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Hampstead, North London

I met one of my chums last Saturday for a walk around Hampstead and 23,000 steps later I wanted to do it all again! I loved the architecture, the steps, the alley ways and the autumnal vegetation that adorned many a brick wall and front garden area.

When I came through the ticket barrier at Hampstead station I noticed the beautiful green tiles that decorated the ticket office window and formed a border around the middle of the wall, I think they may be Victorian.

We saw numerous plaques scattered around the area...George Orwell, John Constable, Daphne Du Maurier, Robert Louis Stevenson and Keats to name but a few. I did not realise what a creative and artistic heritage the area had, I loved it!

One of my favourite buildings in Hampstead is a National Trust property that is a 17th century merchant's house, it was bequeathed to them by Lady Binning in 1952. I love the ornate gold gate and grounds leading up to the exquisite house (I'll tell you a secret - it is on my list of 'I have to paint this!' subjects).

I also loved the off-white house where Keats once lived and wrote 'Ode to a Nightingale' whilst in residence there. We found Keats house by a happy accident - we followed a trail of red balloons that led us to a book sale in the local library and Keat's house was next door to it. I managed to bag a book about David Hockney's art work for the bargain price of £2 so it was a double whammy! Whilst in the library we met two lovely ladies who had a vintage Polaroid camera and happily declared that they had purchased an autographed Terry O'Neill photography book (my friend was a tad envious!).

One of my favourite scenes was Mansfield Place (see photo below). The pathway was sprinkled with autumn coloured leaves and at the end of the path was an imposing building that used to be the work house in the area. Either side of the hedge lined pathways were cottages that were more Midsommer Murders than a house that you would expect to find in London! I presume that the cottages were for people from poorer backgrounds to live in and thought how times have changed!

At the end of Mansfield Place we turned left and had the delightful experience of a Scottish man shouting at a female neighbour, "go and get your boss to buy you another house to live in!" and her delicate reply was shouting, "who is the one having the affair!?". I did not expect to witness this kind of door slamming drama in leafy Hampstead (sweetie, darlinks!!).

Our next stop was walking across a courtyard where a beautiful block of flats are positioned, the courtyard was very pretty and the light so flattering that no filter was needed (in fact, no filter was needed anywhere in Hampstead, it was a joy to photograph).

Walking down one of the side streets we came across the Parish Lock up (otherwise know as 'the big house', 'the clink', 'the pokey' or 'doing bird'!!). I loved this building as it had a wonkey doorway!

I've added some more photographs of some of my Hampstead memories below and I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed visiting them.

Have a nice weekend.


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