Words: Laura Pendlebury | Photography: Marjorie Teo & Mirko Nicholson
When the daily grind of the polluted commute becomes too much and the pace of life is too fast, this is when I head to Richmond Park. A tranquil oasis, perhaps not in the heart of the city, but close enough, a long walk on the dusty trails is all it takes to bring me back to life. Despite being an incredibly popular place for many Londoners to do just that, the sheer size of the park swallows up the crowds. Heading further into the centre, away from the paths, away from the signs showing you where to walk and in which direction to go, this is where I find my peace. The air feels fresher, the traffic non-existent. Small clumps of trees cast shadows over the yellowing grass, shadows which become longer as the late afternoon sun begins to set. Dusk is always my favourite time of day, but here, here it can become almost magical. An orange glow beings to spread across the grass, gently dappled through the swaying leaves. A heady stillness hangs in the air, broken only by the occasional bird song. A twig snaps, and a small herd of deer stroll through the wood, tails twitching as they search for a shaded area in which to rest. A sense of calm, peace and total relaxation washes over me. Small worries and niggles from the previous week forgotten, I return to my life renewed and reenergised. Richmond Park is so much more than a place, a destination, it is my therapy.