The Deer Stalker

No, I’m not talking about the hat made famous by Sherlock Holmes, rather, my efforts in Richmond Park in London’s Southwest.

On a glorious autumn day in London, what better than explore one of London’s greatest green spaces and stalk the deer?  Richmond Park is huge, so the best option if you don’t have 4 wheels of your own, is to hire 2 at the park.  Parkcycle at Roehampton Gate will happily hire you a bike by the hour (and a lock but make sure they actually give it to you – no apologies or refunds if they forget!)

On the day I visited the deer were very conveniently congregated in a few herds quite near to Roehampton and Richmond Gates so I didn’t have to cycle very far to start my stalking, however that may not always be the case so it wouldn’t hurt to stop and ask people if they’ve seen any deer if that’s what you’d really like to see.

There are 2 types of deer in the park – red and fallow.  I was lucky enough to see both, and since it’s currently rutting season, I also caught some bellowing and antler-crashing action.  If you really want to see the stags in full swing early morning is best but if you’re restricted by public transport, then this may not be possible as the cycle hire usually doesn’t open until 10am on weekends.

Both Red and Fallow deer can be seen

Looks like the doe on the right is trying to sort out this bit of biff

You can drive around the park in 20 minutes but the speed limit is quite slow and cyclists are a-plenty!  They also have right of way it seems.

There are plenty of bike only paths to follow and some lovely places to stop for a picnic – pack your own or else stop at the cafes and tea rooms that are usually near the gates. If you do decide to stop for a picnic, keep an eye on your food lest a hungry local decides to make your picnic his own! I almost lost my morning tea to a friendly border collie while I was taking this shot!

My picnic perch with a view (the brown blobs are deer)

For more shots of Richmond Park and the results of my deer stalking, click here.