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Teddington - A riverside community in the environs of Twickenham in south west London, Teddington is a genuinely nice, mainly residential place to work and play.
This is a quiet, suburban and very green area of London, close to the tourist attractions of popular Richmond, Heathrow Airport, and the stockbroker belt countryside of Middlesex and Surrey.
The area’s big attraction is Hampton Court Palace (East Moseley, 0870 752 7777, www.hrp.org.uk/hamptoncourtpalace), built for Henry VIII’s favourite archbishop Cardinal Wosley in the 16th century, and a much-loved masterpiece of Baroque and Tudor grandeur. King William III wanted the palace to rival Versailles in its splendour, and the Christopher Wren-designed courtyards, lavish art galleries and gorgeous 60 acre gardens – replete with a must-visit maze – certainly bloodied the nose of the French royals’ favourite haunt in an age when England was at near-constant war with its neighbours across the channel.
William III actually died of injuries sustained in Hampton Court Park after falling from a horse, and Henry VIII discovered the infidelity of his fifth of six wives, Catherine Howard, here; she was dragged screaming from the palace and according to legend, she still stalks the corridors to this day. It’s rich historical titbets, together with the undoubtedly palatial surroundings and events like the Hampton Court Festival (June, www.hamptoncourtfestival.com) and the annual Flower Show (July, www.rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourt) that make the palace such a big draw.
Teddington’s Bushy Park lies just north of Hampton Court and is a perfect spot for a picnic, with lots of native deer and a beautiful rural character – it’s also the second largest of Lon don’s Royal parks, a couple of thousand acres smaller than Richmond Park but none the worse for that.
Teddington Lock stretches 200m long, with 3 locks one small skiff lock, one conventional launch lock and a very large barge lock with gates in the middle allowing it to operate in two sizes. The lock is the longest on the River Thames. The lock was the location for the Monty Pythons Fish-Slapping Dance sketch.
There is an abundance of good restaurants and bars by the river in the centre of Teddington, whilst nearby Twickenham and Richmond have outstanding shopping facilities
Twickenham Rugby Stadium, (Rugby Road, 0870 405 2000, www.rfu.com), is the home of the national team.
Trains connect to Waterloo around six times an hour from Teddington Rail Station, in Zone 6.
|Richmond Station||4||District||4.65 miles|
|Hounslow East Station||4||Piccadilly||5.30 miles|
|Hounslow Station||4||Piccadilly||5.32 miles|
|Osterley Station||4||Piccadilly||6.03 miles|
|Hounslow West Station||5||Piccadilly||6.18 miles|
|Fulwell Station||1.31 miles|
|Hampton Wick Station||2.13 miles|
|Kingston Station||2.79 miles|
|Hampton Court Station||2.88 miles|
|Hampton Station||2.96 miles|