Hampton Court Palace, where the route starts, is a former residence of Henry VIII and is well worth a visit to experience the splendour of the Tudor court in the Great Hall with its magnificent tapestries. From here the route follows the River Thames around Hampton Court Park to Kingston Bridge.
Kingston has an attractive pedestrianised town centre with many cafés and stopping-off points. Continuing north along the river you turn inland at Teddington Lock and after a short road section you’ll enter Richmond Park via Ham Gate. There is a short, sharp hill on entering the park, but after this you can enjoy miles of easy trails. With roaming deer, woodland and bracken-covered hillsides, Richmond Park is a wonderful and unexpected little bit of wilderness. It has protected status as an important habitat for wildlife and is a National Nature Reserve, London’s largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation – and all just a stone’s throw from central London!
Towards the end of the ride you pass the London Wetland Centre at Barnes, an urban oasis for wildlife and people where you can stroll among the lakes, ponds and gardens. It has a café and play areas for the kids.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.
To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure you follow the Towpath Code.