London is often described as an urban metropolis. The war left many buildings destroyed and today tall glass buildings mix with the concrete of the 60s and the 70s alongside great St Pauls and Westminster. But among the buildings there are some great parklands to the west of London: the great Bushy Park where the deer run free and mix with the public; and even in central London there is Regent’s Park next to Primrose Hill.
But my favourite part of London is the next to Hampstead Heath or to be precise the West Heath and hidden away from main road. The entrance is down a dirt track that runs down the side of the Pergola and is often forgotten or overlooked by visitors to London. The Pergola dates back to 1904 and has been open to the public on and off since 1963. It remained open till 1971, then in 1991 restoration was restarted and today the perfectly manicured lawns and work on the gardens have come to fruition.
Even on the warmest of days the place has a tranquil air about it and remains one of the unspoilt parts of London. The Pergola itself is set over two floors and has a wide variety of plants including a sweet chestnut tree that is one of the parks oldest and defiantly knobbiest trees. In summer the smell of the various flowers fills the air and the vines cover the lattice covering the second floor bringing a little shade to the Pergola. In winter the Pergola has an eerily feel to it worthy of a back drop to any horror film and more often than not you find that you are the only person there. It is a complete contrast to the summer.
It is good to know that in a busy city like London a little space can still be found.
BY CRISTIAN ARROYO