After years of waiting and whining, I finally made it back to London this month. My travel companion was my sister, Bonnie, and despite getting sick in the midst of it, she was a trooper. It was a fantastic trip, but instead of telling you about it, why don't I show you through interpretive dance! No? Well, all right then.
We took more pictures this time around than ever before. I also brought a tiny camcorder which proceeded to stop working halfway through, but I might be able to salvage it. In the meantime, I present to you Installment Number One of London 2010: Hampstead Heath.
Hampstead is sometimes categorized as a day trip destination in the travel guides. I'm not really sure why; it's mapped within the travel zones of London, I think Zone 2 which is just immediately outside the city center. You could, of course, stay here for an entire day and not get bored; particularly if the weather is pleasant. And it was. It felt like the perfect spring day, blue skies and sunshine. People were out in droves and it still didn't feel crowded.
This is the main difference between Hampstead Heath and Central Park. Much as I love Central Park, on the weekends it tends to be overwhelmed with tourists and other park-loving folk, and you can't move two feet without risking getting clocked by a softball or a couple out for a romantic stroll. The only exception is in the Ramble, which is designed to feel like unspoiled green space. Though Hampstead Heath has a number of more populated sections, we had plenty of frolic space. If I lived in London, especially northern London, I'd spend a large amount of free time in Hampstead Heath, but for this trip we were content with an afternoon. I can understand this particular source of Keats' inspiration...but more on that in HH2.
This is the only sad dog we came across in the area, and that's probably because he was outside of the park space. Every other dog I saw looked happy beyond their wildest dreams. I'd own a dog if I lived around there, just to be able to bestow such joy on another creature.
Because of its elevation, the views of London's skyline was spectacular. You get both country and city in one lovely package.
This was the most crowded part of the park. 'nuff said.