Ham House from Kingston walk
Ham Street, Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey, TW10 7RSRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Leave your car at home and discover this tranquil walk, linking Ham House and Garden with Kingston Station. The circular route, which is on London’s doorstep, begins at the station. It leads you along the rural Thames Path and through the verdant Richmond Park.
- Bus stop
Start: Kingston Station, grid ref: TQ183695
Leave Kingston Station via the main exit, turn right and walk along the path past the taxi rank. The road begins to dip down now, but continue along the path to the right-hand side of this road and carry on over the bridge. Once over the bridge, you reach a junction with TGI Friday ahead of you. Turn right here under the railway bridge, with mosaic artwork, and then turn left into Down Hall Road, following it down to the River Thames.
Once you've reached the river, turn right and walk alongside it. Follow the Thames Path along for about 3.2 miles (5.1km), passing Teddington Locks along the way.
Shortly after passing a large island, Eel Pie Island, you'll reach a car park located along the river edge. Walk through this car park towards the entrance/exit and follow the road, Ham Street, up a short distance. Take the first turning on the left into the Ham House and Garden entrance road (you'll be able to see the Stuart mansion from here). The entrance gates to Ham House and Garden are on your right-hand side. It's well worth stopping here and visiting the house and gardens (free to National Trust members).
Built in 1610, Ham House and Garden is one of a series of grand houses and palaces alongside the River Thames. It's an unusually complete survival of the 17th century that impressed in its day and continues to do so today.
To continue your journey from the main gates of Ham House, turn right and then follow the trodden path through the meadow, away from the house, and across the wooden bridge towards the river. Turn right and walk along the Thames Path for a short distance. When you reach a lane and signpost pointing towards Petersham, turn off the river path and walk down the lane called River Lane. 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. (Now owned by English Heritage). The foot and bike ferry, Hammerton's Ferry, links the north and south banks of the river here.
At the end of River Lane, you will reach Petersham Road, a narrow main road. Turn left here and then cross the road at The Dysart Arms pub, using the pedestrian crossing. Turn right through a large kissing gate into Richmond Park and just before the childrens playground, turn left and follow the well trodden path, in the grass, up to the top of the steep hill.
Petersham Meadows were part of the estate of Ham House until the end of the 19th century and are now managed by the National Trust. The view from Richmond Hill down to the meadows, where you will see cows grazing in summer months, has been featured in many famous paintings by artists including JMW Turner.
Once at the top of the hill, you'll come to a metal fence and a gate with a sign for Pembroke Lodge Gardens, go through this gate. Once through the gate, turn left through the bushes and walk straight up the hill towards another metal gate. As you walk up towards this gate, a large grassed mound, King Henry's Mound, will be on your left-hand side. Take some time to walk up here and enjoy the amazing views.
The largest of the royal parks in London, Richmond Park is famous for its deer, which 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. King Henrys Mound is one of the highest places in London. On a clear day, you can see St Paul's Cathedral, 10 miles (15km) away. Isabella Plantation in the south-west corner of the park is designed to be of great interest throughout the seasons. The luscious ground cover and mature trees make it a great spot for wildlife.
Leave Pembroke Lodge Gardens through the gate at the top of the hill, turn right and walk along the shared surface, immediately passing a single-storey brick building. Carry on along the path, which will lead you through a car park, for about 0.9miles (1.4km) until you reach the crossroads, Ham Cross. After Ham Cross, take a narrow path to the left of the road (that runs parallel to a muddy track on the left). The path leads away from the road through ferns and woodland for about 0.6 miles (1km).
At the end of the path, you'll reach a road. Cross the road and follow the trodden path for a short distance, which leads to a tarmac road and some wooden gates (Ladderstile Gate) ahead. Take the path to the right, before the wooden gates, and follow the tall brick wall on left-hand side, though the woodland until you reach a road. Turn left at the road and leave the park through Kingston Gate.
Once through the gate, carry on straight ahead along Queens Road and take the third right into Tudor Road. Once you reach the crossroads, carry on straight into Elm Road. When the road begins to bend round to the right, take the turning on the left into Canbury Avenue. At the end of this road, turn right into Deacon Road and then left into Elm Road. Shortly after, turn right into Canbury Park Road. At the end of this road you'll reach the main road, Richmond Road. Turn left here and walk under the railway bridge. Once you've passed under the railway bridge, cross over the road and walk towards the entrance of Kingston Station.
End: Kingston Station, grid ref: TQ183695
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Hard
- Distance: 8 miles (13km)
- Time: 3 hours
- OS Map: Landranger 176; Explorer 161
Varied walk on gravel paths, up a steep hill, through muddy tracks and along quiet suburban roads. Due to the terrain, suitable shoes or boots for walking are recommended. Please note: this walk isn't suitable for dogs, as they're prohibited from entry to the King Henrys Mound area of Richmond Park.
- How to get here:
By foot: Walk begins at Kingston Station. The Thames Path passes main entrance to Ham House
By bike: National Cycle Network Route 4 passes alongside Kingston Station and near Ham House and Garden
By bus: Bus routes 65, 965, 213, 371, X26, 111, 411, 57, 71, 85, 131, 216, 285, K1, 481, 406, 418, 465, 671, 691, 281, K4, K2, K3. Alight at Kingston Station
By train: Walk begins at Kingston overland station
By boat/ferry: Hammerton Ferry: seasonal foot/bike ferry across the River Thames from Twickenham towpath (by Marble Hill House [English Heritage]) to Ham House and Garden
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