Marble Hill House

Historic Building in Richmond, Kew & Hampton Court

An 18th-century Palladian peach conceived as an idyllic escape from the hurly-burly of city life, this majestic love nest was originally built for George II’s mistress Henrietta Howard and later occupied by Mrs Fitzherbert, the secret wife of George IV. The Georgian interior contains some astonishing flourishes, including the hand-painted Chinese wallpaper in the dining parlour and some delectable furniture. Entrance is only possible on one of the 90-minute guided tours, but you are free to visit the 26-hectare park.

The poet Alexander Pope had a hand in designing the park (containing an ice house and a grotto), which stretches leisurely down to the Thames. In 2017 archaeologists were beginning work on restoring the gardens that Henrietta Howard created in a project expected to last two years.

To get here from St Margaret’s station, turn right along St Margaret’s Rd, then take the right fork along Crown Rd and turn left along Richmond Rd. Turn right along Beaufort Rd and walk across Marble Hill Park to the house. It is also easily accessible by pedestrian ferry from Ham House. It’s a 25-minute walk from Richmond station.