When we first moved to southwest London, several people asked us if we had been to “the amazing Bushy Park” yet. We were a little puzzled as though we had been to Bushy Park, we had only been to the playground and seen vast expanses of grass… Admittedly it is really lovely and it’s wonderful to see freely roaming deer here, but it seemed we must still be missing something!
Then we discovered the area around the Pheasantry Cafe, with gorgeous azaleas and darling ponds with little bridges over them. This woodland enclave of Bushy Park feels very special indeed, and it’s quite tucked away so you feel far from the hustle bustle of London, yet it’s still very close to London. Finally I understood about the “amazing Bushy Park”!
Bushy Park is actually one of London’s Royal Parks. Others include Richmond Park, Regents Park, and Hyde Park. Bushy Park is conveniently located right opposite Hampton Court, so you could potentially combine a visit to both in the same day.
There are always plenty of ducks bathing in the ponds here, enjoying the shade. We spotted a few friendly squirrels, and in the past we’ve seen little bunny rabbits too! My youngest was intrigued by a very tame squirrel he met.
Travelling to Bushy Park
Bushy Park is accessible by car (definitely get there early to park, on weekends). There’s a small sign to the Pheasantry cafe, from the main road (Chestnut Avenue) that runs through Bushy Park. Blink and you’ll miss it so keep your eyes peeled! Follow the sign which leads you down a drive towards the car park.
By train you could go to Teddington or Hampton Court or Hampton Wick train stations. It is a bit of a walk…so depending how you feel you might want to consider getting to the Pheasantry by bicycle, or getting a taxi from the station.
Eating and drinking
As usual we brought a little picnic with us, but my daughter was determined to try out the Pheasantry cafe too. Of course! It’s not a proper day out without buying something from the cafe…?!
The Pheasantry cafe itself has indoor and outdoor seating. They serve hot and cold food and drinks, including tuna/crayfish/egg mayonnaise sandwiches, pasta salads, pizza, chips, cakes, jelly and ice creams. The toilets are in the same building as the cafe and there is a baby changing room and disabled facilities.
The staff were very helpful, filling up my son’s water bottle for him which was much appreciated as he likes to drink a LOT of water!
Ball games and dogs aren’t allowed in the Pheasantry enclave but you can enjoy them in the rest of Bushy park.
In the main expanse of the park there’s a huge playground which is great for all ages, with a large sandpit. There’s a separate car park with a cafe stand, closer to this playground. There are decent toilet facilities located next to the playground. To find the car park look for the Diana fountain and you’ll see the car park entrance.
There is probably much more to explore than I’ve managed to cover this time, and I must add as well that there is a good Italian restaurant which backs onto Bushy Park, called Cafe La Fiamma.
If you enjoyed Bushy Park, you might like to visit Richmond Park. Check out my post on visiting Isabella Plantation, a gorgeous part of Richmond Park you’ll fall in love with. I’ve also written a post about Hampton Court and the Magic Garden, a great day out with the kids (or without!) Click on the link below to find out more and plan your visit.