Sunday Best: Richmond Park

So my boyfriend and I are working on a slew of different webby projects like maniacs recently, and so we’ve designated Sundays as work-free, adventure-filled days. Last week we went to Richmond Park in Surrey, and it was awesome. Getting out of East London and into the vast fields of the countryside (even though it’s still officially London – you can get there on the District line – but boy it does not feel like London) was very invigorating.

Thatch cottage

You can’t actually go in; I snuck this over the fence

We walked from the station along via the Thames, and being a sunny day it was rammed with merrymakers. The park itself is very hilly, and features some lovely buildings, including this cute-as-a-button thatch cottage. We got some weird ice-cream from a van (it was more like frozen milk than ice-cream though) and had a good old explore.

There is a very cool feature in Richmond Park, and that’s at the highest point, from which you can see St Paul’s Cathedral, some 10 miles in the distance. There’s a telescope, but you squint to see it through the trees – which are kept trimmed back so that you can see the dome in the distance. In fact, this is a protected view, which means that nothing can obstruct the view – you can’t build in the way. Seems there are a few protected views facing St Pauls, maybe I should try and catch a couple more. London challenge, perhaps?

Richmond Park has another, slightly more global claim to fame, and that is being the location where Fenton the labrador famously chased a herd of deer, to the great dismay of his owner:

Sadly, no Fenton and no herd today, and we mostly forgot about the wildlife as we sat by a pond and watched some dogs go mental in the water. But as were heading, we spotted a few deer and it was very exciting. They had some pretty epic antlers. It’s always great to be at proximity to large, undomesticated animals with nothing between you. When I eventually write a blog about Nara, near Kyoto in Japan, I will have many, many more deer pictures to post, but for today, here are just two:

P1010623 Two deer

It took about an hour to get there from Tower Hill, and being on the District line it was largely above ground, which I vastly prefer – I’m still not that comfortable travelling underground. That route also took us past Kew Gardens, not as famous for marauding dogs, more for its horticulture and research, but still worth a visit I’m sure.

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