Hampstead Heath & Kenwood House #9

A couple Saturdays ago it was supposed to be a really nice day so we picked another one of our City Walks with kids and made a day of it.  Unfortunately it was overcast and muggy, but we would never see London if we only went out on the sunny days.  

After an unusually long journey to our destination, due to DLR closures, we started out at the south end of Hampstead Heath, near the Lido and cafe.  (My friend Meredith lived in London for awhile and when I asked her about it she said it was frustrating to always depend on public transport. I shrugged it off, refusing to believe London had any flaws, but she’s right.  When the trains are shut down for one reason or another it can really put a wrinkle in your plans.)  We let the kids play in a playground for a bit and then we ate lunch at the park cafe.  

Then we walked up through the heath, along the Highgate Ponds.  It was really pretty and we saw some lovely places, but we got lost and didn’t end up at all where we wanted to.  
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A football break from the walking.

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Wish I could remember why the funny faces…

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When it’s really bright outside I tell the kids to close their eyes and I count to three, when I get to three they are supposed to open them..

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But someone always misses the cue.

After awhile the charms of the park were losing their effect and the kids were getting bored and tired of walking. So we played “Red light, Green light” but with a twist.  Richard made all the calls, from behind the kids instead of ahead of them, and he would say things like “Green light for the four year olds” or “Red light if you’re a boy” or “Green light skipping” and so on.  It was pretty entertaining for the kids and us.  
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Speaking of park charms, this is the toilet.

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City view.

We were trying to make our way to Kenwood House, but that hadn’t worked out. So we caught a bus that took us closer to our destination and we found our way again. 
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Mim doing to a scoot-by in front of Kenwood House.

Kenwood House is a former stately home that was the residence of the 1st Earl of Mansfield, who was the great-uncle of Dido Belle.  She was raised at Kenwood House along with her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray.  It’s a really beautiful house, and is now well-known for its art collection, donated by Edward Guinness.  (So “drink more beer!” the curator said.) 

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This giant dollhouse entertained the kids while Richard and I wandered through the rooms to see the art.

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A self-portrait by Rembrandt.

There was a lot to see in the house, and a lot of great artwork, but the kids were hot and tired and totally spent for the day so we made our way home. 


I’ve added Kenwood House to my list of places to visit without the kids… 

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