A recent survey has showed that the residents of wealthy Richmond upon Thames were among the happiest – if not the happiest – of England. This is hardly surprising: only a few miles away from London’s bustle, Richmond is a haven of peace.
Located on a meander of the River Thames, Richmond boasts a large number of parks and open spaces including one of England’s most famous greens (Richmond green).
Richmond Hill rises a few hundred meters south of the city centre. Though only 165 ft (50m) high, the view from its top has inspired such artists as J.M.W. Turner and Sir Joshua Reynolds and is one of the best-known on the Thames. You may find that the landscape has changed little since its depiction by these masters two hundred years ago.
To the south of Richmond Hill lies Richmond Park. Three times the size of Central Park in New York, it was originally a hunting reserve of king Charles I and is famous for the hundreds of deers it still hosts.
On Sundays, a stroll along the river Thames is a popular activity for families and lovers alike. Even if as a broke londoner, you may not afford to live in Richmond (after all, the council prides itself on being “a favourite retreat of Royalty, the rich and the famous”…), you might still wish to check out why Richmond’s inhabitants are so happy with their lot.
Tube station: Richmond
Posted in London for free, London landscape, parks and nature, Romantic, Uncategorized
Tagged best place to live in London, deers, nature, Richmond green, Richmond Hill, Richmond park, thames, Turner, view, walk
Primrose Hill is located a few minutes away from the north side of Regent’s Park – just across the London zoo. From Camden Town, it’s a pleasant 10 – 15 minute walk along Regent’s canal. When in the park, the slope is steep, but climbing is worth the effort, since from its 78-metre height Primrose Hill offers a clear view over Central London.
The neighbourhood, with its multicoloured Victorian houses, is also an agreeable place. It has the reputation of being a prosperous and fashionable district, so while you’re there pay attention to the people you may cross in the street: the list of Primrose Hill’s residents include the likes of Kate Moss, Jude Law, Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, Jamie Oliver, Sienna Miller, Rachel Weisz, Enrique Iglesias, Ewan McGregor, Agyness Deyn, Gery Halliwell or Gwen Stefani. A plaque also indicates the house where Friedrich Engels, co-author of The Communist Manifesto, used to live.
Update: Primrose Hill on a nice day (it makes all the difference!)
Nearest tube stations: Camden Town, Swiss Cottage
The Monument, which was built in the 17th century to commemorate the Great Fire of London that devastated the City in 1666, has just reopened after some 18-month renovation work.
OK, it does not seem that high – but only when you’re outside. When you get inside the Monument, and have to walk the 60 metres up to the top, in narrow spiral staircase where two people cannot walk next to each other, you come to realise that you really have to earn the Monument’s panorama.
When you finally get to the top, you are rewarded with a 360° view on the City, with the Thames, Tower Bridge, the town hall, Saint Paul, the Swiss Re building… and when you exit the column, by an official certificate! (is it too much? Yes!)
go to the Monument Website
Nearest Tube: Monument
The Tate Modern is, of course, an outstanding museum with world-renowned collections and some of the most popular exhibitions in London. However, one thing that this museum’s aficionados seldom forget to mention is that it offers one of the more spectacular panoramas on the Millennium Bridge and Saint Paul’s cathedral on the other bank of the Thames.
The entrance of the museum is free and you just need to take the lift to Tate’s café on the 7th floor – there’s no need to order anything – to enjoy the view. I think that this is definitely a place to keep in mind since most buildings with a good view on the city can be quite expensive – just think about the London Eye!
Nearest Tube: Southwark
OK, we’re broke. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not going to change. Just in case, I went to St Katharine’s docks to check out the yachts. It’s a pretty romantic walk for a lazy Sunday afternoon, and even though it’s a 5-minute walk from the busy tower of London, it’s usually very calm. In fact, it looks more like Monaco – or Miami? – than London.
Plus, there’s a nice view on Tower Bridge – and you won’t have any tourist on your pictures!