Sit pretty in this beautiful enclave of London, with a semi-rural feel but great links to the capital
Locals and savvy students have long sung the praises of this suburban utopia - but quietly, in case the secret gets out. Beautiful riverside walks lend themselves to Wind in the Willows-inspired picnics, graceful stately homes preside over landscaped lawns sweeping down to the water, and huge open parks (former deer hunting grounds of King Henry VIII) make you feel a million miles away from the city.
If you’re looking for urban grit with a trendy night out, go to Shoreditch, but for a gentler pace of life with central London within reach (a frequent train from Twickenham Station, five minutes from Grosvenor Hall residence, goes to Waterloo in around 30 minutes), you can’t go wrong.
Get your feet wet as the tide rises while supping Twickenham Fine Ale at The White Swan pub on the riverbank. Carry along up Riverside road - that is, when it’s not flooded - and grab some tapas on cobbled Church Street, the oldest street in town. Catch a play at nearby Mary Wallace Theatre and check out the fantastic white Italianate statues of winged horses and water nymphs in the gardens of 17th century York House.
Cross the footbridge to the once world-famous gig venue of Eel Pie Island, or take the dinky ferry across the river to explore majestic Ham House and walk down a wooded riverbank path to the charms of Teddington and Kingston beyond.
Then make a pilgrimage to the home of English rugby at Twickenham Stadium, only 15 minutes from the centre of town and a must for rugby and non-rugby fans alike.