In the popular imagination, London is a city of skyscrapers, busy roads and constant hustle and bustle. Whilst this is true, it’s not the full story. Many areas of London feature parks, fields and other green spaces, and one of the hidden gems of the city is Twickenham.
Part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Twickenham has many delightful green spaces for the urban explorer to find. And when you happen upon them, it’s like discovering a beautiful oasis.
We’ll run down some of the most beautiful greeneries in Twickenham, so you can find some relaxing respite from the city.
Strawberry Hill House
Sitting by the Thames on Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill House is an astonishing structure. A peerless example of Georgian Gothic Revival architecture, it was built as Horace Walpole’s dream home back in the 18th century.
Aside from the house, the romantic-styled garden is a perfect expression of the English Landscape movement. The five-acre site encompasses groves of lime trees, woodland, manicured lawns and flower beds. It’s the perfect venue for those staying in hotels in central London to find a slice of something more akin to a country house. Bring a picnic, or just sit and take in the splendour.
Staying in the centre of London – somewhere like the Montcalm Royal London House, for example – the natural world can seem far away. The lights of the city are amazing and intoxicating, but sometimes you need to get out of the big smoke and connect with something a little bit different. This is where Crane Park delivers.
This lush, green space is more like something you might expect to find in the rural parts of the UK, not a short hop from central London. The site covers a whole 30-acres and serves as a habitat for all manner of creatures, from birds to frogs and toads to foxes. The site encompasses ponds, reedbeds, woodland and river environs. It’s hard to imagine that in the middle of the 20th century, Crane Park was dominated by industrial use.
Petersham is another area that you might expect to find in the more bucolic areas of the UK. Home to Petersham Village, the meadows are home to grazing cows, a church and luxurious homes in the form of the Grade-II converted Star and Garter building.
It can be hard to believe that our hotels in central London are less than an hour away, affording visitors the chance to visit this beautiful location. Dotted with lanes and country paths, Petersham Meadows rewards the curious with amazing views around every corner. May onwards sees the meadow in full bloom, with fields of wild flowers and bees going about their business. It’s an easy place to find, but hard to leave.
York House Gardens
Featuring sunken lawns and a Japanese garden, the gardens of York House are a well-kept local secret.
Dating back to the 17th century, York House is the perfect place to find some shade and admire the statuary installed by original owner Sir Ratan Tata. The mode of design is very much classic English garden, with privet hedges and dramatic willows all around. York House itself is a beautiful structure and the whole place has a serene, country home feel that will make most people forget they’re a stone’s throw from the centre of London.