So, you live in London and wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the inner city scene.
Where can you turn to?
Why, the plethora of beautiful parks of course - and there are few
places nicer than Hampstead Heath, in North London, for some quality peace and quiet.
I wanted to see this open heath for myself, and see if I could spot any celebrities hanging
out there in the bargain too, for it is a well known place for them to visit.
Consulting my trusted London guidebook, I set off working from the fantastic
St Pancras youth hostel (which is almost right opposite King's Cross train station),
as Hampstead didn't look too far away on the scale-skewed map.
Still, it took the best part of ninety minutes to reach the Hampstead area, having
walked west along Euston Road from the youth hostel and then north up Camden High Street,
and thus right through the vibrant heart of the ever-popular Camden town that is packed
with well-known music venues and market stalls.
The Hampstead suburb of London itself is an extremely rich one, and the streets
there (Chalk Farm Road, Haverstock Hill and Rosslyn Hill) gently slope up and
over to the expansive Heath that I was aiming for.
741 acres of open land are there for the masses to enjoy, and there is little
wonder that this Heath is one of the city's most popular parks, but on a
thrillingly cold February morning there were few people around savouring its
Those people who were walking around were mainly doing so in the company of dogs, this
being an ideal place for both canines and their respective owners to stretch their
legs and spend some quality time together.
It was quite comical passing some of the dog owners who had to constantly call
back their dogs, especially when most of the four-legged friends seemed to be called Harry,
Joey or Larry.
Nope, there were no dogs with common or garden names such as Rover
around these parts - at least not that morning.
The Heath is criss-crossed by a great number of well-worn paths and tracks, with a
smattering of pretty ponds proving to be eye-catching water features.
I can just imagine how busy the Heath must be at the height of summertime and in this
respect I was glad that I'd visited when I had, effectively having the Heath to myself.
And despite having heard that the Heath can be a lonely place and not to be ventured
across alone in fear of attack, the Heath was nothing but charming, and I suppose
the only time you should really not traverse the terrain alone is late at night.
In the middle of the Heath, enclosed from the outside world by trees, there is really
no hint of the big, bad city at large just a short walk away.
You can also cycle around the many paths and tracks, but beware - there are numerous
signs around warning the casual bike-rider that there is an 8 m.p.h. speed limit in force!
So just you be careful.
Over on the far western extremity of the Heath you'll find Golders Hill Park, at
the centre of which is a small zoo that has housed there various birds (of the winged variety)
and deer. One woman-with-child enquired to a zoo-keeper as I strolled by about the
Emus that used to live there. 'Are they coming back'? she asked - but the man
just looked plain bemused and clearly didn't understand what she was on about.
So much for me confiding to people that I thought we were collectively out of the woods
and that Spring was just around the corner.
Clearly I spoke too soon and paid for such a misdemeanour yesterday
(13th February 2005) when I ventured up onto the
Places to Visit - Dinostar - THIS IS HISTORY By Daniel Laney
In the last two months Hull has welcomed a new addition to its ever growing tourist trade.
Dinostar, which opened on Easter Sunday of this year, should hopefully
be welcomed with open arms by families and budding historians alike and with it
being a quick
Places to Visit - Our Samhain Visit to Avebury by Janie Spencer
Before we start on our journey, let me give you a bit of background on Avebury.
It is a beautiful stone circle, so big that you can in fact fit a village inside it, as you can see from this overhead map!
As well as being a tourist spot, it is both a home and a gathering
Places to Visit - Burton Constable Hall.
Burton Constable Hall has collected several ghosts and stories from its 450 year history, the most frequently seen ghost being that of Nurse Dowdall, a much loved nanny to the children of the household during the 19th century.
Places to Visit - A day by the beach - Bridlington Harbour.
This Sunday I was spoilt for choice - either to visit a Buddhist centre in "Kilham"
or attend a strawberries and cream party. Opted to go and find Zen so duly arrived
with my offspring (Katie and Oliver) at my friend's house (Cilla) punctually (for
a change) at 11.30.
Places to Visit - This is Hull
The East Yorkshire city of Kingston Upon Hull has it's fair share of bad press. That's OK, the people who live here know why so many come and stay!
Visit the City and sample the eclectic mix of entertainment on offer, from the
laid-back coffee shops and cosmopolitan bars of the Avenues
Places to Visit - Pickering Park Rocks
Pickering Park rocks for the youth of Hull.
Sunday afternoon, 6th July 2003 saw the first FREE open air Rock Concerts for the youth of Hull, from noon until 7pm.
Bands featured included the Supatones, Crowroad, DumpValve, Freaks Union, The Favours, The Sonnet,
Zap the Flak, S.P.A.F.F.FRead more...
Places to Visit - Beverley Minster By Mo
Founded in the eighth century by John, Bishop of York - later St. John of Beverley - Beverley Minster has been
described as 'the finest gothic church in Europe'.
The present church, built in the 13th and 14th century, is a perfect blending of three
People - An Interview With Torso Horse By Steve Rudd
Torso Horse, for those people who don't know, are a Goth-Metal band
They have been plying their trade for about five years now, and in the past
couple of years in particular they have become very well known indeed: both in
People - Computerman at Fairview Recording Studios By Michelle Dee
Computerman are a Nottingham band, who have been on the scene since January 2004.
They recently came to Hull, specifically to Fairview Studios in Willerby, to
record an eight-track demo CD. The demo will include tracks: Increasingly so, No recoverRead more...
People - An Interview with Jim Eldon - Local Enigma By Jane Foster
Jim Eldon is a musician living in East Hull who, I'm told, doesn't normally do interviews .... so a
rare request it was that was received by thisisUll.com, from Andy his agent, for someone to do the deed.
This email was passed on to me, as Jim is a singer