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The London borough of Richmond upon Thames has it all – proximity to the capital, but also acres of green space (the borough is roughly half parkland) and a villagey feel that can make you feel a million miles away from the urban sprawl. Several beautiful nature spots fall within the boundaries of the borough, including the idyllic Kew Gardens and Richmond Park, as well as the historic Hampton Court Palace (once home to Henry the VIII) and the WWT Wetlands Centre, where wildfowl and various other species flourish.
With a hire car at your disposal, the varied delights of Richmond upon Thames become easily accessible, as well as adventures further afield to locations such as Windsor, where you can explore Windsor Castle (one of the Queen’s royal residencies and an impressive spectacle) and Ascot, where the annual horse races draw thousands of punters and have been a fixture of the society ‘summer season’ for centuries.
Fly into Heathrow airport and Richmond upon Thames is just a half-hour drive away down the M3 motorway.
With a hire car other destinations are within easy reach, such as Wimbledon (30 minutes’ drive away), home to the world-famous annual tennis championships or of course London itself, which should take just 45 minutes to reach in the car.
Choose from a wide selection of hire car providers in Richmond upon Thames to suit every budget and requirement, from Greenmotion and Easirent to Avis and Enterprise.
Richmond Park is the largest of London’s royal parks, created by Charles I in the 17th century as a place to breed deer. The deer still populate the park, which is also home to several beautiful period buildings including the Grade I-listed White Lodge, home of the Royal Ballet School, as well as Pembroke Lodge, where 19th century prime minister Lord John Russell used to live. Kew Gardens is also a must-see for nature lovers, where you can wander among more than 30,000 different kinds of plants and navigate an 18-metre high treetop walkway.
Further afield, your hire car can take you to the Surrey Hills (a 50-minute drive), where you can enjoy spectacular views over the whole of London, as well as the historic town of Windsor, where kids will no doubt enjoy a trip to Legoland. The seaside town of Portsmouth is also within easy reach, an hour and 20 minutes down the motorway, where you can travel to the top of the Spinnaker tower – a 170-metre installation inspired by the shape of a boat sail, harking back to the city’s history as a naval port. The city of Bristol is also just a two-hour drive, where you can wander the streets in search of works by graffiti artist Banksy, who is thought to hail from the area.
The national UK speed limit is set to 60mph on single-carriageway roads and 70mph on dual carriageways and motorways. British cars drive on the left-hand side, with the steering wheel positioned on the right of the car. Roundabouts appear frequently on British roads so remember to give way to the right to all traffic on a roundabout.
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