Sometimes you just need to walk away. A park is just the place to temporarily escape. If you can’t physically get up and take that walk, it helps to remember a favorite trail or an unexpected quiet place. I’m taking my mental walk through some enchanting parks found in London. Come along with me.
Let’s start with Holland Park. Entering through the gates at Kensington High Street, first notice the remains of a 17th Century castle named Holland House. It was damaged during World War II and that is still evident.
The park has multiple areas for exercise and sports, but it is serenity we’re looking for and it can be found here amongst the English gardens,
the Kyoto Garden,
and a natural children’s play area that may make you wish you were still a child.
Next, we’ll move to Postman’s Park. Located in the City near St. Paul’s Cathedral, walk through the unassuming entrance under the shade of its trees. The traffic and tourist noise diminishes. We are now in good company. The park is dedicated to memorializing ordinary people who died to save others.
Read the poignant stories of those honored on the plaques, or simply sit quietly.
Here, the clatter of those telling us of their greatness can’t compare with the brave and spontaneous deeds of those who would not otherwise be remembered. Their names will not appear on the side of a building, but here in this tiny park they are remembered.
We’ll finish with a walk across the Hampstead Heath. The Heath is there to enjoy today because forward thinking Brits of the 19th century fought to keep it common land. The Heath is made up of forests, ponds and heath, large scrubby grass areas. While it provides wonderful views of London, if our purpose is to clear the mind, then keep your eyes on the beauty of open space. Do some people watching. The area is so vast, we have the company of others but can still feel as though we are in a wilderness of sorts.
There, now. Doesn’t our park walk improve your outlook? With patience and perspective restored by the memory of those beautiful green places, I hope your are ready to return with me to today’s reality.
Where do you go when the world gets to be too much? I’m open to finding new destinations to recharge.