London’s Wings – Bushy Park

Stretching Out in London

London. A vast metropolis with skyscrapers, a spaghetti-tangled underground system and arguably more than four international airports, not to mention a parking system so complex that even residents need a helpline.

Teddington Gate – One Entrance to Bushy Park

Yet the hangover of history has left this global city with wide open spaces and grassy knolls. Over the years, old royal hunting grounds have become free spaces where deer roam, children fly kites and families throw bread for the birds.

Bushy Park is one such place, in the depths of Zone 6. As the second largest royal park (Richmond Park takes the crown) its sprawling size complements both the expanse of neighbouring Hampton Court Palace and the matrimonial list of former resident, Henry VIII.

Today, Bushy Park gives frazzled commuters (plus wanderers like me) a chance to get their breath back. Instead of glass and concrete, chestnut trees and mistletoe make up the skyline. Instead of traffic wardens, stocky Red Deer hide in the grass and instead of crowded underground platforms, open water teems with swans, kingfishers, woodpeckers and a whole host of birds that I’ll never learn how to identify.

Red Deer: Camouflage & a Zoom Lens

Before its regal period, Bushy Park was a Bronze Age burial ground. During the First World War, it became a vegetable garden for soldiers and by the time the second war arrived, the Allied Expeditionary Forces stationed their Supreme Headquarters here. Apparently, General Eisenhower didn’t fancy the commute to central London, either.

London’s Bushy Park

Regal Bushy Park, London

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4 Responses to London’s Wings – Bushy Park

  1. ciki (mei) March 16, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    never seen a red deer before! it actually paused for you to take a pic.. lucky you:) I only ever hung out at Hyde park when i studied in London. Too bad i missed my chance checking out Bushy park back then. but i will certainly keep it in mind on my next trip there, thank you for your post!

  2. Abi March 19, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    I’m a big fan of Hyde Park as well – and it’s much more central than Bushy Park. The Red Deer lurk in the grass and are quite imposing. I always get the impression that if I upset them they’ll charge straight at me, whereas the bambi-like Fallow Deer run away.

  3. Heather on her travels March 28, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    I know Richmond park pretty well as I grew up there, but not Bushey park so well – it’s nice to see the deer in the park

    • Abi March 30, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

      Small world. I used to live near the edge of Richmond Park as well and absolutely loved cycling through it, past all the deer. It’s much hillier though…

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