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Sim has lived in Hampton, part of the London Borough of Richmond for 10 years, after moving from Clapham when starting her family. She enjoys its village feel, while being only a 40-minute train journey from the centre of London.
From Bushey Park to the Hampton outdoor pool, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Hampton. Sim has kindly shared her top recommendations of outdoor spaces, places to visit and where to eat in Hampton.
Kempton Steam is home to the world's largest working triple-expansion steam engine. Once a month the steam museum is open to the public and it does not disappoint. Nothing will prepare you for the breath-taking sight of the triple-expansion steam pumping engine in action. At 62 feet high, and weighing 1,000 tons, the engine is the size of a block of flats and is housed in two beautiful Art Deco buildings. The museum also has its own 'mini' railway which offers short rides, plus special themed events throughout the year including Halloween and Christmas. Sadly the museum is closed for the remainder 2020, so this is one for 2021.
Hampton Court Palace was one of King Henry VIII's most favoured residences and is one of only two surviving palaces out of the many the king owned. As well as the Palace itself and its gardens, other points of interest for visitors include the celebrated maze, the historic royal tennis court, and the huge grape vine. The Palace's Home Park is the site of the annual Hampton Court Palace Festival and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. For young families the Magic Garden is an absolute must. Prepare to meet mysterious beasts, storm the battlements and discover the secret palace grotto.
I love Hampton's plentiful green spaces and being so close to the Thames. I reckon if you can't live by the sea, the river is a good alternative!
The Hampton open air pool was built in 1922 and has two pools, gym facilities, fitness studio and cafeteria. The pool is open 365 days a year, so you can even go swimming on Christmas day! Book early, it's always a sell-out. The lido really comes to life in the Summer when you can spend the day picnicking on the lawns and dipping in and out of the water and in July the pool hosts a series of open-air concerts.
At 1,100 acres Bushy Park is the 2nd largest Royal Park after Richmond. When Henry VIII took over Hampton Court Palace in 1529, the King named three parks that make up modern-day Bushy Park: Hare Warren, Middle Park and Bushy Park and established them as deer hunting parks. The parks are still home to herds of red and fallow deer which roam freely throughout the park grounds. It also has fishing and model boating ponds, horse rides, children's playgrounds and wildlife conservation areas (The Pheasantry). The original Parkrun began in Bushy Park in 2004 and continues to attract over 1500 runners every week. The view from Teddington Gate provides the most striking view of the Avenue, with the Arethusa 'Diana' Fountain and the Banqueting Hall, both of which provided a fantastic backdrop to the London 2012 cycling road race and time trials.
Joanna and her team at Cake Box are here to advise and supply you with the best tools and equipment to suit your sugarcraft needs. You can also learn how to use them in their regular sugarcraft classes and free demonstrations. The Cake Box birthday parties are also a great idea for children or adults and come with freshly baked cakes and biscuits, and their own blend of tea, all served on vintage china.
The menu at this family run Italian restaurant Plenty is just delicious! Whether you're looking for a light lunch, brunch or dinner, Tanya and her family know how to get the best out of local ingredients and bring a taste of the Mediterranean to Hampton. Sim recommends the aubergine parmigiana, lasagne, risotto flan and tiramisu.
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