8 May 2017

Relaxing on the doorstep of Richmond Park: A staycation hotel review

To say this was the laziest most relaxed adventure yet would be an understatement. 

At the beginning of this year, my one and only Mr Kiwi put me on a travel ban. After a 6 week period that included a surprise birthday trip to Gothenburg, a myriad of business travel, a weekend staycation and two awesome weeks roadtripping around Texas and Louisiana at the end of last year, he felt like he had had enough.

Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi
Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi

So in order to assuage the flame of wanderlust that has my soul (one day it may waver so I'm making the most of it whilst I can) I had to get crafty. I mean, compromise. Yes, compromise. *shifty eyes*

Fast forward to my friends laughing after asking me what we were doing over one weekend. "Well, I'm dragging the instagram husband for a little staycation in Richmond."

*blink blink*

 Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi

"Richmond? But that's like underground zone 3 or 4 isn't it? Like in London?"

Yep. What everyone seems to forget about Richmond, Surrey, is just:

a) How amazing this little corner of London is.
b) Simply how far the rolling landscape reaches to, creating an oasis of calm crowned by distant tower blocks.
c) That people travel from all over the world to visit the wonders of Richmond park.
d) It really is possible to travel in your own backyard, especially when your metaphorical backyard is London.

Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London KiwiRichmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi

There is simply loads to do, even in the periphery of the Royal grounds. The park is a National Nature Reserve, London's largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation. It is home to the beautiful Isabella Plantation, Pembroke Lodge and herds of Red and Fallow deer.

Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi

It is also home to city bods who spend weekend mornings donning lycra and perspiring as they chat, sorry run, around the many paths and roads crisscrossing the green canopy.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi

Honestly for the majority of our stay the weather was dismal, but it made curling up in our cozy, modest hotel room at the 4-star Richmond Gate hotel all the sweeter.

 Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi

Was I disappointed? No, not really. With only our phones connecting us to the real world, and no unfinished chores waggling their existential fingers at us, we simply relaxed.

Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi

Arriving at the end of a well-earned Friday, we nipped downstairs for dinner before retiring to watch a film (I believe it was SpiceWorld but even their peppy pop songs couldn't keep my heavy eyelids from shuttering) as we burrowed under the covers.

Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi
Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi

The next morning we arose to mists over the gently ruffled Thames, the current twirling from Westminster to Hampton Court. We had planned an early morning traipse through the dew dappled grass and watch the sun rise, but alas the gates don't open until 7am (about an hour after dawn at that time of the year) so we had no choice but to turn around and sneak back under the duvet.

Richmond Park Staycation Adventures of a London Kiwi

If, unlike us, you actually manage to spend a little more time exploring this wonderful neighbourhood (I mean if it's good enough for Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood) I'd highly recommend visiting Strawberry Hill House, a Gothic castle of dreamy spires; discover Eel Pie Island; or simply lay a picnic over the mossy moor beneath the ancient trees.

That's the beauty of home city staycations I guess - the ability to return again and again.

What is your favourite Park, London or otherwise?

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