It was a beautiful English summer day when our eclectic ConsciousCafe group set off from Hampstead tube station for our first ‘Walk and Talk’ event on Hampstead Heath.The Heath terrain is steep in parts and passes through ancient woodland areas with natural paths and wide green open spaces. Only a few of us had met before and we chatted with each other as we experienced the diverse natural pleasures of the Heath. We were on our way to Kenwood House, an elegant former stately home surrounded by a large estate with landscaped gardens. Its a great favourite with local people as well as with tourists.
There’s something especially relaxing about meeting new people when you are out for a walk. Thoughtful enjoyable conversations were taking place between all of us and it didn’t feel as though we had only met each other just a short while before.
We wandered round the Kenwood grounds, admiring the lake and the views, before relaxing with a drink at the open-air café. It was such a fabulous day that most of us were not in the mood for exploring inside the house, preferring to save that pleasure for a second visit in a colder season.
Our route home took us past The Creamery, a small white building on a little hill near the main House which used to be the dairy for the estate. You can still see the equipment that was used at the time. The views from The Creamery of the fields, trees and estate are as natural now as they would have been two hundred years ago. No wonder it is such a popular location for film-makers of dramas, both historical and contemporary. Notting Hill had a scene shot here as did Belle and the new film, Hampstead, coming out soon, has some fantastic shots of the heath, Kenwood and surrounding area as it is based on a true story set in Hampstead.
We ended our visit with a look at Whitestone Pond, which some say is the highest point in London, before wending our way back down the hill towards Hampstead village. All of us agreed it had been an ideal day for the walk and we will have a lovely shared memory of the first ConsciousCafe event in nature.
ConsciousCafe is a not-for-profit organisation, a friendly and welcoming community, a place to live life consciously.