Ham House and Garden cycle trail
Richmond Station, Richmond, London TW9 2NARoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Discover Richmond and Ham on this circular route along the River Thames, through Richmond Park and the historic avenues of Ham. Bring your own bike or hire one at Richmond Station where the cycle route begins.
Start: Richmond station, grid ref: TQ180751
Leave Richmond Station via the main exit, turn left and cross the road using the pedestrian crossing. Once over the road, turn right and shortly after, turn left into Old Station Passage. At the end of the passage, turn left and cycle over the bridge. When you reach the crossroads, go straight on, Richmond Green is on your right hand side. Follow the road round, passing two pubs and a café, and then turn left down Friars Lane. This will lead you down to the River Thames.
Richmond Bridge was completed in 1777 and replaced two ferry boats, a passenger boat and larger one that transported horses and bulky goods across the river. Up until 1859, the bridge was tolled, but this was discontinued when the last shareholder died. Marble Hill House, the large white house, on the opposite side of the river near Ham House, is a great example of Palladian architecture. It was built in the 18th century for Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk and mistress of King George II.
Once at the river, turn left. Continue along the river path for 1.3 miles (2.1km). Along the way, you will pass a cluster of pubs and places to eat, as well as Richmond Bridge, Petersham Meadows, Petersham Wood and Marble Hill House, a large white house, on the other side of the river.
Built in 1610, Ham House and Garden is one of a series of grand houses and palaces alongside the River Thames. It is an unusually complete survival of the 17th century that impressed in its day and continues to do so today. The historic Ham Avenues were developed in the 1670s by the owners of Ham House. The avenues radiated from the house as a display of wealth and power.
Shortly after passing Marble Hill House, follow the sign on the left hand side of the path leading you to Ham House and Garden over a wooden bridge. Once over the bridge, follow the path to your right going through the meadow towards the main gates of the property. If you have time, Ham House and Garden is well worth a visit. To carry on your journey, retrace your path but turn inland and right around the garden wall. At the end of the avenue, follow the garden wall to the right and then take the first left down Melancholy Walk. When you reach a road, Sandy Lane, cross over and carry on along the avenue.
The largest of the royal parks in London, Richmond Park is famous for its deer that were introduced by King Charles I to create a hunting park. The park has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve.
At the end of the avenue, turn left into The Common. When you reach the traffic lights, go straight ahead and carry on along Ham Gate Avenue to Ham Gate, the entrance to Richmond Park.
The iconic view from Richmond Hill, down towards the River Thames, is the only view in England to be protected by an Act of Parliament. Depending on leaf coverage of trees, Ham House can sometimes be seen from here. Petersham Meadows, where you will see cows grazing in summer months, were part of the estate of Ham House until the end of the 19th century. The view from Richmond Hill down to the meadows has been featured in many famous paintings by artists including JMW Turner.
Once through Ham Gate, cycle up the steep hill along the shared cycle and pedestrian path to the left of the road until you reach the crossroad, Ham Cross.
Turn left at Ham Cross and keep going along the shared path. The path will bring you past Pembroke Lodge and on to Richmond Gate.
Leave the park at Richmond Gate and cycle straight ahead over two roundabouts onto Richmond Hill. Along the road, to your left, there is a terrace, take some time to stop and enjoy the iconic view down towards the River Thames.
Once youve enjoyed the view, carry on along Richmond Hill and take the first right into Friars Stile and then the third left into Onslow Road. Then take the third right into Vineyard Road and then the second left into Mount Ararat Road.
At the end of Mount Ararat Road, you will reach the main road, Paradise Road. Turn right here and when you get to the traffic lights, turn left into Church Road. At the end of this road, you reach another main road, Kew Road. Dismount from your bike and turn left walking along the pavement back to Richmond Station.
End: Richmond station, grid ref: TQ180751
- Trail: Cycling
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 6.4 miles (10.2km)
- Time: 90 minutes
- OS Map: Landranger 176, Explorer 161
Gravel footpaths and mostly quiet tarmac roads. Fairly flat terrain, although the gravel path along the river is quite uneven and so can be bumpy, depending on the type of bike. There are a few short hills on the route and small sections on main roads where, depending on experience, you may wish to walk your bike.
- How to get here:
By bike: National Cycle Network route 4 passes near Ham House. See sustrans website
By train: Circular cycle route begins at Richmond Station. Both overland and underground trains stop here
By bus: Bus routes 65, 190, 371, 391, 419, 490, 493, H22, H37, R68, R70; alight at Richmond Station/the Quadrant
By boat/ferry: Hammerton’s Ferry – a seasonal foot/bike ferry across the River Thames from Twickenham towpath (by Marble Hill House – English Heritage) to Ham House and Garden