Lifestyle: Autumn Wanders in Richmond Park

I do love London, love working in the bright lights of the City. But I have discovered that I really, really miss wide open spaces, fields, woods, and long walks. One of my favourite things to do on a weekend is head out and explore, and there’s something so magical about doing so at this time of year; pulling on thick socks and boots, snuggling up in coats, donning scarves, hats, gloves. You can wander hand-in-hand without getting sweaty, you get a beautiful rosy glow to your complexion without spending 10 minutes at the mirror with blusher.

 photo Richmond Park October 2016 46_zpscco5gu7v.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 45_zpszvs9i14e.jpgLuckily our flat right now is perfectly located. 10 minutes stroll (across the Thames, I marvel every day at the beauty of my short walking commute) to the nearest Tube station which takes us both conveniently to where we need to be each morning. But best of all? It’s just a short drive to Richmond Park. In fact, it takes longer to drive across the park than it does for us to get there.

We headed over there a few weeks ago, back at the beginning of the month when the weather couldn’t quite decide between Summer or Autumn. I kept removing my jumper, putting it back on, then moaning it was too warm again. First world problems, right?!

 photo Richmond Park October 2016 40_zpshbhcw1tw.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 35_zpssiztpny3.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 34_zps26i1dom5.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 33_zpsfeqpbtz5.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 30_zpsljgmpaig.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 29_zpsgnce7j88.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 2_zpsmkytrt2v.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 12_zpsvvf5zdmb.jpgI used the opportunity to finally (finally!) play about with the manual settings on my camera. I’m still very much ‘playing’, with no real clue as to what I am doing. Whilst I wish differently, I don’t find anything too ‘creative’ comes particularly easily to me (give me some numbers any day!) but I don’t think I’ve done too badly here. Sure, there’s some over-exposure and a bit of blurriness, but on the whole not bad for a first attempt. Now to keep up the courage and not slip back into auto-mode…

 photo Richmond Park October 2016 37_zpslbjyyleh.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 36_zpsghfxejp2.jpgAs my parents had come down to visit, they kindly brought with them a huge picnic. Lots of goodies – quiche, picnic eggs (guilty pleasure!), sausage rolls, pate, baguette, cheeses…we were stuffed before we could even think about pudding! It did mean that we just had to go on a long walk, making the most of the beautiful parkland and fresh air… And the best bit about them visiting (the fact that we could keep the leftover picnic food was a close contender!) – they brought the dog! Having a dog was something I missed hugely whilst at university, but moving out properly has made it seem like a huge deal. I pretty much fall on the floor to play with every dog I meet (seriously, if anyone in SW has a dog they can lend me for a day, I’m yours!). So, so good to have doggy cuddles for a few hours.

 photo Richmond Park October 2016 32_zps5yrgdcaj.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 28_zpsf2g1fwph.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 27_zpsetm9xhvp.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 24_zpsyiz0ecfp.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 21_zpszidigzmz.jpg photo Richmond Park October 2016 20_zpsra2lrfws.jpgAlthough I’d visited Richmond Park at the height of summer last year, I think Autumn is where it is really at it’s most beautiful. The trees were just beginning to change when we visited, giving a teaser of what was to come. I only hope the leaves change colour just a bit earlier in two years, else our Autumn wedding is in danger of becoming a ‘late Summer’ wedding! I also couldn’t believe quite how close we got to the deer on this visit, even with an overexcited terrier (try as we might, he isn’t a fan of non-human/dog creatures, big or small!). The stags in particular were breathtaking, and definitely more than Instagram-worthy! Pretty much a perfect Autumnal afternoon…

Have you ever visited Richmond Park? Any recommendations for places to visit in London to get away from crowds?