Sitting on Barnes green, looking at the leaves from the weeping willows dip in and out of the pond, it's hard to believe that Central London is just on the doorstep.
Barnes village has a handful of small boutiques, as well as a local grocers, delis, a bookshop and some very fine restaurants. It's also where you'll find some of London's most expensive streets, such as The Terrace where the famous British composer, Gustav Holst lived. Today Barnes is home to many high-profile broadcasters, politicians and actors.
Barnes is also the unlikely setting for one of London's most famous music studios: The Olympic Sound Studios. Between 1966 and 2009, many artists recorded tracks at Olympic Sound Studios, including The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, the Kaiser Chiefs and The Arctic Monkeys. Barnes is also where the T-Rex singer Marc Bolan died in a car crash – the exact spot of the accident, on Queen's Ride, is marked by Bolan's Rock Shrine, where fans young and old come to pay their respects.
Travel to Barnes
Take a train to Barnes overground station or catch a bus going through the area. You might also like to hire and bike and ride along the Thames Tow path to Barnes.
If you're going to be in London for more than a day, it's worth buying a Visitor Oyster Card in advance. The Visitor Oyster Card is delivered to your home before you arrive in London. It is one of the easiest ways to get around London.
If you do not have a Visitor Oyster Card, but still plan to travel around London for more than a day, buy an Oyster card at the Tube station. Learn more about Oyster Cards.
Things to Do in Barnes
If sitting by the river bank or on the leafy green isn't enough for you, Barnes contains a number of attractions that make a day trip more than worthwhile.
Get close to nature at the London Wetland Centre, a vast nature reserve that contains rare birds, amphibians and a huge range of insects.
Eating and Drinking
You're never far away from a great restaurant or pub in Barnes, many of which are firm favourites with the close-knit local community.
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Amber Le Bon are both fans of Riva.
If you're looking for something more substantial, Sonny's Kitchen offers top-quality dining, although you might have to fight the locals for a table!
For a quiet pint, try the Bridge or Red Lion, which has a great riverside location. Jazz enthusiasts should head to the The Bull's Head, which hosts live performances every night and at lunchtime on Sunday.