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In touch with nature

Spring is coming, and there is nothing more beautiful than to take your shoes off and feel the soft, dewy grass under the soles of your feet while overlooking London’s skyline from the top of Hampstead Heath.

To feel the touch of warming sunrays on bare skin has something relaxing and soothing about it. It is a feeling that gives me goose bumps of joy. Especially after a long, grey and cold winter, the beaming sun against a blue sky, sprinkled with clouds, can evoke an odd, irrational feeling of happiness.

Andrea, 25, who goes to the Heath when the weather is good says: “It’s the perfect place to go to escape the city madness for a day”.

As London parks are becoming overcrowded with city folks craving the feeling of a light breeze brushing against bare skin and the tickle of the sun, visiting Hampstead Heath, which stretches across 320 hectares, is still a tip given by an insider.

The Heath contains one of the highest spots in London and it includes three open-air public swimming pools, which were originally reservoirs for drinking water from the River Fleet.

It is a Local Nature Reserve that was first entered into history books in 1986 and is a fantastic city escape for people who feel the need to stay in touch with nature.

The vast spaces of green grass, small hills and shallow valleys, which are framed by ancient trees, transport you to a completely different London, far away from the hectic city noise – and bad air.

A café located in the picturesque Kenwood House - a beautiful white villa that contains a collection of paintings, including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer - is the perfect spot to take a tea break and just enjoy the fresh air.

The Heath is the place to go if you want to have a picnic with friends and family, go for a lazy stroll, train for a marathon or simply for the view, without feeling overwhelmed by a subdued gathering of fellow nature lovers.

 

Words & images by Alexandra Buerger

Visit Hampstead Heath, Highgate Road, NW3 7JR (020 7482 7073)           
Nearest tube stations: Gospel Oak (London Overground) and Hampstead Heath (London Overground)

More articles by the author:

The aroma of China

London's South Bank

Westminster Abbey Enchantement

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