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The top places to visit near Roehampton

by Maddie Lukes
16 April 2015

As lovely as Roehampton is, it’s easy to get stuck in a bubble. You suddenly wake up one morning and realise that you haven’t left campus in days (especially as exam season approaches!) - Central London is sometimes simply too far away. Here’s a list of my favourite places to go, which you can get to on foot or by bike.

Deer in Richmond Park

Richmond Park

It’s open to pedestrians and cyclists 24/7. It’s the perfect place for a daytime walk and picnic with friends, or a moody midnight cycle if you’re feeling antsy (watch out for deer on the road!). There are streams, lakes, woods and sunny patches of open grass to sunbathe and watch the world go by. Try to spot the London Eye, the Gherkin, St Paul’s and the Shard!

Palewell Playing Fields

Head towards the National Tennis Centre, and cross the stream at the bottom of the hill. If you want a kick about with some friends, there’s lots of space here for sport or there’s tennis courts, a café and in the summer, an open air paddling pool (just go in the evening when the kids have all gone to bed!).

Putney Heath

The Telegraph Pub is a good place to take your parents, or there’s blackberry picking to be done if you head off the beaten track. Keep your eyes open for herons in the ponds.

The White Hart, Barnes

The White Hart, Barnes

A really lovely (if slightly pricey) riverside pub next to Barnes Bridge. You can do a short roundabout walk to it across Barnes common (starting at Barnes Station and ending at Barnes Pond) which takes in some of the local scenery. They offer a fantastic BBQ during the summer.

The Mausoleum of Sir Richard Burton, Mortlake

At the church of St Mary Magdalen you can find the tomb of Sir Richard and his wife. Sir Richard was an explorer, spy, linguist, fencer, poet, diplomat, cartographer, ethnologist, orientalist and writer who was denied burial at Westminster Abbey due to his detailed accounts of various foreign sexual practices. His mausoleum is designed in the shape of a Bedouin tent with a window at the back so you can peer inside. An unexpected gem!

Putney Leisure Centre

Our closest swimming pool- access to the steam room, spa pool and sauna is included in the price of a swimming ticket.

The Rocket, Putney

Not only a good place for a pre-Fez top up, this riverside pub is cheap and friendly- perfect for a leisurely brunch before you head into central London.

Bishop’s Park, Fulham

Just on the other side of Putney Bridge, this stunning park has everything. Tennis and basketball courts, a skate park, table tennis, a bowling green, a beautiful ornamental lake and London’s only urban beach. You can also start gorgeous river-side walks towards Chiswick, or visit the Fulham Palace museum (and say hi if you see me working in the café!).

Kingston

I wouldn’t necessarily suggest walking here (get the 85 from Medfield Street) but I felt I had to include it. Kingston is technically outside of London, so if big city life is getting you down, then head over here for some cobbled streets and friendly vibes. It also has a fantastic meat stall on market days, which sells everything from antelope to zebra.

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