On Richmond Hill

View over London from Richmond Hill

The great thing about my travels this year has been the surprises found along the way. Most of these have resulted in posts on Sign of the Times, so I was pleased to find something more fitting for Veg Plotting this week.

This is the delightful view I found on Tuesday morning. It's from Richmond Hill looking over the River Thames and London towards Hampton Court and beyond, as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day. I was standing on Terrace Walk at the time, a broad traffic-free walkway which is Grade II* listed.

There are some fantastic interpretation boards at the spot, where I learned this view is protected by an Act of Parliament. It was under threat from development at the turn of the 19th century, so parliament was lobbied and eventually the Richmond Petersham and Ham Open Spaces Act was passed in 1902.

The land you can see in the photo's foreground is Terrace Field, a steep meadow which is cut for hay in September to allow the six spot burnet moth to complete its life cycle.

I like the message at the end of the first interpretation board I found:

Their example should inspire us to fight for
what is worth saving for future generations

Benches and terrace beds at Richmond's Terrace Gardens

Further along (when walking towards the centre of Richmond) are the Terrace Gardens which are filled with long flower borders at the top and lined with plenty of benches to stay and admire the view.

The scene from those benches includes plenty of sloping lawn with large beds of seasonal bedding in the Victorian style, plus specimen trees. I missed the rockery, rose garden and conservatory filled with tropical plants, but I saw enough to agree with myself that this was indeed a most pleasant spot.

Aphrodite aka 'Bulbous Betty'

However, I DID find the pond complete with its statue of Aphrodite by Allan Howe. She replaced the cast iron fountain in 1952, which was removed as part of the WWII war effort. She was launched to much furore at the time as she was considered to be in bad taste. She has the affectionate nickname 'Bulbous Betty', which reminds me of two famous statues I've seen in Dublin, 'The Floozy in the Jacuzzi' (Anna Livia monument) and the 'Tart with the Cart' (Molly Mallone).

She ensured I continued along my way to Richmond station with a smile on my face.

What surprises have you met on your travels this year?

A final look through the trees towards the river
A pause for a final look before going on my way


  1. This is where I used to go for a walk in my lunch hour, up to the view (which hasn't changed much since Turner painted it), down through the gardens, and back into town. It is lovely. Glad you got to see it in sunshine.

    1. Oh lucky you Helen! I'm about to go on my daily walk - most humdrum compared to yours. This is the kind of walk I say I'd like to have on my doorstep when anyone asks my criteria for moving elsewhere - a fabulous view and/or by the sea are top of my list.

  2. A very pretty view! I am glad it was saved.
    I like the benches with inscription, too
    Hope you are having a great week!

    1. I am thanks, Lea :) Hope you had a grand July 4th celebration!

  3. Replies
    1. It was most inviting - one of those glad to be alive views :)

    2. thank you - we did enjoy our visit there! Blog post with a link to you next week.

    3. I'll look forward to that Diana, what a shame I missed you though!

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  5. I love that terrace view of garden seats and plantings but it's great that the longer view has been protected. Gosh, you've got me thinking now, surprises on my travels?

    Ah... it would have to be the tulip planting under the cherry trees at Alnwick garden... I was expecting Alliums! Although disappointed, I loved this look too and took many photos - coming soon ;-)

  6. Thanks Shirley, it was a grand discovery. I've only visited Alnwick in the summer. Springtime does sound special, so I look forward to your post :)


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