Photo Opportunities - Number 1

Richmond Park and Richmond Town, Surrey.

View From Richmond Terrace by Andrea Jones

Set on the banks of the tranquil River Thames, both the town and the park provide many photo opportunities for those looking.  The whole area is extremely scenic and it wouldn't be time wasted to wander the whole area looking for viewpoints.  Richmond Terrace is probably the most famous for its viewpoint and was well known as a tourist attraction in Victorian times!  Richmond Town is set on a hill overlooking the river with an unobstructed view across the river valley.  On a clear day Windsor Castle (Berkshire) can be seen.  There is a riverside walk (seen in the photo above as a white line this side of the river) that is part of the Thames National path and which runs as far as Gloucestershire, some 80 odd miles away.  

The towns river frontage is very pleasing to the eye and consists of some fine, un-spoilt architecture with a terraced garden fronting a grand Georgian building!  Many bars & pubs serve this area which is very popular with tourists in the summer.  Nonetheless a superb location for stunning urban and riverside landscape photography.  The Thames path runs upstream to Kew or downstream to Kingston both ways giving more river views as well as across suburban skylines so take your choice. The town itself is not quite as scenic as the riverfront but has many places to shop and to eat at so a day here wouldn't be at all wasted.

Richmond Park

Just outside Richmond town and set back from the river is Richmond Park.  One of London's Royal Parks and maintained by the Royal Parks Authority this park has to be one of London's finest. Roughly nine miles in diameter the park contains a mostly hilly and wooded tract of land with several ponds and a lake.  The trees are well established and some historic with a beautiful plantation of Rhododendrons and Acers in the Isabella plantation.  There is an historic overlook which viewpoint is actually protected by law!  It's a view of St Paul's Cathedral which I believe is 10 miles as the crow files.  And is from the Kings Mound, I'll leave you to find that as I had to do!  Pen Ponds are the two central lakes virtually in the centre of the park and they are home to many kinds of waterfowl, sometimes visited by seabirds such as Cormorants with herons, geese, swans and others permanently in residence.  There many splendid views to be had from the park, such as the terrace walk near Richmond gate, this one roughly from the gate up to Pembroke Lodge, formerly a hunting lodge for King Charles II now a rather nice tearoom!  The Laburnum walk in the lodge gardens are well worth a shot, even when not in bloom and the gardens themselves are lovely.  The park is one of Britain's Deer parks and there are three herds here!  Red deer form the largest herd and the late summer when the stags grow their huge antlers is a time to photograph them, though the winter when the stags start to choose mates and engage in their leader contests is a great time as well.  There are also Roe and Fallow deer but these are not as big as their larger cousins.  The park is one big photo opportunity all year round with an endless vista of scenes and locations.  Well worth bringing your camera at any time of the year!

Brian Sharland

Photos by Andrea Jones (Richmond Terrace)  Will Stanton (Richmond Town) and Walter Conquy (Richmond Park)

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April 2014
Sophie Martin-Castex


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