North London's Cultural Guide

In Pictures: a hot summer evening on Parliament Hill

It might be scorchio on Hampstead Heath this week - but it's still much cooler than the rest of the city

Have you climbed to Kite Hill’s leafy summit since the heatwave started? We strolled up there last night through the long grass to find it refreshingly breezy – a sentiment no doubt echoed by the hundreds of other revellers all gathered to celebrate the warmest day of the year so far.

The most appealing thing about Parliament Hill, on the southern edge of the Heath, is that the view changes daily in its visibility levels: on bright mornings the outline of the Kentish Downs is clear; on darker days, you can barely make out the Millennium Wheel. And sometimes, there’s just a thick duvet of cloud.

Last night an LA-style smog shrouded the capital, with the top of the Shard disappearing into the heavens. Nonetheless the hazy scene was lapped up by joggers, lovers, picknickers, cyclists, and boozers alike.

We can’t guarantee it’ll be either as airy, or pleasant, up there tonight; but one thing’s for sure – it’s way more atmospheric, and several degrees cooler, than anywhere else in London right now.


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The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.