16th January 2019
16th January 2019 Meet up Belsize Park Tube at 12.30 (noon).
This lunchtime walk led by Morus Londinium's driving force, Peter Coles, starts at Belsize Park Tube station and ends at Hampstead Tube station (both on the Northern Line) around 1.30 pm.
Linking up some old and some-not-so-old mulberry trees, we explore this historic part of northwest London, with its village atmosphere and heritage of writers, artists, musicians... and celebrities. Starting at Belsize Park, we pay homage to an old black mulberry tree on a street corner, once near the entrance to the 17th century Belsize House, with its celebrated Pleasure Garden.
A short walk away is Keats House, home of the romantic poet John Keats, who would have known the fabulous, reclining old mulberry tree in the front garden when it was still upright and a good bit youmger. Did he compose Ode to a Nightingale under it?
Passing an unexpected mulberry tree in a garden a hundred yards away and another at the top of Willow Road, we walk through Hampstead village and along Church Row, one of the finest Georgian streets in London. It was once home to Lord Alfred Douglas (Oscar Wilde’s lover), H.G. Wells and comic Peter Cook.
Behind St John's church in Frognal Way is the last mulberry on our walk, overhanging a wall. For those with a bit more time, the churchyard of St John’s church has some magnificent seet chestnut, yew and hooly trees, as well as the tomb of celebrated landscape artist, John Constable.
Having worked up an appetite, the nearby Holly Bush pub is just one of many eateries in Hampstead that serve a good lunch. Take the Tube back from Hampstead station, or explore some more of the village down Rosslyn Hill to Belsize Park.
This walk is about 1.5 miles and is uphill for some (but not all) of the way.
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