Check out the many landmarks and points of interest on the Richmond Half Marathon course starting in Kew Gardens.
Just over 300 meters long, the broadwalk offers an adventure for the sense – with fresh fragrances, dazzling flowers beds and feathery grasses in a joyful display that evolves with the seasons.
Palm House is a remarkable indoor rainforest, home to tropical plants from some of the most threatened environments in the world. Many plants in this collection are endangered in the wild, some even extinct.
The cottage was built as a country retreat, used by the Royal family in the late 18th for resting and taking tea during walks in the gardens. Many exotic animals were kept in the paddocks, including cattle, tigers and even kangaroos.
Kew’s Pagoda was created in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta, the founder of the gardens. The structure has had withstood a lot of adversity in it’s time. During the second world war British bombers used the Pagoda as target practice, repair holes are still visible today.
Filled with 10,00 individual plants, this vast collection may help us find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, from climate change to loss of biodiversity or food security.
In Georgian times, the Kitchen Garden supplied members of the royal family living in Kew Palace. Today, the fruit and vegetables from the garden are used in Kew’s restaurant. Also, more unusual and experimental crops are grown in the gardens, as they may become an important source of food for the future as the climate becomes more unpredictable.
A visual tribute to Britain honeybees, surrounded by wildflowers, celebrating the environment that real bees need to thrive. The Hive’s mesh frame is constructed from 170,000 aluminium parts and 1,000 LED lights.
After exiting the gardens and start running down the towpath towards Richmond, on your right-handside over the river you can see Syon House. Syon House, is a beautiful house and home of the Duke of Northumberland for over 400 years. Syon House has a great history, being used a hospital during the First World War and sustaining damage during the Second World War, resulting in the house being opened to the public to cover maintenance costs.
Further down the towpath you will reach Richmond Bridge. The bridge was built in 1777 as a replacement for a ferry crossing which connected Richmond Town Center and Twickenham. The crossing is now the oldest in-use crossing of the River Thames and a great place to watch the sun go down post-race!
After passing the bridge, approx a mile later, you will see Richmond Hill on your lefthand side. Richmond Hill offers the only view in England that is protected by an Act of Parliament and was also used by Seb Coe when training for the 1984 Olympics. Thankfully you do not run up it!
Continuing along the towpath you will see the next crossing over the Thames. Teddington lock is the home to an array of wildlife including foxes, kingfishers, Egyptian geese, herons and even Chinese mitten crabs. Over 1.5 billion gallons of water pour over the weir per day!
On your way back to towards Richmond you will pass the Great Ham House. Built in 1610, Ham House is a piece of history royal history. Once home to Elizabeth Maitland, Duchess of Lauderale, the house is now managed by the National Trust and welcomes visitors to view its many intriguing features.
Old Deer Park was originally connected to Richmond Palace, deriving its name from the hunting park created by James I in 1604. The present area is only a small part of the former Deer Park, but it still belongs to the Crown. Old Deer Park is the finish of the Richmond Half Marathon where a music festival awaits.