The first of London’s great green spaces to lose yourself in: Hampstead Heath.
While most people know this huge expanse of green park-age for its famed view of city proper off of Parliament Hill (a spot worth the small climb on a good day), the first time I had heard of the area was planning all those summers back (about 3 now) when researching the English poet, John Keats. While his house is a short jaunt away from the greenery, it’s not a stretch to think about the young (though sickly) poet strolling through the great wooded expanses, even if the grounds are doubtlessly different.
And that is what I love about this area, whether you wander through after a quick stop in at Keats House, or stop by to check out the penned in animals, or wander the woods, or checkout the viewing points, or the beautiful Kenwood House (the actual family home as depicted in the 2013 film Belle, which was great!), or just come to get lost away from the grey of the city, Hampstead Heath has it all to offer.
But out of everything, what I loved was the deserted looking (but only looking) Pergola and Hill Gardens on the western part of the Heath.
This is an amateur photographers’ dream landscape and I want so badly to go and have some kind of occasion/fashion shoot in these overgrown walk ways.
I swear, my camera and I are once again in love!
One of my favorite things in the world are places like this, where the world was built up and then nature comes along and takes over.
Luckily enough, we managed to go in when few others were also wandering, so there weren’t many long periods of waiting for people to move as to not ruin the lost civilization/forgotten place motif I had in mind.
This is a great secluded part of the park, far enough away from the animal enclosures and children’s play grounds to avoid heavy foot traffic which makes it an ideal on sunny days for a wander, a quite park read, or (like my day) an impromptu photography session.
While this is an area where the average traveler should try to hit if their stay in London permits (double so if your historic and/or literary tastes lean this way), I feel like I loved it so much more after having spent so long in the city surrounded by gray. So here is my call to all the city dwellers: take the train out; it’s an easy day in the green to free yourself. A more or less free detox thanks to good shoes and mother-nature; go and take it!
But then, I’m the kind of person who becomes claustrophobic in a city, so I’m one who will always look out to find new green places to offset it. In the next few weeks, as I finish out my stay here in London, I’ll be posting about some of my favorites and adventures through them, but for slightly more immediate coverage, feel free to follow my Instagram (more pics of this and other adventures await you!) as well.
And until next time, with luck in all your green-y (mis)adventures,
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.