oasting London’s biggest park, a particularly glorious stretch of riverbank and top schools, living in Richmond is a no-brainer for families who can afford it, among them Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall who raised their four children in a 26-room Georgian mansion in the area, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who stayed with their six children while Jolie was filming in London.
Most Richmond residents have a better time of it than those super-glam couples, who split in 1999 and 2016 respectively – the area is repeatedly voted the happiest place to live in London.
Who lives there?
Richmond appeals mainly to couples and families, rather than younger sharers who like to be closer to work and nightlife, says Abi Gibbs, lettings director of Savills in Richmond.
There’s also a strong European contingent in the area thanks to the German School, which teaches the International Baccalaureate.
Parking in Richmond
A residents parking permit costs from £114.45 for a first car. Car tax band A permits are free of charge.
Crime in Richmond
Crime in the area is low compared to the rest of London, with six crimes per 1,000 residents.
The most common crimes are theft, harassment and vandalism.
Fitness clubs in Richmond
Pools on the Park is the local municipal leisure centre with indoor and outdoor pools, fitness classes and a gym.
Richmond Hill Health Club and Richmond Olympus are private options and there are also a branches of boutique fitness brands Digme, Barreworks and Bootcamp Pilates.
The area’s abundant green space also hosts two golf courses – Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club and the Richmond Golf Club.
Average cost of renting in Richmond
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Best Richmond streets to live on
The triangle between Richmond Hill and Queen’s Road has the most desirable streets for renting families with big budgets.
Flat renters opt for Church Road where there is a greater number of Victorian flat conversions, says Abi Gibbs, head of Savills Richmond lettings.
Best schools in Richmond
Parents of young children move to be in the catchment areas for The Vineyard School and Marshgate Primary School, both rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.
There is also a German School with a bilingual curriculum.
Supermarkets in Richmond
There’s a Waitrose on Sheen Road and a Whole Foods, a Marks & Spencer and a Tesco Metro on George Street.
This is not the place for night owls who will struggle to find anything open past 11pm, says Gibbs.
What the locals say:
“It’s family friendly, safe and very green”
As any parent will tell you, having a family entails a huge lifestyle shift and a total change in priorities.
But in the current Brexit-beleaguered property market, homeowners can find themselves trapped in an area they once enjoyed for its pumping nightlife, edgy street scene and urban buzz but which is no longer suitable for their buggy-friendly brunches and an unpolluted school run.
“We moved to Richmond to find a quieter place where we could walk to school in 10 minutes,” says Luisa Uruena, 40, PR director at Axis Travel Marketing, who has a seven-year-old daughter, Amelia.
“We own a property in Kensal Rise, which I loved before having my daughter. It’s trendy, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle — but after I had her everything changed and I found myself wanting more space.
“We started looking at areas and thought that Richmond was a good option in terms of being family-oriented, with great schools, very safe and very, very green.”
Luisa and her husband Wilson Rodriguez, 50, both originally from Colombia, hope to buy in Richmond, south-west London, but for now they are renting a two-bedroom flat in an Art Deco block and also renting out their flat in the city’s north-west, while they see how the market goes post-Brexit.
They get slightly more rent coming in than the £2,000 per month they spend on rent themselves.
“Because my husband is an interior designer he gets quite frustrated at not being able to change the design in our rented property. He has completely redone three flats we have owned in the past,” says Luisa.
Shopping in Richmond
The family love monthly Kew Village Market for food, local produce and crafts, and weekly Richmond Foodies and Richmond Artisans weekend markets.
Eating and drinking in Richmond
Luisa recommends The Alberts, which won deli of the year. “It’s very small and cosy, the food is great, the service is excellent and it’s always packed.
I enjoy supporting local businesses, which have more of a personality. The White Horse, The Marlborough and The Victoria are all favourite pubs and we also like No 1a Duke Street for delicious cocktails and food.”
Culture in Richmond
Richmond Theatre shows touring productions and has a popular children’s programme. The Orange Tree Theatre is more avant-garde.
Richmond has an Odeon cinema, somewhat quirkily spread between two buildings, and a branch of the Curzon luxury cinema chain.
Green space in Richmond
Richmond Park, London’s largest Royal Park, is a National Nature Reserve, covering 2,500 acres and home to an array of wildlife, including the famous deer.
Closer to the town centre there’s also Richmond Green, which is fringed by several pubs, shops and restaurants.