Home Maidenhead News and Events Visit to Hampstead and Kenwood House 2014


Wednesday 22nd October 2014

On a sunny autumn day, our members and their guests had a wonderful day trip to Hampstead. After meeting our blue badge guide in Kensington, we benefitted from an extra commentary about London's fashionable West End, before heading on our way towards Hampstead Village.

After morning coffee in a traditional pub in Hampstead High Street, we left the coach for a gentle stroll down through the lanes of old Hampstead - the Montmartre of London. High above the smog of London with clean air and spa waters it was a healthy (and cheaper) choice for the capital’s artistic community. On old cobbled streets and alleyways, we saw lovely terraces of Georgian cottages, many adorned with blue plaques listing their former famous inhabitants, boutiques, antique shops, traditional pubs and the charming church of St John, with John Constable's monument in its graveyard.  After a pleasant walk we returned to the pub for a traditional roast lunch.

In the afternoon, the coach took us round Hampstead Heath and its famous Bishop's Avenue, full of enormous mansions. We then skirted round Hampstead Garden Suburb, once a "garden city" built for artisan communities, but now affordable only by the very well off. Today the village of Hampstead has more millionaires within its boundaries than any other area of the United Kingdom!

We were then dropped off at the entry of Hampstead Heath, where we admired the distant views of London and its sky scrapers, before visiting Kenwood House, the superb country house gifted to the nation by the Guinness family. Remodelled by Robert Adam in the 18th century, the newly renovated house is stunning and holds famous works by Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Vermeer and Turner. There was no time for afternoon coffee, but many of us hope to return in summer for a visit and a picnic in these marvellous surroundings.


Michaela Howard, Webmaster

November 2014



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