summertime cycling - Richmond to Hampton Court

Monday, August 05, 2013

I'm not much of a cyclist - and the thought of cycling in London has never really been my cup of tea. Far too many black cabs whizzing by for my liking. But when a friend of mine recently recommended cycling from Richmond to Hampton Court Palace I was pretty eager to give it a go for two reasons:

  1. River-side path. No cars!
  2. A great summer day out, with 'enjoyable' exercise...
So hubby and I took up the challenge.

It was a gorgeous day...

The Thames Path, Richmond
...with lots of people out and about enjoying the sunshine and riverside.

The Thames Path, Richmond - on a summery London day

We caught the tube to Richmond and the walked down to the river (about 10 minutes) to hire our bikes. £25 well spent for a day of cycling I thought. The great thing about this cycle route is that it's completely flat and the scenery is gorgeous. I was surprised actually. How have I managed to live in London for four years and not visited Richmond before?

For more info on the cycling route check out Walk and Cycle UK

The route is about 8 miles each each direction - so we made sure we were carrying lots of water and tasty snacks...

Enjoying the sun - Richmond, London
 ... as there are plenty of lovely picnic spots along the way to stop for a rest.

Enjoying the sun - Richmond, London
this guy was obviously feeling the heat ;)

Architecture sights along The Thames Path, Richmond London

The Thames Path - cycling Richmond to Hampton Court Palace
one of the things that really stood out to me about this path was how far away from London it felt

Looking down The Thames River

Hampton Court Palace, London

A few hours later - and we arrived at our destination, Hampton Court Palace. Gorgeous! We had a picnic in the shade, followed by ice-cream and then set off to explore the gardens. Luckily for us the Hampton Court Formal Gardens were actually open free of charge when we were there, so we got to mooch around at no cost.

Tennis Court Lane - Hampton Court Palace, London

Hampton Court Maze, London
inside the Hampton Court Maze 

The Formal Gardens - Hampton Court Palace, London
I absolutely loved the shape of the trees in the Formal Gardens. 
It felt like I'd stepped into a fairy tale.

The Formal Gardens - Hampton Court Palace, London

The Formal Gardens - Hampton Court Palace, London

The Formal Gardens - Hampton Court Palace, London

The Formal Gardens - Hampton Court Palace, London

Royal Tennis Court - Hampton Court Palace, London
game of tennis anyone?

Beer - at the end of a long day
The return cycle back to Richmond was a little (*cough a lot) tougher than the journey there, so we rewarded ourselves with some big beers. Perfect end to another fab London summer day.

Have you got any favourite London bike rides?

Sun set over The Thames, London

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