Bushy Park (c) John Thaxter
Bushy Park (c) John Thaxter
The double-row of enormous 274 chestnut trees planted by Christopher Wren strike the only formal note in the otherwise delightfully informal Bushy Park, located just to the north of Hampton Court Palace.

Bushy Park is the second largest of the royal parks, after Richmond Park, and covers almost 1100 acres (450 hectares). The site was settled as early as the Bronze Age, and Cardinal Wolsey enclosed the park when he built Hampton Court Palace, but it was left to Charles I to make the most of this site. Hampton Court Palace suffered from a chronic lack of water, and Charles was inspired to suggest that that an artificial river in the park might make a suitable catchment for water to supply the palace.
Nicholas Lane took on the task of creating the artificial river (1633-1639), which stretches for over 19 km. Longford River took 9 months to create, and was built entirely by hand at a total cost of over �4000.

We've mentioned Wren's chestnut avenue; this mile long row of trees provides a formal approach to William and Mary's palace at Hampton Court. The single row of chestnuts are bounded by four rows of lime trees.

The war at Bushy Park

During both the first and second World Wars the park was given over to agriculture in an attempt to provide food for the troops. Convalescent Canadian soldiers were housed at Upper Lodge, and the presence of the Canadians is commemorated by the totem pole and the Canadian Glade in the Woodland Gardens. During WWII the park was used as the base for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) in the planning of the D-Day invasions,

Near the Woodland Gardens are extensive traces of medieval field systems, some of the finest remains in this region.

Wildlife abound in Bushy Park. Commonly seen species include red and fallow deer; sandpipers, herons; woodpeckers; warblers, finches, tits, redwing thrushes; frogs, and toads.

Bushy Park maintains a History Room, staffed by volunteers, where visitors can investigate the long history of the park.

Contact

Bushy Park Office
The Stockyard
Bushy Park
Hampton Court Road
Hampton, Middlesex
TW12 2EJ
T. +44 (0)20 8979 1586
F. +44 (0)20 8941 8196
website
Rail: Teddington, Hampton Wick, Hampton Court