Wimbledon to Richmond
11 December 2021. Fifteen of us gathered on a chilly morning at Wimbledon station to make our way to Wimbledon Common via the Old Village (one more joined later in Richmond Park). We entered the Common just behind the War Memorial at Parkside and started along the Memorial Ride through woods before joining Inner Windmill Road leading to the Windmill. We had to plough through some very muddy sections but luckily no one fell over. The Wimbledon Windmill which is now a museum is the last remaining hollow post flour mill in the country. The Mill was built in 1817 and closed in 1864 –https://www.wimbledonwindmill.org.uk/history. Alas, the museum is still closed to the public due to Covid.
We picked up our route behind the Mill complex going downhill and across a golf course before making our way through Queensmere woods with a small pond.
Eventually, the path followed along playing fields before reaching Beverly Brook. Keeping the Brook to our left we soon exited Wimbledon Common to cross over the A3 to the Robin Hood Gate, Richmond Park. After crossing a small car park, we made our way onto a wide grassy path which took us to the Pen Ponds
We were accompanied for much of the way by the cacophony of noise from the parakeets of which there are plenty. Not long after we had come away from the ponds we branched off left on to a path leading us passed the Queen Elizabeth Plantation through Sidmouth Wood. Pembroke Lodge with its beautiful grounds, where we stopped for lunch, was soon within reach. Pembroke Lodge is a Grade II listed Georgian Mansion located on the highest point in Richmond Park and it affords lovely views from their terrace and garden in good weather.
However, for us the weather had turned less favourable with a slight drizzle, so not much of a view, hence we ended up in the rooms of The Butler’s Pantry, some lunched there and others, who had their picnic outside, joined for a hot drink. Luckily, it wasn’t as busy as I had expected so we had no problem getting tables – a most welcome rest.
By the time we left Pembroke Lodge there were now 12 walkers. Just to reassure you, I didn’t lose anyone along the way, a few had decided to drop out early. The rest of us negotiated a steepish downhill to Petersham Road, where we said goodbye to one other walker taking the bus. We then passed St. Peter’s Parish church where the grave of Captain George Vancouver and other Commonwealth War graves can be found. After crossing the Common we joined the River Thames and enjoyed strolling along the river before turning off into Old Palace Lane, then walked to Richmond Common via the Old Palace Yard, passed the Richmond Theatre before turning off into an alley way leading us to the station – a pleasant route back avoiding the busy shopping streets and pavements.
If interested this link gives information about Trumpeter’s House in the Old Palace Yard https://www.richmond.gov.uk/media/6326/local_history_trumpeters_house.pdf
Thanks to Christine M and Sigrid for photos – Sigrid