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Charming London – A Love Affair

I can’t tell you how far back my love affair with flowers goes but nowadays it’s torrid, so much so that I get a weekly delivery just because. And I love showering people with flowers, too, and visiting the varied gardens and parks not only around London but also throughout England.

Admittedly, I’m not much for gardening but I ‘m a keen admirer, even if I haven’t ever been to the much talked about Chelsea Flower Show, which is on now. Why? I have no idea. Up until nearly three years ago, I lived within a short walking distance of the Royal Hospital Gardens, where it is held.

And what I remember most is the excessive vehicle and pedestrian traffic on my street, causing the most exciting fanfare, mimicking an amusement of some sorts, sunshine or rain. Good thing because the rain has been torrential this week. Yesterday it hailed, at least twice.

Anyhow, this got me thinking about places that I admire in London, places that are ever so charming and varied like flowers, but aren’t necessarily on the main tourist map, though the first one is more central that the other two. Twice now, however, I have taken visitors there, who simply didn’t know it existed.

So with schools already breaking for summer in the US in particular, I thought now would be a good time to share three of these charms, which are great places to visit for holiday makers and locals alike, again sunshine or rain.

That’s par for the course here. So grab your rain hat and your sunglasses, too, and off we go:

The South Bank – Sure, I am still a newbie to the London south of the river but in less than three years, I’ve likely spent more time on the South Bank than I have in the seventeen years I have lived here. Likely to do with Waterloo Station being a main artery nowadays but whatever the reason, it continues to be a pleasure.

Though there isn’t much shopping on the South Bank, that’s the only thing that isn’t there. From favourite foods to enticing entertainment, it’s happening.  As well as its festive atmosphere, the South Bank offers stunning views of the city of London.

Richmond upon Thames – Staying south, if you will, head to this charming village. Though popular with Londoners, particularly when the weather is warm, it shows a different side of the capital to visitors. Let’s say a smaller side with cobbled streets and hidden lanes.

Plenty of shopping here, including many speciality shops, but that’s not all. For a picnic or stroll or to just catch a breathtaking view, make your way to Richmond Hill or Richmond Park and at the latter, prepare for deer spotting.

Hampstead – Head altogether north for this pretty village on a hill. Fortunately, I spent oodles of time there working with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts a few years ago and took endless opportunities to explore the many trendy shops and restaurants.

Filled with gorgeous English mansions and pretty side streets too, Hampstead is one of London’s most characteristic, and certainly most affluent areas. But if that is not what you are looking for, never mind. Go to the Heath and chill out there, enjoying nature as its most uncultivated finest.

Charming London! What a wonderful affair. I could do this for a long time yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charming London! What a wonderful affair. I could do this for a long time yet.