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The Idler Festival at Fenton House in Hampstead – 13th to 15th July 2018


Photo – National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

London has many festivals, however the new Idler Festival will be promoting the concept of useless pleasure with a carefully-curated line-up of artists, wits, performers and characters.

The event with take place at Fenton House with discussions, classes, debates and performances  filling all corners of the 17th century mansion in the heart of Hampstead village, as well as its lawns, sunken rose garden and 300-year-old orchard.

Photo – National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Some of the highlights include:

Michael Palin will be in conversation with The Idler editor, Tom Hodgkinson, on the myth of idleness.

Investigative journalists Carole Cadwalladr and Peter Jukes will discuss their remarkable partnership which broke the Cambridge Analytica story and everything that has happened since the scandal hit the headlines.

Hassan Akkad fled the conflict in Syria and filmed his escape and subsequent journey across Europe to the UK for the BBC documentary Exodus: Our Journey to Europe, becoming a BAFTA award winner in the process He will come to the festival to give a first-hand description of escaping from Syria.

Sally Phillips leads a discussion on how utilitarianism took over the world and why it should be stopped.

Could magic mushrooms be used to treat depression and are psychedelics getting respectable again? Dr Robin Carhart-Harris is the Founder and Head of the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, where he leads brain imaging studies into the brain effects of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and DMT. He’ll invite the festival audience into his current programme of research into magic mushrooms.

Historian Matthew Green will explore the history of the coffeehouses of 18th century London.

Murray Lachlan-Young will perform his narrative poem, The Raddlesham Mumps, the rhyming saga of a very unlucky aristocratic family and how they all came to sticky ends.

Laura Freeman will discuss The Reading Cure, the story of how she was coaxed back to health by the plum puddings, greengages, bread, blackberries and biscuits described in the books of Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf and Robert Graves, among others, after succumbing to anorexia at the age of fourteen.

Ben Moor will present Pronoun Trouble, an extremely silly and surreally brilliant lecture about lectures, which starts out by analysing the great Hunting Trilogy of Looney Tunes cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd in far too much detail, using Warner Bros cartoon stills throughout.

Anarchist professor, David Graeber of the LSE, discusses ‘Bullshit Jobs’, his new broadside against the work ethic.

Harry Mount will take festivalgoers on a tour of Hampstead, the best-preserved Georgian village in London, strolling its winding streets and exploring its architecture: 18th-century cottages, terraced house and villas.

Elsewhere, philosopher Edith Hall will speak on Aristotle and his praise of leisure; Fenton House’s harpsichords will be used for recitals of Chopin and Handel; and Mary Shelley’s biographer, Fiona Sampson, will tell all about the creation of Frankenstein.

The Idler magazine was founded by Tom Hodgkinson 25 years ago and the Idler Festival marks the start of celebrations of its anniversary.

The festival takes place over three days and offers numerous diversions to enjoy in a wonderful setting.

Festival Information

Times: Friday 13th – 6-9pm; Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th – 12 noon-7pm.

Venue: Fenton House and Garden, Hampstead Grove, London NW3 6SP

Travel: Fenton House is a 4-minute walk from Hampstead tube.

For more information , visit the Idler 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

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