Hampstead Viaduct – yes there is such a thing !

Monday March 24 2014 – Hampstead Heath, London.

As you would have seen from the side bar of this blog I randomly and inconsistently upload photos to other websites like Instagram and Flickr. I am not particularly consistent with either and just like I am with WordPress blogs I am not that good when it comes to following and liking other peoples work. However, I am not totally unsociable and I do follow a couple of people on those sites and one of them recently posted a lovely monochrome image of Hampstead Viaduct on Instagram. I had never heard of there being a viaduct in Hampstead Heath, but after a bit of research I found that sure enough there was one.

The viaduct was completed in 1847 by the Lord Mayor of Hampstead with the intention of providing an access way to allow the building houses on the heath. His plans were, thankfully, rejected soundly and we are now blessed with a lovely viaduct and a lovely heath.

The day started as a blinder, so I was really looking forward to getting out and about.

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Fellow photographer, Steve had a day off work so we decided to a photo walk starting in Camden to look at some new street art and then hike up the hill to Hampstead Heath to look for the viaduct. I have posted about the street art here.

After checking out the art in Camden we walked up through Hampstead, almost to the top of the heath, I was surprised about hilly it was in Hampstead, having been here once before. I knew about Parliament Hill as El and I walked up it, but I was surprised that the rest of the park was also quite hilly. I was equally surprised to find that the top of the park was forested, my experience so far had been grassed fields with trees, but this part was almost forest like. I am now thinking about coming here for a trail run some time soon.

Using Google Maps we found the entrance into the park we were looking for, and soon in we found this little hut and an overgrown wall, which I was rather fascinated with. I know we were in the middle of London, but I do like to find man-made objects that are slowly being overtaken by nature.

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There are trails everywhere, so I did the highly unusual and asked an old couple we met on the way the direction of the viaduct, and I am glad I did as we never would have found it heading the way we were.

I was disappointed to find that we could not get close the base of the viaduct, as it is all fenced off, I was tempted to jump the fence at one point as I could see a decent shot going begging, but decided against it once we found the main viewing spot around the front. I only had the wide angle lens so things are a bit far away. The sun was out while we were here, so some nice reflections were had. I must say it is a very cool bit of London.

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After the viaduct we wandered into Hampstead for a bit of lunch and then continued up the hill to the top and Whitestone Pond with some wild grasses which I was quite taken by.

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We crossed the road and wandered around Golders Hill and the pergolas in Hill Gardens. I loved this sign at the entrance to the pergolas.

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The view from the top over the west heath, really did make me think I was not in London anymore.

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The small and unassuming Inverforth House from the pergolas.

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Steve and I had pretty much had enough of walking around by then so walked back down into Hampstead and found a convenient pub to sit down for a refreshing pint before we went our separate ways and I went home.

It was another good day out, I saw more bits of London I have not seen before and I really liked the viaduct. I was not overly excited with my photography today, I discarded a higher percentage than the ones I kept. I definitely seem to take better photos when I am out on my own.

I think I have found the place I want to visit when London is covered in snow !

About wheresphil

Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, now living in London.
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