Twickenham Stadium has a long and proud history as the home of Rugby Football Union (RFU) and England Rugby. With a capacity of 82,000, it is the largest dedicated rugby ground in the world and an historic setting for some of biggest events in the sport. Opened in 1909, the stadium has seen many iconic sporting moments and this year will host some of the Rugby World Cup’s most important games, including the opening match between England and Fiji, and the final. The nearest train station is Twickenham and trains from central London run at regular intervals. There is also an RFU shuttle bus service between Richmond station and the stadium before and after the events.
Best for shopping: Richmond
Richmond is less than five minutes by train from Twickenham and is one of London’s hidden gems. A retreat for royalty as well as home to top shopping, fine dining and famous botanical gardens, Richmond is a south London must-visit. With its prime location on the river, it rivals many of London’s central locations with its wealth of cultural events as well as top luxury shopping. Richmond offers an intriguing mix of unique boutiques, ideal for sourcing unique souvenirs and gifts, alongside well-known designer names including Cos, Jo Malone, Aesop and The Kooples.
Best for culture: Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace, a favourite residence of Henry VIII, is just a short distance from the buzz and crowds of Twickenham Stadium. The palace is known for its grandeur and elegance and is a fantastic place to while away a day exploring the halls, chambers and gardens of one of the most famous English kings. With daily events, exhibitions and special activities, it well worth a visit for those wanting to entertain the family between sporting events. Those wishing to play their own game of rugby should head over to Bushy Park. As the second largest of London’s eight Royal Parks, it has acres of space to enjoy.
Best for escaping the crowds: Kew
The leafy suburb of Kew is only 20 minutes away from Twickenham but feels a million miles from the capital’s bustling streets and busy roads. Kew Gardens is a world-class attraction famous for its beautiful vistas, striking flower displays and historic glasshouse. At 300 acres it is the perfect place to escape the crowds and the noise of the stadium. From 19 September to 11 October, Kew Gardens is hosting four Spicy Flavour weekends – a series of special workshops and experiences designed to unearth how and why we taste flavours.
Best for restaurants: Ham and Petersham
Only nine miles from central London, Ham and Petersham’s serene and natural beauty is a must-see. The area is also home to top eateries, with countless pubs all serving impressive and hearty British food – perfect after a day at the rugby. One of the most famous restaurants in the area is the Petersham Nurseries Café, whose exciting menu is based entirely around fresh, seasonal ingredients. Choose from mains such as rabbit leg cooked with garden herbs, roasted monkfish or whole roast poussin. Another notable restaurant in the area is the Dysart, whose locally sourced ingredients and expertly prepared dishes have caught the attention of many acclaimed critics.