International Travel — U.K.
Richmond Park Isabella Plantation
Isabella Plantation @ Richmond Park
Richmond Park, London's largest Royal Park, is famous for its large herds of roaming deer (around 650 of 'em at last count). But did you know that it is also home to Isabella Plantation, one of London's best kept secrets?
The hidden garden is actually located just a stone's throw away from the herds of grazing deer on the adjacent field. Described as an "ornamental woodland garden," the wildlife habitat is protected from the deer within a fenced area. Filled with exotic flowering plants, shrubs, trees, streams, ponds, butterflies, dragonflies, and birds, Isabella Plantation is a beautiful, relaxing place to stroll and be with nature.
Visitors must walk through the wrought-iron "Isabella Plantation" gates to enter the magical garden oasis. Stepping stones and garden paths lead to one of our favorite spots — Thomson's Pond, surrounded by weeping willows and filled with water lilies. Depending on the time of year you visit, there's always something new to see. It's a real treat for garden lovers and bird-watchers alike!
The habitat's resident bird species include the Redpoll, Bullfinch, Woodpecker, Sparrow Hawk and Tawny Owl. See water fowl too — Pintail, Tufted Duck, Pochard, and Mandarin Duck.
What To See When
During Spring, the garden is filled with Camellias, Magnolias, Daffodils and Bluebells. From late April, Azaleas (the garden has 15 known varieties of them) and Rhododendrons (50 different species) are flowering. Visiting birds during the spring include the Wood Warbler, Redstart and Whitethroat. It's no wonder that this is one of the most popular times of the year to visit Isabella Plantation.
Summer months are also a great time to stroll through the garden — see Japanese Irises and Day Lilies. Visiting birds during summer months include the Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher.
Fall (autumn) colors are spectacular — Acer trees' leaves are turning a beautiful shade of red. The Fall also brings Guelder Rose, Rowan and Spindle trees filled with berries.
Bird-watchers may catch a glimpse of Green Sandpipers.
Even in the winter, there's plenty of color at Isabella Plantation — early Camellias (single and double blooms in white, pink and reds) and Rhododendron, Mahonia, winter-flowering Heathers and Stinking Hellebore. Bundle up warm and enjoy being in the brisk outdoors. Bird-watchers may see Siskin and Reed Bunting during the winter months.
Isabella Plantation Guided Walks
and Garden Walks
Enjoy complimentary 90-minute Guided Walks and Garden Walks around Isabella Plantation throughout the year.
Richmond Park is open year-round
Admission to Isabella Plantation (and Richmond Park) is free.
Directions Richmond Park has six parking areas, all clearly marked on the maps. Visit Isabella Plantation website for more detailed info on parking and public transportation.
NOTE: No parking is allowed on the roads or grassland. There is a disabled-badge-holders only car park for the Isabella Plantation, access via Ham Cross. Other visitors should use the Broomfield Hill car park.