- Travel and Places
Twickenham, West London, England
Twickenham and St. Margarets, West London
Twickenham is famous as the home of British rugby, the location of the international Rugby Stadium and Rugby Museum, but it is also an ancient town, which features in the Doomesday Book. It is just a mile from Richmond, over the bridge, or a slightly longer walk along the tow-path of the river. There is also a foot ferry from Ham House to the wonderful Marble Hill House and Park on the Twickenham side, near the Orleans House art gallery (free) There are also many good pubs and independent restaurants in Twickenham, near the river. Eel Pie Island across a small foot bridge and another free outdoor art gallery in the grounds of York House.
The beautiful Royal Kew Botanical Kew Gardens are also about 2 miles away. Wimbledon, the home of British Lawn Tennis is less than 10 miles away. Richmond Hill, with the best view in London, is also just 2 miles away.
Twickenham is also home to The Rt Hon Dr.Vince Cable the Business Secretary (known as "The Sage of Twickenham") one of the few politicians who warned of the impending Credit Crunch and has talked sense throughout the financial crisis. Now part of the Lib-Con coalition government.
Map of Twickenham - Map of St Margarets, Twickenham and Richmond
The old towns of Richmond and Twickenham sit on either side of the river and the much newer London "village" of St. Margarets was built in Victorian times at the half way point between the two railway stations.
Marble Hill House, Twickenham
Geogian, Palladian villa in Marble Hill Park
Marble Hill House, next to the river Thames in Twickenham, is a beautiful Geogian, Palladian villa in Marble Hill Park. It is now an English Heritage property, originally built for Henrietta Howard a mistress of King George II. The setting is wonderful, opposite Ham House, on the other side of the river and just a few miles from Hampton Court. The grounds are used for summer picnic concerts, but for the rest of the year the park is completely open to the public for free. Visiting the house is interesting and inexpensive with well restored interior, some restored furniture and also offers great views of this beautiful part of London.
Marble Hill House and park are a short walk from Twickenham and St. Margarets railway stations with links to Clapham Junction and Waterloo and Richmond underground station is just 1.5 miles away. There was a series of elegant villas along the Thames between Richmond and Hampton court, but only Marble Hill Remains intact. It is well restored and in a wonderful location next to the river.
York House, Twickenham
Views from York House across the Thames
York House belongs to Richmond Borough Council and is not open to the public, unlike Marble Hill, but it is a beautiful building with stunning grounds, which has been used as a film-set. The grounds are open to the public, for free, and are a good route to take to Twickenham riverside, over an old bridge. There is a huge fountain with ornate classical statues and lovely views across the river to Eel Pie Island. There are also tennis courts in the grounds, which can be rented by the hour.
View from York House (Sion Road)
Other Places Nearby
Marble Hill House and Park, Twickenham
Twickenham and Rugby Football Union
Twickenham is not the birthplace of Rugby: It was invented at Rugby School (in Rugby, Warwickshire, England), but Twickenham is the adopted home of Rugby Football Union, because this is the location of the international stadium, where many of the big matches are held, conveniently located for central London and Heathrow airport.
St. Margaret's Village sits between Twickenham and Richmond and was mostly built during the Victorian era on the site of St. Margaret's House, which was in Twickenham Park (which no longer exists). It was a convenient location for a railway station halfway between those serving its bigger neighbours.
St. Margarets claim to fame is that it was home to the painter, Turner (before the Victorian expansion) and his house is still there although not generally open to the public as it is a private residence. It is also home to Twickenham Studios. Some of Turner's famous paintings were painted from the Terrace at the top of Richmond Hill, just a mile or so away.
St. Margarets has a good selection of traditional pubs and restaurants.
Brula is the sister restaurant to La Buvette in Richmond (see the full review here: Richmond Restaurants)
The Turk's Head Pub in St. Margarets is also home to The Bear Cat Club: A comedy club featuring many famous names on the British comedy scene. It is an excellent club: small and intimate, packed into the small back room of the pub, but still hosting many of the big-names from television.