Posts Tagged ‘Hampstead’

Copyright of Claire Noble

Sundays in London are a dream itself. Especially when you live in a household, like mine where a regular Sunday consists of having more than the recommended dose of washing up to tackle. It’s a family bonding exercise – the dishwasher stays off  – while the remainder of the household lovingly squabbles over absolute nothings. Bliss personified as you can imagine.

After making the giant move to a city that does not know my name, I decided to take a look at what it has to offer and trust me; London has a gift for all. I don’t know why, but walking blissfully unaware against the cool hint of autumn feels just that little bit better of a Sunday.  Aware of all Hampstead has to offer and with the knowledge that if C.S Lewis can compose something as beautiful as \”The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in the clutch of a Sunday on the Heath, who knows what sort of literary genius I might come up with. Alas, no Pulitzer Prize yet but the sight alone was enough for me. As I exited the tube station and reverted back to the casual stroll I had neglected – as a sheer means of survival –  among the rat race, I noticed one thing in particular – happiness beamed from every passerby. It was if the walk down Hampstead high Street was enough to merit a smile.

I also encountered a “good morning” issued to me as if it was a commodity, not a rarity. Double my luck as I stumbled into every vintage lover’s dream, an antique and collectors fair had just gotten underway and with the mere thirty pence admittance fee I’d be mad not to pass it by.

What lay inside was an homage to a century gone by, vintage brooches, earrings and watches twinkled up at me as if  signalling  me to purchase – don’t worry I did. On the opposite side of the room lay thousands of black and white portraits, postcards and paintings of London in its youth.

Noticing a rather sweet and innocent depiction of a 1950s holiday – which consisted of two sisters strolling down a country lane in the idyllic Kent countryside, I was then joined by the owner of the collector’s fair who, noticing my shine to the portrait decided to give me a much-obliged talk on the history of this Great country. Such was his enthusiasm for his motherland and not of purchase he accompanied me for the remainder of my stroll announcing the life of the memorabilia  before it was viewed as a just another part of history”.

Armed with all sorts of delightful trinkets, I decided to make my way towards Hampstead Heath, known locally as “the heath.” A soothing comparison to the hectic life of a Londoner.  Personally, it’s hard to believe that something so quaint and peaceful exists so close to the city that never stops. The essence of family life is clearly depicted on the Heath, as husbands and wives lost in each other’s thoughts, assemble on “Kite Hill” and proudly watch on as children display their latest attempts at kite wizardry. Grown men too I might add, only to be swiftly put in their place by boisterous five-year olds who clearly know a thing or two about the mechanics of kite flying.“Sit down DADDY, my turn. Lesson learned.


A few steps away one of the highest points in London, Parliament Hill provides a picturesque view of London’s skyline.  Utterly breathtaking, and being a people person through and through my only wish was that I could have shared the beauty of the Heath with some of my friends and family – it would have saved the countless “hey… guess what I just saw” phone calls I made back home that’s for sure.

Kite Hill.

Kite Hill.

Throughout my visit to Hampstead, one thought played prominence in my mind. It was one of those great echoing “One day”… thoughts we all have. I told myself one day I’ll live here, I’ll have a kite, the beaming smile and the belief that any problem big or small  can be resolved on the Heath. But with house prices reaching a cool three million, I might just put that thought on hold – forever,  and the Heath and I shall  attempt a long distant relationship.

So to all who’ve never been or have entertained the thought, wrap up warm, pack your picnic and marvel at one of the countless sights this great city has to offer.


Read Full Post »