This coming Sunday (10th July at 4pm) I'll be running my first ever 'Hampstead' walk.If you're unfamiliar with the area, Hampstead was once a small country village, which although only 4 miles from central London stands about 440ft (134 metres) above sea level. It remained largely undeveloped until well in to the 18th century when people were drawn there by the clean air, large open spaces and abundance of springs. It became known as the 'Vale of Health'. It has managed to retain its village feel and stands next to 800 acres of heathland which is open to the public and enjoyed by Londoners, especially the fantastic views of the capital from Parliament Hill.
Hampstead attracted a huge amount of writers, artists and well known historical characters, and as such has about 75 commemorative plaques on their former homes. We'll pass by quite a number, including the houses of H.G Wells, Peter Cook, John Constable, Daphne du Maurier, Marie Stopes, Robert Louis Stevenson and John Keats to name but a few. Today's residents of Hampstead include the likes of Ricky Gervais, Liam Gallagher, Helena Bonham Carter and Jonathan Ross.
As well as a fine array of 18th century houses, winding streets and also the impressive Fenton House built in the late 17th century, Hampstead also has quite a number of modernist houses built in the 1930s, including 66 Frognal, the 'sun house' (the first modernist concrete house to be built in London) and No.2 Willow Road which is now a National Trust property. We'll also pass Admiral's House, which was not only painted by local artist John Constable but is said to have been P.L Traver's inspiration for 'Admiral Boom' in her Mary Poppins stories. You'll have to come on the walk to find out the whole story.
Although we won't be breaking out on to Hampstead Heath itself, we will have the opportunity to glimpse a small part of the Heath as we walk up 'Judges Walk' to Whitestone Pond, the highest point in Hampstead. If you would like to join one of my Hampstead walks, please check the schedule on the Home Page for upcoming dates. I'll be running them on Sunday afternoons so you can combine it with a visit and perhaps Sunday Roast in one of Hampstead's many gorgeous pubs, or perhaps a visit to the nearby Kenwood House or maybe just a stroll around Hampstead Heath. If you're brave enough, you could go for an outdoor dip in one of the Hampstead Ponds.
Bowl Of Chalk
Bowl Of Chalk based shenanigans.