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Bushy Park

Home > London > Parks | Walks | Picnic Spots
Published December 27th 2010
When it comes to parks, Londoners are spoilt for choice, with little effort required when an escape from the clamour of the city is the order of the day.

Most people have visited, or at least heard of, London's largest park that of Richmond. But how about the K2 of the city's green spaces, the lesser-known and certainly lesser-visited Bushy Park in south-west London.

It may be located a little out of town, out near Kingston, but Bushy Park is still easy to get to, no matter which part of London you live in.

Covering more than a thousand acres, the park is situated beside the majestic Hampton Court Palace.

It was in the park grounds that Henry VIII used to hunt deer back in the 16th century. Indeed, there are still deer in the park today, happily for them existing in a more peaceful environment than their bullet-dodging ancestors.

Bushy Park is packed with features and things to do, and in warm weather is an ideal spot for a picnic.

The Longford River, built on the orders of King Charles I to supply water to the palace, flows through the park. The river travels a total distance of 19km, well beyond the park's borders, all the way to Heathrow airport.

Other water features include the Diana Fountain (built in 1713) and a number of ponds including the intriguingly named Leg-of-Mutton Pond (something to do with Henry VIII perhaps?), Heron Pond, and a model boating pond.

Sporting facilities are in abundance cricket, rugby, tennis, swimming, bowling, and fishing are all well catered for.

For maximum impact, enter the park from the north (nearest train station: Teddington) and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the impressive tree-lined Chestnut Avenue, which leads to the aforementioned Diana Fountain, both designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

The park has a large network of pathways and plenty of green spaces where you can relax on the grass.

The excellent Pheasantry Welcome Centre in the middle of the park offers visitors park information, a cafe, an education and community room, and public toilets.

If you're partial to a bit of greenery, then you'll love Bushy Park.
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Why? Because if parks are the lungs of London, then Bushy Park is a beautiful, healthy, fully-functioning organ, untouched by harmful pollutants.
Where: Teddington/Hampton. There are many train stations close to the park, including Hampton Court, Hampton Wick, Teddington and Hampton.
Cost: Free.
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