain is the Waterhouse Woodland Garden which, in contrast to the wilder expanses that make up much of the park, features sculpted woodland walkways, wooden bridges over twisting streams and a café/visitor centre. Further north is the tiered water feature that is the Upper Lodge Water Gardens (no photos of this, sorry!), the stately former royal residence of Bushy House and a couple of memorials to the US Air Force, some of whom were based here in the latter years of World War II. It is from a spot in Bushy Park that, apparently, some of the D-Day preparations were plotted.
Further east there’s not as much to see, although it’s in this part of the park you’re most likely to come across the deer. If you enter the park from Kingston it’s this side you’ll enter from, so my recommendation is to come via Hampton, whether that’s from the adjacent Hampton Court Palace grounds or via public transport.
Part of the list More alternative London highlights
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!