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Mini adventure: Hampstead Heath

Days out London Miniadventure

It seems like a while since we’ve managed to venture further than a ½ mile radius of the house and to be honest I think we were all going a little stir crazy. So when some friends mentioned they were going on a little adventure to North London, and would we like to join them, we jumped at the chance. Well, sort of, once I’d had my grumpy ‘I’m not driving all the way across London’ moment and we’d plotted a suitable route using public transport. Then we all jumped at the chance! It’s actually really easy to get to Hampstead from South East London. The Overground…when working…is quick and easy, and on a Sunday mostly empty.

Rarely for us in our post-kids days, we actually got to the station early. This literally never happens and we’re normally late for everything. To be honest, I don’t remember being much more punctual sans kids! So after a quick change at Highbury and Islington we arrived at Hampstead Heath station about an hour after leaving. Our friends were driving…brave if you ask me…and were parking when we arrived. Naturally I took this as an opportunity to pop in to a local purveyor of caffeine and sugar! Loaded up on the good stuff we wandered into the heath to find our friends.

It didn’t take us long to find them. Already taking jumping in muddy puddles to a new level, F splashed around on the shoreline of one of the lakes. B was obviously keen to join in and so there was bitter disappointment when we realised his wellies no longer fitted! After a little duck spotting we started a (very) slow walk up to the top of the heath. En route it was obviously essential that we collect some sticks…or at one point something that resembled a small tree! It was literally a two-man job to carry. Luckily the boys were quickly persuaded to find more appropriately sized sticks, although much to B’s annoyance he was swiftly relieved of one of them by a very excitable Jack Russell.

Once at the top we savoured the view and fuelled the kids on snacks before deciding we were getting dangerously close to lunchtime and that our priority should be finding a suitable establishment for lunch. Google maps checked, we headed down. We were a little early and the pub hadn’t opened so we killed ten minutes in the park next door, where I spent the entire time trying to explain why B couldn’t help himself to another boys digger in the sandpit. Apparently as it was unattended, temporarily, B believed it was fair game! In the end the lure of sausages and chips was enough to tempt him away and we headed to the pub.

Despite being one of the first in, it was busy and evidently we didn’t get our food order in quick enough as the food took some time. Luckily we came prepared and so broke out the space themed sticker books to entertain the boys. This kept them happy until the food arrived. Kids and parents were getting tired and grumpy once the food was finished and so we headed back to our respective modes of transport.

The Overground was as empty as it was on the way up and both kids fell asleep, quickly affording mummy and daddy a rare 45 minutes of quiet time to reflect on a great day out. If you’ve not visited, I’d highly recommend Hampstead Heath for feeding ducks, riding scooters/bikes, flying kites, getting muddy and collecting sticks!

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