Hampstead Heath

Our Day Out to Hampstead Heath

We were greeted by fresh air and sunshine as we left the house headed for Acton Central rail station, 1.3 km from our place. We stopped on the way for our planned brekky treat… coffee and eggs benedict at Tailor Made café where we had been previously and knew the coffee was good. Just a quick digression here, because as we arrived at the café it was closed! Oh No!  I had even checked the website to make sure they were open on Sundays! But wait… there is a sign in the window saying they had moved and taken over ‘Rocket’, a pub just further along the same road. Well we had no choice but to keep walking as it was the direction we were heading for the station anyway. When we arrived at ‘Rocket’ we were very pleasantly surprised to find that it is now a really cool café/restaurant with interesting décor and excellent coffee and food. Saved!

Having consumed an elegant sufficiency, we caught the Overground train to Hampstead Heath station which took about 20 minutes. From the station, all you do is cross the road and you are in the Heath. Although, I believe the correct term is ‘on’ the Heath. We enjoyed strolling through the lush growth underneath a canopy of trees. There are an absolute plethora of pathways criss-crossing all over the place. We can see how it’s easy to get lost because at this level you really can’t see anything but trees and with the sun at mid-day, east and west are difficult to sense.

However we managed somehow to keep walking in a northerly direction and ended up at destination #1 which was ‘Kenwood House’.  [From the website…’Kenwood House, on the edge of London’s Hampstead Heath, was probably first built in the early 17th century. Between 1764 and 1779 Robert Adam transformed it into a neoclassical villa for William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, and the interiors include some of Adam’s finest surviving schemes. Kenwood is now home to the 1st Earl of Iveagh’s renowned collection of Old Master and British paintings, which includes works by Rembrandt and Vermeer.’]

Then we somehow headed south again and ended up at destination #2 which was Parliament Hill… a high-point in London with extensive views over the city. After that we headed back down the hill, watched a few overs of a local cricket match, then, feeling ravenous, went in search of lunch. Back at Hampstead Heath station were quite a lot of cafes and restaurants and we ate lunch in a place called Dominiques – a hamburger each and I had an iced coffee. Not as good as the iced coffees in Sydney, but the closest I’ve found here in London. By now it was about 3pm so we came home on the train.

All in all, if you look at the map… on this particular map each square is 450 metres… we walked about 5 km around the park, plus 1 km each way to/from Acton Central. That’s enough for today!