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.
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
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?