At over 1000 acres, Bushy Park is the second-largest of London’s eight Royal Parks. Lying just north of Hampton Court Palace in Richmond upon Thames, Bushy is famed for its mix of waterways, gardens, and roaming herds of red and fallow deer.
Bushy Park’s landscape is a patchwork quilt of English history spanning a millennium: you can see the remains of medieval farming systems, the legacy of a Tudor deer park, 17th century water gardens and decorative features representing the height of neoclassical taste, and traces of military camps that played remarkable roles in the World Wars.
This great expanse of low-lying land became a royal park in 1529 when it was given to King Henry VIII by his close adviser Cardinal Wolsey, along with Wolsey’s home – Hampton Court Palace. One of the park’s defining features is the Longford River, a twelve-mile canal created entirely by hand in the 1630s to ensure a steady water supply to Hampton Court. The river now looks like an organic part of the landscape and supports a wide variety of plants and animals. But it also enabled several stunning water features to be built, which give Bushy its distinctive character.
Look out for the spectacular Diana Fountain, a centrepiece of the mile-long Chestnut Avenue designed by Sir Christopher Wren, one of the world’s most celebrated architects. Visit the newly-restored Upper Lodge Water Gardens, a historic gem hidden away in the north of the park. See if you can spot some of the arresting birdlife, from kingfishers to kestrels. And enjoy a walk in the peaceful Woodland Gardens after fuelling up at the Pheasantry Café.
Explore the boxes below or menus above to learn more about Bushy Park’s captivating nature and history, as well as ways to get the most out of your visit.
Did You Know?
During the Second World War, part of Bushy Park became a US air base known as Camp Griffiss. It was from Bushy that the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force led by General Eisenhower planned the D-Day Landings. Find out more here.