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A Short Guide to Primrose Hill

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Primrose Hill is a hill of 213 feet (65 m) which is located on the northern side of Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill is also the surrounding neighbourhood. The top of the hill is one of the most popular vantage points in London giving clear views of central London.

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This part of London was part of a large forest and there is evidence that trees populated the hill’s slopes until the fourteenth century. The summit had been cleared long before that and there are suggestions part of the hill was used as a burial mound, this part of Primrose Hill became known as ‘Barrow Hill’ which survived until the 19th century when it was levelled to accommodate a large water reservoir.

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Like many London parks, Primrose Hill was once part of a great chase which was appropriated by Henry VIII and was then owned by Eton College until 1841 when it became Crown property and secured as a public open space. Primrose Hill with its proximity to central London has been a popular landmark for centuries attracting a large number of writers, poets and artists.

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On the summit is a stone with a William Blake inscription, which reads: I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill. Watching the sunrise or the sunset from the top of the hill is a popular attraction for a large number of people. The hill has been popular for less savoury pastimes, Duels and prize-fights have taken place and in the 17th century, Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey was found mysteriously murdered on the hill.

From the 19th century, residential development around Primrose Hill has created one of the more fashionable districts in London between the centre and the suburbs. Fortunately this development all around the hill did not to fulfilment of the prophecy of Mother Shipton, England’s most famous prophetess of the 16th century who said that when London shall surround Primrose Hill the streets of the metropolis will run with blood.

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The hill and the area has been a popular place to live for a large number of writers and have featured in a large number of books. It has also been popular with musicians, the Beatles, Madness and Loudon Wainwright III are just a few to be inspired.

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The Primrose Hill district is surrounded by St Johns Wood, Swiss Cottage, Belsize park, Chalk Farm, Camden and Regent’s Park is south of the hill. The nearest underground stations to Primrose Hill are Chalk Farm and Swiss Cottage.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

A Short Guide to Hampstead Heath

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Hampstead Heath is one of London’s largest and most popular open spaces, over time the area of the park has grown to cover 790 acres. The Heath is located in North London on a high ridge between Hampstead and Highgate, it is an area of great diversity with hills, large ponds, modern and ancient woodlands and features the stately home of Kenwood House and its grounds. One of the most popular parts of the Heath is Parliament Hill , from where you can enjoy panoramic views over London.

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The Heath was first recorded in 13th century and was generally known as Hampstead Heath from the 16th century. A number of hollows were excavated to extract sand and gravel that gradually became ponds throughout the park. From the 18th century, the Heath became a popular place for Londoners to frequent including poets such as Shelley and painters, Constable made a series of paintings of the area. The quiet rural idyll was changed by the arrival of the railways in the late 19th century when thousands of Londoners made their way to the area to enjoy the country air.

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Hampstead Heath John Constable 1820 (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)

The Heath gradually became a recognized beauty spot away from the grime and dirt of industrial London. However its popularity amongst the young workers from the city led to accusations of rowdiness and violence especially on Bank Holidays and Bonfire nights. These concerns began to reduce at the start of the 20th century when the large crowds of visitors began to behave in a more respectable manner.

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The Heath was bought under public ownership in the late 19th century and various additions of land made throughout the 20th century, most notably Kenwood House and its grounds to the north of the heath. Other developments have included turning some of the ponds into swimming areas and the creation of a number of havens for wildlife.

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In the 21st century, Hampstead Heath probably does not attract the thousands of visitors from all over London, but as the north suburbs have grown considerably, the heath has become an important open space in an increasingly developed North London. The Heath is very popular with walkers, joggers, cyclists, swimmers and those who enjoy the wide open spaces.

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Public transport near the Heath includes the London Overground railway stations of Hampstead Heath and Gospel Oak, Underground stations Hampstead, Belsize Park, Golders Green, Highgate and Archway. A number of bus routes serve the various parts of the Heath.

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If you would like further information, visit the City of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Great London Shops – Daunt Books

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Location – 83 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QW

Daunt Books is a chain of bookshops in London, founded by James Daunt. It traditionally specialised in travel books and in 2010  began to publishing its own books.
Unlike many shops on our top ten list, Daunt Books is relatively modern being formed in 1990 however its Marylebone High Street branch is housed in a former Edwardian bookshop with long oak galleries, generous skylights and antique prints.

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Daunts quickly made its reputation by its travel books and the way they arranged their travel sections geographically with guides, phrase books, travel writing, history and fiction grouped by their relevant country. Another major aspect of the bookshops success was the friendly and knowledgeable staff.

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As well as the usual author signings, Daunt Books also organises talks by authors which are followed by discussions and the odd glass of wine.

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The company has expanded in recent years and now have branches in Chelsea, Holland Park, Cheapside, Hampstead and Belsize Park.

Opening hours:
Monday – Saturday 9.00 – 19.30
Sunday 11.00 – 18.00
Branches: 51 South End Road, NW3 2QB , 193 Haverstock Hill, NW3 4QL , 112-114 Holland Park Avenue, W11 4UA , 158-164 Fuham Road, SW10 9PR

For more information about Daunt Books, visit their website here