There are plenty of reasons why you should pay a visit to London’s largest and loveliest Royal Park. A sensational stretch of woodland trails and wild deer; Richmond Park makes travelling the entire breadth of the District Line well worth it. And even more so when you have the option of ditching the walking boots and exploring the park in true style: horse-drawn carriage. That’s right, Richmond Park is injecting some festive magic into the winter season in the form of some majestic Shire horses and a big old fancy carriage.
You’ll be welcomed at Holly Lodge with some refreshments before being transported on a magical hour-long journey through the park. Snuggle up under a cosy blanket as you get to watch the wildlife from the best seat in the house, and revel in the sounds of hoofs and bells, whilst indulging in a mince pie and some sloe gin.
The carriage ride will be followed by a unique behind-the-scenes visit to the stables to learn more about the gentle giants that live there. The Shire horses – the last working herd in London – live in Richmond Park year round, and spend their time helping out with odd jobs in the park. They’re looked after by Operation Centaur, who may sound like they’re a shadowy organisation dedicated to taking over the world, but in fact prefer to promote happy human-horse co-operation and do charity work, like giving local kids some equine experience. Isn’t that lovely?
So how much is it to roll through Richmond like the princess you are? Well, you’ll have to part with a few crown jewels for the privilege. Booking one of these exclusive carriages will set you back a whopping £450. The carriage does seat up to six people, though – so if you gather a herd of six; you’ll only be paying £75 a head. Bargain.
Rides will be running on selected dates between November and January – including Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Find out more and book your carriage ride here.