Spring at Kenwood House

The weather in London over the last week or so has been glorious. It’s unbelievably sunny for March and because the clocks went forward on Saturday night we’ve had sunshine in the evenings too. Getting home in daylight feels like such a treat and the long slog of winter feels like it’s finally behind us.

On Sunday we shook the Notting Hill poshness off us with a late afternoon stroll through Kenwood, a seventeenth century manor house sitting in beautifully landscaped grounds at the top of Hampstead Heath. I’ve never been in the house itself but the courtyard is a properly lovely place to have tea and cake in the clement weather, although the view is slightly disturbed by scaffolding at the moment.

The grounds were landscaped in the eighteenth century by Humphry Repton who is regarded as the successor to rock star landscaper Capability Brown. Ironically enough, this is where the period drama scene in Notting Hill was filmed.

This weekend Kenwood was packed with Londoners soaking up the sunshine and enjoying Repton’s vistas. The trees were in blossom and the banks were carpeted with daffodils. By the time we got there the sun had gone in and it was getting a bit chilly but it was lovely to be able to take advantage of the extra hour of daylight now that we’re back on British Summer Time.

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9 comments

  1. Haha! Notting Hill “poshness” should be arrested for stalking – there’s no getting away from it, is there? :D
    Your photos of Kenwood are so pretty and serene.

    The speed with which spring suddenly descended was incredible! Not that I’m complaining – I made the most of it ………. as did you by the look of things!

    Who knows what this weekend will bring? It’s like my husband always says: “If you don’t like the {English} weather, wait a minute. Something you prefer will be along shortly.” :)

  2. And here’s to spring…. Yes, it makes such a difference to have the extra light in the evenings. I am so glad for employees and commuters to not have to travel to and from work in the dark… that’s so depressing:)

    Kenwood house, or better, that stretch of Kenwood is utterly beautiful and charming and I have spent many afternoons and evenings having picnics and listening to concerts.

    It is one of the treasures of living in North London. I haven’t been for quite some time. I know far too many jews who live in Hampstead Garden Suburb and the surrounding areas, who therefore regularly visit. I try and avoid having to exchange pleasantries that I find utterly boring and consider a waste of time.

    Really glad you went. It is truly magical. Go with a large group and have a picnic and watch the sunset… maybe we could have a BYW picnic?

  3. Oh gorgeous, Annie. I love the collage at the bottom of the post. Our weekend was rainy and dreary, but even so we don’t have places like *this* to head out to. I need to work on expanding my circle a bit, I think! If I promised lunch, I imagine I could convince Cal and Neel to traipse along somewhere…anywhere!

    The bench and they hyacinth are my faves.

  4. I love all the beautiful sprint pictures popping up everywhere! I’m always so jealous you have such a rich history available to you right in your own backyard (“rich” meaning it extends further back than 200 years). I didn’t even recognize that scene from Notting Hill, but that could be because it’s been years since I saw it. Hm, must change that!

    I agree with Lauren, the bench shot is my fave! xo

  5. Such lovely pictures! There are so many stunning places in an around London to visit. I think a picnic under the big tree with white blossoms would be absolutely divine! A side note: I might sound so American, but Notting Hill is one of my favorite movies!

  6. All these shots are beautiful, Annie. I can’t get over how beautiful those trees are (in the top photo). Did you say they were magnolias? Anyway, what a nice way to spend the day, walking and taking in the scenery.
    I had to click on that landscape architect’s name just to make sure it was real. “Capability”, there’s a new baby name for you (kidding!).

  7. CCollinsonJones1: Oh that’s the second time I’ve read this week how wonderful that is. I’m going to have to try it out for sure. Brrr…is it cold though? I’m a bit scared! I imagine the view from the middle must be stunning though?
     
    Theresa: Yes they’re magnolias, there are so many in London, I had no idea how many until I saw them all flower. They’re so pretty aren’t they?  Capability’s real name was Lancelot, which is also pretty cool really. I think he sounds like a girl in a James Bond film, like Christmas Jones. I think it’d be a great name for a kid!
     
    Jennifer: That’s ok, you’re allowed to. I love Sex & The City and that probably is just as realistic and stereotyped! Love Julia Roberts so much.
     
    Lauren & Erin: there was a much better bench, basically it was cut into a hedge. I was just about to take a photo when two annoying blokes sat on it and ruined my shot L
     
    Tina: you’re so funny! And yes, a BYW picnic would be lovely. If only we could guarantee the weather. We went running through Kenwood on Saturday so I had two visits, such a treat in this weather. Glorious!
     
    Chi: that’s so cute, I love that saying. I’m going to steal that, hope he doesn’t mind!

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