About a 30-minute train ride from central London, the town of Richmond wasn’t on most Americans’ radar until “Ted Lasso” ascended to pop culture prominence. The hit Apple TV+ series is set and partly filmed there, providing viewers plenty of shots of cobblestone paths, cozy lanes filled with colorful shops and beautiful green spaces.
On a recent trip to London, I decided to explore the idyllic-looking destination for myself. The journey was an easy Overground train ride from Camden Town, where I was staying at my friend’s flat. Upon arriving at Richmond Station on a Tuesday morning, I saw signs advertising a “Ted Lasso” walking tour but otherwise just the ordinary flow of commuters and locals going about their day.
I opted to show myself around town and soon found it was even more charming than I’d imagined. To inspire more travelers to add Richmond to their U.K. itineraries, I’ve compiled my favorite bites, activities and more below.
First Things First, The ‘Ted Lasso’ Pub
Although I skipped the guided “Ted Lasso” tour offerings, I still wanted to see the most popular filming location ― the titular character’s local pub.
The walk from Richmond station (which also services the London Underground and National Rail systems for alternate access) brought me right down the high street, so I took my time, popping into several cute shops along the way.
The town also features a number of little lanes and charming alleys, including the one where Jason Sudeikis’ Ted Lasso lives as the coach of the fictional English Premier League soccer team, AFC Richmond. Paved Court, as the pedestrian street is called, is lined with small businesses, including several with photos of the show’s cast in the window and at least one selling AFC Richmond-branded souvenirs.
At the end of Paved Court, you arrive at The Prince’s Head, the 300-year-old pub that serves as the exterior for The Crown & Anchor on “Ted Lasso.” Although the pub’s interior scenes were primarily filmed on a soundstage, it’s clear the real-life location has embraced its TV fame, with AFC Richmond gear on display and by far more American tourist patrons than I saw anywhere else in Richmond.
The pub is right next to Richmond Green, a lovely park that viewers will also recognize from the show.
An Idyllic Stroll Along The Thames
Having gotten my “Ted Lasso” fix, I decided to walk the riverside path along the Thames. First, I grabbed hot chocolate from Knoops, a U.K. chain I’d been meaning to try. Delicious drink in hand, I made my way to the river and took a leisurely stroll along the path.
Lots of people were out and about going for walks, runs, bike rides and boat excursions, or just sitting along the water taking in the sunshine. Although I wasn’t terribly far from central London, it felt like spending a day out in the English countryside.
The Thames Path stretches for about 185 miles from the Cotswolds into the heart of London, and if I didn’t have a lunch reservation, I think I could have walked a significant chunk of it as I admired the plants and greenery, houseboats and historic estates.
Adding to the picturesque British vibes, a couple of rowing teams passed by at various points.
The Perfect Farm-Fresh Lunch
About half an hour into my walk, I turned off the riverside path and headed toward Petersham Nurseries. Part plant nursery, part home goods shop, part café and tearoom, it was one of the loveliest places I’ve ever been.
When I arrived for my noon reservation, the café was mostly empty, but given the quality of the food and atmosphere, I was not surprised to see the place quickly fill up over the course of my meal.
Petersham Nurseries’ eatery is known for its farm-fresh seasonal ingredients and “slow food” ethos, which prioritizes sustainability and local agriculture. In 2017, the Richmond gem opened a second restaurant and shop in London’s Covent Garden neighborhood, but I still recommend making the trip to the original location for the atmosphere.
I began my two-course prix fixe meal with a blood orange bellini and some absolutely delicious focaccia bread. Next came a perfect paccheri pasta with seasonal vegetables, and I finished with a fresh fish and citrus salad dish.
Needless to say, I highly recommend Petersham Nurseries for an amazing meal in Richmond, but I’ve also heard great things about Scott’s, Chez Lindsay, The Ivy Cafe and Chango Empanadas. And if you’re looking to fill your day with “Ted Lasso”-related stops, the Argentinian steakhouse Gaucho makes an appearance in the second season.
Royal Park Exploration
After my lunch, I was ready to do some more walking, so I opted to go to Richmond Park. It’s one of London’s eight official Royal Parks (which means they’re technically owned by the Crown), and it’s utterly massive.
I entered on the west side of the park and climbed up the hill to King Henry’s Mound, a scenic lookout point dating back centuries. The telescope at the top provides an unobstructed view of the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral ― pretty impressive considering the church is 10 miles away!
I continued up a little farther to Pembroke Lodge, a Georgian mansion that has been turned into a tearoom and popular wedding venue. It’s easy to see why people want to get married there. The panoramic views are even more spectacular.
Much like the Thames Path, I could have spent hours at Richmond Park, but I made do with the little taste I got. On a future visit, I’d love to walk more of the grounds and explore the beautiful garden spaces. There’s even a public golf course.
Visiting Richmond also provides the opportunity to check out the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew for more outdoor exploration.
A Historic Mansion Tour
From Richmond Park, I headed back down to the river and decided to continue a little farther along the path to Ham House. This historic mansion was built in 1610 and still contains many of its original furnishings and other items of interest.
In its prime, the house hosted royal visitors and other noble guests and was even expanded to add special state rooms for these VIPs. By the 1940s, however, the property had fallen into a state of neglect and was ultimately donated to the National Trust.
Other historic homes that are open to visitors in the area include the neo-Palladian villa Marble Hill House and the Palladian-villa-turned-public-art-gallery Orleans House Gallery, which are both just across the river from Ham House. Farther down, you’ll also find the Gothic Revival villa Strawberry Hill House.
After my Ham House visit, I popped into the lovely café on the property and grabbed a coffee before walking back along the river to Richmond station. If you want to extend your day in the Richmond area, you could also take a car (or plan an hourlong hike) to the iconic Hampton Court Palace, which I’ve visited separately in the past.
After experiencing the hustle and bustle of central London, a journey to the peaceful outer zones of the city offers a welcome respite. I’m grateful to “Ted Lasso” for introducing me to the town of Richmond ― and I hope the locals don’t mind seeing more Americans in the area!