Visiting Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill is one place not many tourists know about or ever think to visit in London, but they should. It offers them not only a fantastic view of downtown London, but also affords them leisurely strolls along country-like fields that are nice when you need a break from intense sightseeing.
There are plenty of ways to get to Parliament Hill which is located between Highgate and Hampstead Heath, but whichever way you go, it’s worth your time to take a gander at Millfield Lane, a long road that runs around the perimeter of the heath that leads to Parliament Hill. This is because Millfield Lane was once known as Poet’s Lane as it was frequented by some of England’s finest poets, including Lord Byron, who used to listen to the nightingales on the ponds, Coleridge, who lived just up the road in Highgate, Keats, who lived across the heath in Hampstead and Robert Browning, who would visit friends along Millfield Lane. It is also the celebrated place where Coleridge and Keats had their one and only meeting, and an accidental one at that. Along with these poets, Parliament Hill was also well loved by everyone you can think of, and even Karl Marx used to picnic here every Sunday.
Parliament Hill itself is located in the southeast corner of the heath and is a short walk up a hill of 322 feet. From the top of the hill it’s possible to see the Millennium Wheel, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Canary Wharf and the majority of Central London. There are benches to sit on if the mood strikes you or you could just lay a blanket down upon the grasses and enjoy the view that way. The hill is also well loved by kite flyers and you’ll quite often see lots of different and intricate kites lining the hill.
Once upon a time, in 1133, the top of Parliament Hill once consisted of a house that King Henry I had given to Richard de Balta. At one point the hill became known as Traitor’s Hill as it’s alleged that Guy Fawkes was planning on standing here to see his famous Gunpowder Plot take place. Afterwards, this area belonged and still continues to belong to the public, although it did house livestock up until the 1940s.
If you’re looking for a nice place to unwind, sit on the grass and picnic with a book or just enjoy the spectacular views of London with your camera, Parliament Hill is the place for you.