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Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath

Standing at the foot of Parliament Hill, there are decisions to be made about which way to go. Climb to the its summit and there is a view across London which by law is protected. Parliament Hill is one of several places which must provide a view of St Paul's Cathedral and so high rise buildings which would interrupt such a sight cannot be built in the centre of the capital.

Take a leisurely walk to the top and most of the ground underfoot is grass - but every now and again there is something to stop and look at, providing a little rest from the climb. Here can be found a patch of buttercups, glistening in the sun.

Buttercups on Parliament Hill

Veer towards the West and up here is the Tumulus. No one knows what this is or what it means - and yet it remains standing here, a mystery, now protected by a ring of fencing around it.

The Tumulus

Over to the East of Parliament Hill there is a string of ponds which once provided fresh drinking water for Londoners and now provides a sanctuary for wildlife and an escape for people who feel calmed by this watery escape from urban life.

One of the ponds

And another pond

A heron stands guard by the pond

Many of the paths that lead away from Hampstead Heath take walkers to idyllic little lanes with old fashioned houses, rambling colourful gardens and birdsong - as though you are in

the middle of a traditional English village in the countryside. Here over on the East side of Hampstead Heath is a perfect scene of idyllic rural living.

A lane alongside Hampstead Heath

Parliament Hill is always worth the climb but what lies around the edges below can provide endless escapes into the countryside.

Gospel Oak Station


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