May 7, 2024

Take me to the River

Local hot spots to enjoy along the water this summer.

There’s something refreshing about being near the water that releases a sense of calm, a slower pace, a chance to reset. With the weather warming up, what better way to soak up all that goodness with a day along the river. This picturesque part of the Thames is a hub of activity; from river cruises to cocktails, paddle boarding and live music you’re guaranteed a good day – or night – OUT! We’ve captured some of the best bits for you to explore and enjoy, starting from Hampton Court and Molesey, down to Kingston and Richmond, there’s plenty to discover.

Beautiful blooms

Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.
Whether you’re new to gardening or a botanical boss, there’s lots to enjoy at the world’s largest flower show. 
2nd – 7th July.

Riverside overnight stay

The Mitre Hotel, Hampton Court.
Treat yourself to a break in this relaxed boutique hotel. Book directly and receive complimentary tickets to Hampton Court Palace and a glass of wine on arrival.

G&T with a view

Riverside Brasserie and Terrace, The Mitre.
The water, the boats, the people, views of the Palace, this setting ticks a lot of boxes for that ice cold G&T. Make it authentic with a Six Wives G&T from Hampton Court Gin.

Try a new water sport 

Hampton Court Paddle Sports.
Always wanted to have a go at paddle boarding? Fancy hiring a kayak for the day? Or how about a paddle to the pub?! Use that annual leave for a day on the water. Available for hire, courses or lessons.

Lunch with the family

Harts Boatyard
Get the family together and enjoy a relaxed lunch with riverside views.

Brunch and cocktails

Bag your spot on the terrace for laid back island vibes and sunshine. Ask for the chicken & waffle on the brunch menu – you wont regret it!

Recline and read a book 

Yes you can walk/run/cycle but why not take your latest read down to the river, find that perfect grassy spot or recline on a bench and zone out for a couple of hours. Bliss.

Pit stop coffee and cake

Ginger Bees Café.
The perfect spot for a refuel. Take a seat, or grab and go. 

Award winning green space 

Queens Promenade.
Keep the kids entertained walking along the bamboo woodland trail, relax in the sensory garden and lookout for the upcoming Smile of Sunflowers…!

River cruise 

Turks Launches.
Hop on, sit back and enjoy a scenic cruise along the river. Daily trips run from Hampton Court, Kingston and Richmond. Check out their timetable online.

Riverside ice cream 

look out for ‘Endurance’, the riverside boat along Queens Promenade that will serve you (and your dog!) ice cream. Available at weekends, Fri-Sun throughout July and August.

Walking the dog… and children (!) 

Barge Walk.
Start at Kingston bridge and get everyone to burn off some steam walking/running/cycling along the tow path towards Hampton Court. Don’t forget the snacks!

People watching 

Woody’s Bar and Kitchen.
This independent riverside bar and kitchen is the perfect spot to sit back, relax and watch the world go by on this bustling stretch of the river.
Check out their legendary frozen margaritas!

Picnics and hang outs 

Canbury Gardens.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the town and enjoy this green space along the river.
With a playground, tennis courts and the Canbury Secret Café, there’s something to keep everyone happy! 

Live music

Canbury Gardens Bandstand.
A beautiful, relaxed setting to enjoy a live concert every Sunday afternoon between May and September. First concert starts 12th May.

Impressive first date 

Want to really push the boat out for that special someone? Be your own captain and hire a private boat. Take a picnic and spend quality time getting to know each other while enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds of the river. It’s a match.

Live sport

Kingston regatta.
There’s nothing better than watching a sport live, especially when you can get close to the action and soak up the energy and excitement from the crowds. With 320 races across two days this is going to be an event not to miss! 13th and 14th July. 

Water top dining

Peggy Jean, Riverside Green.
Situated on Richmond riverside, this sunset hotspot is a popular destination for brunch, drinks and seasonal small plates, plus a brand new menu for summer ’24.

Night out with friends

Bone Idyll.
Grab your mates and head to this riverside bar which prides itself on small batch spirits and cocktails.
Open ‘til late Fri and Sat.

River run 

The Anglers, Teddington Lock.
Pop in to The Anglers for a run along the river and
earn your free pint on return. Every Thursday at 7pm.

Illustration by Clare Mallison

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