Tuesday 1 May 2007

Isabella Plantation, near Kingston Gate, Richmond Park

A sea of pink, red and white flowers in the spring, the Isabella Plantation is a dazzling collection of azaleas and rhodendrums sheltering under mighty oak trees gathered around three picturesque ponds. Small children enjoy skipping along the bluebell-lined paths, jumping across the stepping stones, clambering up the branches of the larger shrubs and collecting the caterpillars dangling from their branches. On clement weekends in April and May, with the flowers in full bloom, visitors jostle for space in the nearby car park and the best picnic spots in the heart of the Plantation. But the botanical display is spectacular enough to justify all this attention. 7/10