Bushy Park is the second largest of London's Royal Parks, at 445 hectares (1,100 acres) and is located to the west of central London. The park, most of which is open to the public, is immediately north of Hampton Court Palace and Hampton Court Park and is a few minutes' walk from the north side of Kingston Bridge. If traveling from Waterloo terminus in central London it is most easily accesses by train links to Hampton Court or nearby Teddington train stations. The Royal Parks has created five Bushy Park Heritage Audio Trails - self-guided walks with maps, stopping points, images and audio guides:
- 'In the Footsteps of Joseph Fisher' trail is a short and gentle tour of the Pheasantry Garden, which was inspired by Joseph Fisher, the superintendent of Bushy Park after the Second World War.
- The King's Giant Hosepipe trail takes you on a journey along the course of the mysterious Longford River through Bushy Park.
- Palace Playground trail takes you on a 3 mile journey through the history of Bushy Park taking in Chestnut Avenue, Longford River and Diana Fountain.
- Wild Treasures. Bushy Park is a great place to see wildlife and this short 1 mile trail takes you on a tour of some of the best places to look.
- The Yanks Are Here! This trail takes you around the site of the vast American air force base that was set up in Bushy Park during World War Two.
Bushy Park is a deer park with Red and Fallow Deer roaming freely throughout the park, just as they did when Henry VIII used to hunt here. There are currently about 300 deer and their grazing is essential to maintain the high wildlife value of the park's grasslands.
Each Spring 'Chestnut Sunday' takes place in the park. From the mid-19th century Londoners and locals have come here to celebrate Chestnut Sunday and to see the abundant blossoming of the trees along Chestnut Avenue. This annual celebration of Chestnut tree blossom features a parade from Teddington Gate, down Chestnut Avenue to the grassy area in front of the children's playground, where there will be live entertainment, stalls and displays. The parade will feature a marching band, historical re-enactors, City of London Police Horses and classic cars. At the end of the parade the festivities continue with rides and stalls, a brass band, refreshments and displays about Bushy Park's wildlife, history and activities.
A special place within the park is The Upper Lodge Water Gardens on the Hampton Hill side of the park, next to Upper Lodge in the north-west corner of Bushy Park. A Baroque-style garden of pools, cascades, basins and a canal, the Upper Lodge Water Gardens. In 1997, The Friends of Bushy and Home Parks formed The Bushy Park Water Gardens Trust to restore the gardens. Restoration focussed on the area of the gardens: the upper and lower ponds; the cascade between them; framing alcoves that originally displayed pictures from Upper Lodge; the Brewhouse built in 1710 by Lord Halifax to provide his workers with beer; the area round the Brewhouse.
The Gardens were built for Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, a politician and writer who lived at Upper Lodge and was keeper of Bushy Park from 1709-1715. Halifax diverted the Longford River into the upper pond, which fed the cascade and the other water features. The Longford River is an artificial waterway, created for King Charles l in 1638-9 to bring water from The River Colne at Longford to Hampton Court. In 1729, the garden designer, Stephen Switzer, wrote: "Without doubt, one of the best works of that kind in England, and perhaps as good as any else where." The gardens are now considered the best of their type in Greater London.