Thursday, 15 June 2017

London Hikes - Putney to Richmond

3 hikers making their way through Richmond Park
This fantastic rural walk gives you plenty of scope to explore and makes its way through 3 areas of beauty in south west London. The walks starts at the Green Man in Putney - there are a number of bus stops here - 14, 37, 85, 493, 639, 670 and the one I caught from Victoria - the 170.  Putney rail station is approximately half a mile away as an alternative.

My directions can be found HERE on Strava. The route is about 13km or 8 miles in length.

screen capture of the route - start from Putney on the right end at Richmond.
Start by walking to the wooden area which is called Putney Heath - any direction will do but you are making your way to the cricket field  which is south west from the start point. "Charles II reviewed his forces on Putney Heath in 1684; in May 1767, George III reviewed the Guards, and the Surrey Volunteers at the same spot in 1799. According to Samuel Pepys, Charles II and his brother, the Duke of York, used to run horses here." Source Wikipedia.
From the cricket ground cross Telegraph Rd and enter the wooden area next to Wildcroft Manor (on your right). Follow the path which leads under the A3.

King's Mere: Putney Heath
On the other side of the A3 you are still in Putney Heath and should make your way to King's Mere which is a large pond. Walk around this and head in a south westerly direction. Again through this section it is possible to take many routes - head over to Queen's Mere (another pond) at which point you will be in Wimbledon Common.

Putney Heath / Wimbledon Common divide
From Queen's Mere head up to the Wimbledon Windmill Museum. Note this is only open at weekends and Bank Holidays. There is also a nice cafe and public toilet at this point so is a good place to rest your feet a while. From the windmill go south towards the golf course - please remember you are on a public golf course and it is a dangerous place - always look out for golfers playing shots.

Ravine Pond: Wimbledon Common
Many trails through Wimbledon common so you can either stick to mine or make your own up. However, you are heading for the A3 where it meets the A308 (Robin Hood round-a-bout). You need to cross the A3 to get to the Robin Hood Gate entrance of Richmond Park.
Richmond Park has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve. The royal connections to this park probably go back further than any of the others, beginning with Edward (1272-1307), when the area was known as the Manor of Sheen. The name was changed to Richmond during Henry VII's reign. ( source: Royal Parks )

Richmond Park
Richmond Park (map) is huge and in my walk I've picked out a fairly straight walk across it. However you can again choose your own route. There are many deer that run wild in the park - please do not approach them it is dangerous.

Richmond Park has Fallow and Red deer running wild
If you take photos of deer in the park you are advised to take them using the zoom feature on your camera or phone. The hike takes you across the park towards Richmond Gate but does not go through it. Instead head to the left of it - there are public toilets and to the left of them a footpath heading downhill - you need to take this path, (see map) - the Richmond Park wall is on your right -  follow this down until eventually you exit the wooded area into an open field. On the right is Petersham Gate - take this and cross the A307 and enter the Public Bridleway (alley) on the other side of the road.

City of London from Richmond Park
Follow the alley which eventually pops out in a quite road - turn right and head for another path which leads you down towards Richmond and the River Thames. Follow the river up to Richmond Bridge where the bulk of the walk is done. I can recommend the Pitcher and Piano for drinks and or a meal to finish but there are many other choices in the town as well. Finally you can head back to Richmond station for a ride home.

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