Paris to London by Bike
Pedal from the Seine to the Themes following the Avenue Verte cycle route
One of Europe’s largest inland wetland projects, this 43-hectare centre run by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust was transformed from...
The Coat & Badge has gone for a tried and tested lounge-room approach (worn sofas, arm chairs, bare wood tables, secondhand books on...
This adorable cafe enjoys a divine setting within the elegant drawing room (the former Bishop's living room) at the rear of Fulham...
Within stumbling distance of the Thames, this summer home of the bishops of London from 704 to 1975 is an appealing blend of architectural styles immersed in beautiful gardens and, until 1924, when filled with rubble, enclosed by the longest moat in England. The oldest surviving palace chunk is the little red-brick Tudor gateway, while the main building dates from the mid-17th century, remodelled in the 19th century.
The lovely courtyard draws watercolourists on sunny days and the genteel drawing room cafe at the rear, looking out onto the gorgeous lawn, is a superlative spot for some carrot cake and a coffee. There’s also a pretty walled garden and, detached from the main house, a Tudor Revival chapel designed by Butterfield in 1866.
You can learn about the history of the palace and its inhabitants in the museum. Guided tours , usually take in the Great Hall, the Victorian chapel, Bishop Sherlock’s Room and the museum and last about 1¼ hours; private tours cost £8. There are also garden tours (£5); check the website for details on evening walks (for a nightfall perspective).
The surrounding land, once totalling almost 15 hectares but now reduced to just over five, forms Bishop’s Park , and consists of a shady promenade along the river, a bowling green, tennis courts, a rose garden, a cafe and even a paddling pond with fountain. Hiking around the long moat of the palace makes for an excellent walk, while summer sees a popular art fair and music festivals at the palace. Check the website for details of children's and adults' activities and events – including crowd-pleasing open-air summer film screenings and theatre – at the palace throughout the year.
Located by the Thames a short walk northwest of Putney Bridge, the palace can be easily reached from Putney Bridge underground station.