A couple of weekends ago Me and Dave ventured to North London and visited Hampstead Heath for the very first time! (Yes I know I have been here over 8 years!) I have alway thought about going but its never been close by to where I was currently living and I probably opted for a closer or easier to reach park such as Victoria or Hyde park.
I was so glad we made it and the view did not disappoint! It got me to thinking though… When I lived back in Doncaster I still had the interest of going into the countryside and taking in views from the top of hills and I was always intrigued by interesting buildings and architecture. I don’t know what it is but it just inspires me and gets me thinking about the areas history and people who live there – kinda deep but we all find our inspiration somewhere!
So it also made me think that how it blew my mind when I came to London and these views, buildings, places were just littered across this wonderful city my 21 year old self was blown away. Even though these new places were were so different to the ones I had previously treasured the old ones still have there place. I want to share two of my favourite spots old and new that I love going back to over and over again.
This was the view from the top and It was the place of many a trip as a child right through to probably my last day of permanently living in Doncaster. I ventured up here for sledging, walking my dog Sparky and Barney, walks with my then boyfriend Dave and a meeting place for friends who lived at the other end of our village of Sprotbrough. On those visits with friends, the four of us would sit at the top of the hill and look out over Doncaster and dream about all the things we would be doing when we grew up and it would often end in our younger/child at heart friend Claire suggesting we do roly polys down the hill just as we had at our picnics there in primary school! You can imagine the response she got from her teenage going on 25 year old friends!
The whole area around Cusworth hall is stunning and I have seen it grow and change over the years I just wish I could see it everyday sometimes, I never thought I would miss somewhere in Doncaster when I left but this places has stood the test of time for me.
The Golden Jubilee Bridge & The Southbank
This place to me is just magical! It has everything, Arts, restaurants, entertainment, bars, coffee shops, views, river vies, a ferris wheel and did I mention a carousel 🙂
When I first moved to London the first thing I bought is an A-Z and it was the best thing! On my own in a new city I would make my way from NW10 via foot and bus (never the tube as It was hard to gauge where you were and learn the surroundings) I would often end up here at the Southbank and explore its many attractions and secret spots. It quickly became my go to place when I had friends or family in town, just the walk across the Golden Jubilee bridge is enough to turn anyone who says London is too busy, too crazy for them to live in. I assure you this view is probably the best i have seen and it gets me every time I walk over I think to myself how lucky I am to live in this great city!
At Christmas a small market occupies the bank selling everything from mulled wine to gingerbread, in the summer there are numerous street entertainers and musicians entertaining the crowds. Near the BFI building there is usually a book stall to explore (who doesn’t love a good old 2nd hand book stall) they also sell old illustrations of famous landmarks across the country and one time I was rooting my way through the many boxes and came a across a picture of Cusworth Hall! I didn’t end up buying it unfortunately as it was in my earlier days when money could be better spent on food and bills, I often go back and see if I can come across it again though but no luck yet. There are many pop up bars, street food stalls, small exhibitions and there was even an manmade beach that took on a temporary residence during the summer months.
The London eye is probably the landmark of the area and mostly responsible for the huge crowds that gather but if you take a left when cross the bridge there is more to be had! The BFI is mainly a cinema where I have seen some amazing classic films such as Street Car Named Desire and The Man Who Fell To Earth and also caught a programme celebrating all the Disney films so managed to take in Pinocchio, Hercules, Lady and the Tramp and The Little Mermaid. There is also a lovely bar with huge sofas available (if you get there early to snag one) It’s perfect on a cold Sunday afternoon to sink into the lovely surroundings with a hot cup of tea and await your film showing. 🙂
This is only a small glimpse into this area as there is always something new happening and taking place so I guess thats what makes it one of my favourite places in London. No matter what month there is always something to do here whether it be taking in a film at the BFI, visiting the south bank centre for its latest show/talk etc or even wandering along the river until you meet the Tate modern, new or old, skint or flush with your new pay check you can almost certainly occupy yourself here. Go visit!