1. Hampstead Heath, April 2017. There are worse things one could do in London on a sunny Sunday afternoon than lying about on Hampstead Heath shooting the shit with an old friend. A sprawling area of open fields, dotted woodlands and rolling meadows; this is yet another London oasis that allows locals and visitors alike to get away from it all and unwind.
2. Hampstead Heath, April 2017. The heath boasts an impressive three hundred and twenty acres of grassy space and straddles a sandy ridge at one of the highest points of London. Mapping out a walking route to the top of Parliament Hill, my friend and I embarked on a long overdue catch up, stopping here and there for an ice cream and the odd bout of people watching.
3. Hampstead Heath, April 2017. It was a festival of lazing atop the hill, with scattered groups of people snacking, chatting, laughing, reading and sleeping. When my friend and I get together we tend to talk a lot of intentional crap, as is our way. We’ve had plenty of terrible ideas for screenplays and novels over the years and our Hampstead Heath banter was no different. A young man called Simon finds his life thrown into turmoil when his tennis partner gets abducted by a great white whale! Determined to save his old chum, Simon sets off to confront the beast and save the day. We called it Simon Dick. Probably for the best then that our inane ramblings were interrupted by the sight of children roly-polying down the hill.
4. Hampstead Heath, April 2017. The views from Parliament Hill aren’t too shabby at all! Cast your eyes across the horizon and you can pick out The Gherkin, The Walkie-Talkie and The Shard, nicely juxtaposed with historic landmarks such as The Palace of Westminster and St. Paul’s Cathedral. It’s incredible just how much London is transformed when the weather is behaving and this day was a testament to that.
5. The Roebuck, April 2017. We’d walked a bit and sat around a lot, which apparently builds up quite an appetite! So on the way back to Hampstead Tube Station we nipped into The Roebuck for a pint. Dating back to Victorian times, this traditional pub on Pond Street features a sizeable lounge and a pretty garden in the back. Ordering our drinks, I couldn’t resist the temptation of a house-baked pork pie served with sweet piccalilli.
For more on my hometown wanderings, check out my other 5s from around London.
You can also take a look at my other articles from across England.