EnglandLondonRichmond upon Thames
Richmond upon Thames

London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames

With over 2,500 acres in London’s largest enclosed green space and a generous scattering of good schools, this riverside borough is a horticultural heaven, attracting retired couples and families with young children. So what's it really like to live in Richmond-upon-Thames?

“Richmond-upon-Thames is a prime choice for nature lovers, with Kew Gardens, plenty of riverside walks down the banks of the Thames, and views that inspired J.M.W Turner”

Moving to Richmond

Sitting pretty on the edge of South West London, this charming riverside retreat was once a sanctuary for Kings and Queens of England seeking country air and a wide, open expanse of hunting grounds. The area is particularly popular with families and retired couples, with a strong sense of community and an array of excellent state and independent schools to be found. Recent surveys have found residents to be healthier than the national average, and rates of child poverty, unemployment and benefit claims are are among the lowest in the capital.

However, it’s not all greenery and glorious living in Richmond. The area suffers from a lack of cultural diversity, with less than a quarter of residents born outside the UK – compared to nearly 50% in boroughs such as Brent, Harrow and the City of Westminster – and the noise caused by being under the London Heathrow Airport flightpath can be off-putting for some potential residents, despite the night-time curfew.

House Prices in Richmond

Richmond is the 7th most expensive borough in London, with the average property price around £750,000 as of 2017, making it unaffordable for the majority of Londoners. For those who can stretch their budget, the borough is awash with lovely properties, from historic terraced houses and smart riverside apartments to sprawling family homes. Properties on Richmond Green and Richmond Hill are among the most expensive in the borough, while Mortlake, Ham and Barnes are relatively more affordable.

“Richmond town centre is home to Underground services on the District Line, Overground services and National Rail services, with a journey into London Waterloo taking around 20 minutes”

Transport

Despite being located in Zones 3 and 4 , Richmond offers good transport connections making it particularly popular with commuters into central London. Richmond town centre is home to Underground services on the District Line, Overground services and National Rail services, with a journey into London Waterloo taking around 20 minutes. The Underground and Overground can also be found at Kew Gardens station, while the rest of the borough is served by National Rail services both into London and further into Surrey. Meanwhile for those looking to travel by road, the A3 and M4 run on either side of the borough and London Heathrow Airport is a mere 15 miles away for international travel.

Lifestyle

The Royal Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames developed as small, separate communities, and this can still be felt today through the various dining and retail centres in the borough. Richmond town centre is by far the largest, and here you’ll find an array of good restaurants and charming riverside pubs. Top choices among residents include Jackson + Rye overlooking the river, tiny, family-run Italian restaurant Al Boccon Di’Vino, and French favourite La Buvette. In the evenings, The Roebuck at the top of Richmond Hill is often packed with locals enjoying the panoramic views, while further down the river the beautiful Petersham Nurseries Café offers Michelin-starred food in a greenhouse setting.

As for retail therapy, shopping in the borough is limited and boutiques here tend to reflect the well-heeled residents with plenty of upmarket brands including Joseph, Whistles, and Zadi g et Voltaire, as well as cult apothecary Space N.K and a large House of Fraser. Sports fans will enjoy the range of shops selling leisurewear, such as Sweaty Beaty and Lululemon, while neighbouring Twickenham has a good selection of independent shops and cosy cafes.

Groceries

Branches of most major supermarkets can be found here, including Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, as well as a large Whole Foods in Richmond town centre. As you’d expect from an affluent borough, there’s a great selection of independent food shops too, ranging from two branches of The Teddington Cheese to the popular Alberts Deli.

Health & Sport

With the roar of rugby fans a common sound for nearby residents on match days, it comes as no surprise that Richmond locals tend to keep themselves in shape. There are plenty of gyms here with a particularly good council-run selection including Pools on the Park Richmond (with indoor and outdoor pools), Teddington Pools & Fitness Centre, and Hampton Sports & Fitness Centre, as well as a branch of Virgin Active, Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing, and the upmarket Richmond Hill Health Club.

In addition, there are a variety of good specialist studios throughout the borough, such as Bootcamp Pilates, YogaHaven, Digme Fitness and Barreworks, as well as various rugby clubs for both professionals and amateurs. 

Culture

Home to many familiar TV faces as well as ageing rock stars, Richmond has plenty of cultural activities to keep the local luvvies happy. The Orange Tree Theatre and Richmond Theatre both have an excellent track record of supporting up-and-coming writers and actors, while for cinephiles the Richmond town centre alone has three cinemas, including art-house favourite Curzon.

A particularly historic borough, Richmond boasts an array of fascinating historical properties such as Ham House, Marble Hill House, and Henry VIII’s former home Hampton Court Palace – where you can also find events throughout the year, including a summertime open-air cinema.

“The Roebuck at the top of Richmond Hill is often packed with locals enjoying the panoramic views, while further down the river the beautiful Petersham Nurseries Café offers Michelin-starred food in a greenhouse setting”

Schools and Education

Yet another key feature bringing families into the borough, Richmond has an array of excellent schools for both younger and older children. The best primary schools in Richmond include St Osmond’s Catholic Primary School, St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School and Russell Primary School, while Waldegrave School for Girls, and Christ’s CofE Comprehensive Secondary School are among the best state secondary schools in Richmond, and St Paul’s School, Hampton School, and Lady Eleanor Holles School all highly recommended independent options.

Safety

Richmond is among the safest boroughs in London, with an average crime rate of 54 crimes per 1000 people as of 2013 – significantly lower than the England average, and nearly half the London average.

Green Space

One of London’s greenest boroughs, Richmond offers an impressive 128 parks, the largest of which being the famous Richmond Park, a 2,360 acre expanse of woodlands, open space, nature reserves and roaming deer.  But that’s not all – there’s stiff competition in the form of the Old Deer Park, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (home to over 30,000 different plant species), and Bushy Park in the south of the borough, home of the beautiful Hampton Court Palace.   

History

Richmond Palace was built in the 1500s, and while only traces remain the neighbourhood is still popular with privacy-seeking celebrities and affluent commuters, who have flocked here ever side the railway arrived in 1846.

The vast hunting grounds favoured by Henry VIII now take the form of Richmond Park, London’s largest Royal Park, but that’s not the only greenery you’ll find. The London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames is a prime choice for nature lovers, with Kew Gardens, plenty of riverside walks down the banks of the Thames, and views that inspired J.M.W Turner among others, while sports fans also get a look-in via the famous Twickenham Rugby Stadium.

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