I mean what else can you say about the award-winning Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso”? It won Emmys, it has Jason Sudeikis in it, and now everyone knows a song about a bloke called Roy Kent.
More than it just being a hit show, though, “Ted Lasso” came at the perfect time. The world was gripped in a deadly pandemic and a lonely lockdown. It needed a smile. In came Jason Sudeikis’s brilliant portrayal of Ted Lasso, a charming, folksy, and sincere football coach from Kansas who is hired to take over coaching duties for English Premier League club AFC Richmond. What follows is hilarious, heart-felt, and full of smiles.
I loved “Ted Lasso” for many reasons, but most of all that it was centered around someone who always tried to do the best thing for people, even to his own detriment. In a world of shows about how horrible humans can be to each other, “Ted Lasso” was refreshing, charming, and, well, just watch it.
On my way back from Europe this past weekend I built in an overnight layover in London, mainly to have dinner with my boss, who lives there, and to visit some of the filming sites around the actual village of Richmond.
Yes, there’s an actual town called Richmond near London
The first thing to figure out was whether or not Richmond was an actual place and, yes, it is! It’s located almost equidistant between Heathrow Airport and central London to the west of the city centre.
Aside from the Ted Lasso hype, Richmond looked like a lovely, upscale suburb, with all the requisite luxury boutiques you’d expect in a nice area of London along the River Thames. The District Line terminates at Richmond station in Zone 4, making it easy to get there from central London, while I just took an Uber from my hotel near Heathrow.
The most recognizable parts of Richmond will be near Richmond Green, a lovely diamond-shaped park in the middle of the suburb. I arrived shortly after sunset and London was nice enough to have beautiful weather for my visit.
I went to the southern corner of Richmond Green and immediately recognized the corner from the show! So much of the action happens in this little square.
(notice the telephone booths in the background of this publicity image from Apple TV+)
I turned to my left and saw the fountain where London busker Cam Cole entertained Ted in the second episode of season one.
I went closer to the pub that is called the Crown & Anchor in the show, only to find that in real life it’s called the Prince’s Head.
I figured the inside of the pub was in a studio, and a peek into the pub confirmed my suspicions, but the Prince’s Head pub was adorable in its own right, full of easygoing folks on a Monday night enjoying a pint with some friends. They said they had a constant stream of Ted Lasso fans coming through the area and that everyone enjoyed the publicity from the show. I had a pint (I mean why not?) and continued walking around.
Ted and his faithful companion, Coach Beard, are frequently seen walking down an alleyway, where they grab coffee and where Ted lives. If you’re facing the door of the Prince’s Head, it’s the alley on the right. You can tell you’re at the right one when you can see a sign for the Chango store, where Ted and Beard apparently get their coffee although it’s not a coffee shop in real life.
Ted’s address in the show is 9 1/2, but the closest door I could find that looked like it was labeled 11 1/2. Obviously, Ted’s home interior in the show is in a studio set somewhere in London so PLEASE don’t try and enter anyone’s private property.
There are plenty of other filming sites to see around Richmond, but I was running out of light so I needed to make a decision quickly. I decided to head towards the promenade along the River Thames to see (SPOILER ALERT) where Keeley and Roy went on their first date before being ambushed by the paparazzi.
The promenade is a short walk from The Prince’s Head/Crown & Anchor pub. Continue down the alleyway (called Paved Court in real life) and head towards the southwest, where eventually you’ll end up at an area called Riverside. It’s quite lovely honestly, with the still waters of the River Thames bordering sidewalks with people walking all around. It’s not surprising Roy picked this spot.
There are a few levels of walkways along the promenade, as best as I could tell they were on the one closest to the restaurants.
And, sure enough, I found the steps where the paparazzi was “hiding”. To be honest, this is about the most obvious hiding spot in the entire world, not sure why the guy thought it would provide him any cover. I literally turned around from this spot and saw the steps.
Onward to London
I didn’t have time to see the rest of the sites, which are carefully laid out by a very helpful Redditor in the r/TedLasso subreddit. The stadium, called Nelson Road in the show, is actually Selhurst Park, the home stadium of Crystal Palace in the south of London, for example, but there are plenty of sites in and around Richmond for next time I visit. I walked over to Richmond station, said my farewells to no one in particular, and went on into central London, where some colleagues and I had a lovely dinner near Covent Garden.
Ok, two questions: 1) was it worth it, and 2) did anyone have any merchandise to sell?
I loved getting to see the sites from one of my favorite shows, so yes, for me it was worth it. Also, I was staying at a hotel near Heathrow Airport and had dinner plans in central London, so it was actually pretty convenient for me to visit. Is it worth going waaaay out of your way to go see? I dunno, there are worse places to take an evening stroll I suppose.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone who had merchandise for sale, which is a shame since the official merchandise shop gets marginal reviews. I asked around and some people said some of the shops had AFC Richmond merchandise but they were kindly told to stop by lawyers, I couldn’t verify this but I didn’t see any merch either, so who knows.
If you haven’t seen Ted Lasso, give it a whirl! It has some crude humor in it, and the British people in it swear like, well, British people I guess, but man it will warm your heart. It just might make the to-do list on your next visit to London as well!
Have you seen Ted Lasso? What’s your favorite location you wish you could visit?