It might be something of a mission to get to, but once you make your way into Richmond Park there's a 50% chance you'll never leave. No, that's not true, but it is an exceptionally beautiful bit of green expanse. It's absolutely huge, with wide open spaces, grasslands, and woodland where herds of deer roam amongst the ancient trees and other rare animals. This is a very popular place for cyclists, who can often be found doing high-paced laps around the perimeter. It's pretty exhilarating, we can tell you. We've also spotted power kiting, horse riding, and mountain biking happening here, so if you're the active type you'll be taken care of. Keep an eye out for the beautiful Isabella Plantation gardens and refuel at the Pembrooke Lodge tea rooms.
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After that climb up Richmond Hill, you'll feel grateful to plant your peepers on Hollyhock Cafe. It's situated in the Terrace Gardens with a hard-knock view over the greenery and the Thames. Great coffee at tiny prices makes this place an easy all-day hangout on a sunny day. A stonking selection of brunch, lunch and cake options will have you stumbling over your choice - and they also have a huge range of herbal teas, fairtrade gourmet coffee, as well as freshly squeezed organic juices and smoothies.
Tide Tables Cafe
Tucked neatly underneath a converted archway beneath Richmond Bridge, this vegetarian/vegan safe haven flaunts a large garden with three majestic trees and some of the best views of the Thames. Great coffee at tiny prices makes this an easy all-day hangout when there's sun by the riverside. Their full-on vegetarian breakfast is something we'll definitely be venturing back for.
Yes, a bona fide woods in London. We’re pretty sure it stops being acceptable to throw the term ‘London’ around just down the road from here, but benefits of finding yourself so far from the city include gorgeous, sweeping views of the home counties and proper countryside walk credentials. All of the above and you can still get there on a red bus. Oxleas Wood features on the green chain walks, a network of footpaths linking up SE London’s open spaces.The cafe may not look like much but it’s a friendly hub for dog (and child) walkers and an apt stop-off for a refreshment - trust us, soaking in the vistas might leave you kind of parched.
A lovely place for a stroll when the sun's out, expect many a jogger and dog-walker on Barnes Common. The cemetery is overgrown with moss and vines, making for a peaceful and somewhat enchanting sight. Keep your eyes peeled for squirrels and other woodland creatures.