It’s fair to say isolation and social distancing are dominating our lives – and it’s tough.
It’s easy to spend day after day stuck inside and barely moving anywhere further than your bed and the sofa.
Getting out and about – whether that be a leisurely stroll, jog, 5km run, half-marathon attempt or just walking the dog – is a helpful way to either pass the time or take some pressure off the stressful moments isolation can bring.
If you’re a fitness freak, or just looking to get an hour to yourself in the outdoor world, take a look at SWL’s guide about where it is best to exercise in the Richmond area, including maps, area descriptions and photographs…
Address (Richmond Gate): Sawyers’ Hill TW10 5HU
The obvious place to turn to is Richmond Park, London’s largest Royal Park spanning 2,500 acres of green land. Here you get to walk and exercise among wild deer whilst taking in some brilliant back drops.
What makes Richmond Park the ideal place to exercise is the lack of cars and cyclists around, with all gates to the park shut for vehicles, while cyclists who are not key workers or under the age of 12 have been banned from bringing their bikes in.
In fact, the only vehicles you are likely to see in Richmond Park are police cars who are patrolling the area to check for unauthorised cyclists.
We are still getting cyclists using #RichmondPark for their exercise, often telling us they didn’t see the sign or thought it meant “no cycling through the gate”. Hopefully these new signs should do the trick. Key workers & children 12 or under are still authorised pic.twitter.com/Ucmvd2XfhG— Royal Parks Police (@MPSRoyal_Parks) April 28, 2020
It means you can enter via the pedestrian gates and run or walk down either the public footpaths or even on the road itself to take in the view.
Address (Towpath begins): Chiswick Bridge TW9 4EN
Hidden away in the parks and green spaces of south-west London is the Thames Path which runs directly along the riverbank and is a must-see area on a lovely spring day.
A direct towpath runs from Chiswick Bridge to Richmond city centre, lasting around four-and-a-half miles. It passes scenic areas such as Kew Gardens and Syon House and is the perfect place if you want to run, walk or cycle in a straight line and not want to worry about where you end up.
The only downside to the path is the number of cyclists you encounter, as the bicycle ban in Richmond Park means cyclists often turn to the towpath to get their fix.
Address: Richmond Hill, TW10 6RH
Near the point where the Thames Path ends, lies Terrace Gardens, which is located in between Richmond town centre and the gate at Richmond Park.
While, at first, the gardens appear to be an area which is more suited to a leisurely stroll, it is a useful space if you want to practice some uphill running.
So if you’re missing hiking or jogging in the mountains, this area might be the place for you.
Address: Richmond, TW10 6UY
Directly opposite Terrace Gardens lies Petersham Meadows, another large area of green space which runs along the riverbank. The area has both public footpaths and paths etched out in the grass so you have a choice of what ground to run or walk on.
On a warm or clear day, the scenic views can be sensational. If you’re heading towards Richmond city centre, you have the river on your left with amazing backdrops of the Petersham Hotel and the Richmond RSPCA on the horizon.
And if you’re lucky, the resident cows who live on the Meadows could join you on your run or walk for a short period of time.
If you are heading in the other direction, then you can continue down the Thames towpath towards Ham, Twickenham and Teddington.
Address: Church Road, SW15 0DQ
Away from the Richmond area lies Barnes Green which is just off Church Road and Station Road in SW15.
The space is a handy area to exercise as it is located directly in the town centre so you can do any vital supermarket shopping either before or after you work out.
The Green contains a scenic pond with benches where you can relax for a moment and watch the ducks, while there is also a useful path which connects Barnes Green to Barnes Common, should you want to take your work out further.
Address: Enmore Gardens, SW14 8RF
Located just a stone’s throw away from Richmond Park lies Palewell Park in Sheen. The large green space is normally a popular area for children due to its several football pitches, tennis courts and play area.
But with the playground now shut and football pitches vacated, it leaves plenty of unused space for residents to enjoy. At the far side of the park is a stream, which runs next to a secret path which leads towards Richmond Park’s Roehampton Gate, in case you want to take your period of exercise any further.
Are you worried about being too close to other people outdoors? We found this cool Spotify playlist to accompany you on your exercise trip with those all-important reminders to stay two meters away.
Have you been on these paths or gardens and enjoyed your time in the outdoors? Do you know of any other hidden spots where you can enjoy a few minutes to yourself?
Let us know by commenting below or on social media by including the hasthtag #SWLExercise and don’t forget to include photos!