History, shopping, great food and drink, you can find it all in Richmond
Richmond is the historical heart of the Coal Valley. Some of the buildings date back to the early 1820’s, and today it’s a bustling destination for locals and visitors alike.
Top features include incredibly well preserved Georgian homes and shops, a Gaol (Jail, if you’re not used to speaking Australian!) that dates from the earliest times of the village, several remarkable churches, and, of course, the Richmond Bridge, which is a destination in its own right for many people, whether it’s for a day trip to picnic and feed the ducks, or to get that perfect photograph for your Instagram (#ourcoalvalley!).
No matter what your interest, you’ll find Richmond an engaging place to visit, stay and relax.
Richmond is 20 minutes drive north of the Hobart Airport, and 30 minutes drive from the centre of Hobart.
The drive to Richmond winds its way through the Coal Valley, past vineyards, farms, orchards and even a radio telescope!
Keep your eye out for the rows of English deciduous trees, historic houses, dairy cows, sheep and views down to Pitt Water, where the Coal River meets the sea.
THINGS TO DO
When you arrive in Richmond, you’ll probably want to sate the appetite you worked up while on the drive out here. Good news, there’s lots of options for the daytime visitor!
The main road through Richmond, Bridge St (which doesn’t actually go across the bridge, go figure!), is lined with shops and cafe’s, and you can take your choice between coffee, ice cream, light meals and serious food.
Next you’ll probably want to see some sights, and central Richmond definitely has you covered. You can visit the old Gaol (cost to enter), wander the Bridge Inn Mews, take a picnic on the Green, or head off the main streets to explore the historical buildings that characterise the village.
A top must-do in Richmond is a visit to the Richmond Bridge, to say hello to the ducks and take in the view. A wander down the river takes you through deciduous groves, past public orchards and is a quiet stroll back through time.
EAT & DRINK
During the day you’re spoilt for choices. Top picks include stopping in for a wine and lunch at Stone and Barrow or Czegs Cafe, who both of whom offer great coffee along with light meals and excellent coffee available at Ashmore’s on Bridge. More coffee, sweets, ice cream, more sweets, nuts, and whatever else sweet you can think of are available at Sweets and Treats, while across the street you can get locally made ice cream at Coal Valley Creamery, as well as a variety of chocolates and other hand crafted delicacies.
To cure a hankering for a tasting of some of Coal Valley and Tasmania’s best tipples, we thoroughly recommend visiting the Richmond Tasting House, which offers a wide variety of wine, spirits, ciders and more from the region. You could also try a new entrant on the scene, Tasmanian Craft Cellars.
If you’re looking for nourishment of an evening, the Richmond Arms Hotel is open 7 nights per week, while Czegs and Stone and Barrow are open select Friday and Saturday nights – check with them to confirm.
Richmond has a wide variety of shops who offer everything from antiques to freshly turned woodcraft, Australian made gifts to locally made puzzles, art galleries to knitwear, even a dedicated Christmas shop!
A stroll along the main road (Bridge St) will take you past many of these options, and make sure you don’t miss the Bridge Inn Mews and a couple of shops a few steps down Edward St.
Every Saturday (and some Sundays too) there is a fresh produce and artisan market in and around the town hall on Bridge Street. It’s on from 9am – 3pm, and you can find out more about it here.
History permeates throughout Richmond, but important places to visit to learn more are both the old Richmond Gaol, and Oak Lodge. The Richmond Gaol is a step back in time to see how the convicts had it back in the day, while Oak Lodge, which is staffed by volunteers, has had a hugely varied history, and has each room set up differently to give insight into how the many people have lived in the building and area through the generations.
Richmond also has several structures that can claim to be the oldest in Australia, including the oldest Catholic church (St Johns), the oldest stone bridge that’s still in use and the oldest school house at Richmond primary school.
There’s a large car park just off Franklin St, just past the large red brick Georgian house. This has access through two separate walkways to the main street of Richmond. There’s also several joined car parks next to the Green and Gaol. If you want a quiet car park off the beaten track, this one next to the river is ideal.
There’s a pharmacy in Richmond, open 6 days per week.
The post office in Richmond is open five days a week. It’s best accessed off the Village Green, here.
Visit Oak Lodge on your way into Richmond for Visitor Information. This volunteer run house museum is open between 11.30am-3.30pm daily.
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