Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Time to Stop and Smell the Roses

September 21, 2010 · No Comments

It took me quite a while to get around to investigating the parks in London. I think most of this is because I had already been to Hyde Park when I was younger (i.e. less interested in such things) and because I was trying to go to so many museums and city-related destinations that I didn’t really think I had the time. Another unconscious reason, I suppose, is that, while I do love Central Park, I just didn’t really think that parks in the middle of a city would be much to write home about. But I was wrong.  

While getting caught up in the crowds and the bustle of the city, I completely forgot to, literally, stop and smell the roses- if you’ll forgive the pun. I know everyone I spoke to on the subject had the same experience, but it truly is amazing to walk a few minutes away from the city and find yourself completely surrounded by green. Kaitlin and I decided to get some take away from Harrod’s and bring it to Hyde Park to eat, and we walked straight out of the city and into the rose gardens. (First we had to pass a horse riding trail. It was amazing!) Once you travel farther into the park, it’s even easier to forget that Harrod’s and Knightsbridge are only a few kilometers away.  

Hyde Park Rose Garden (courtesy of GardenVisit.com)

Hyde Park – photo courtesy of GardenVisit.com   

And Regent’s Park, that’s another story entirely. We got off the tube, walked down an upper class residential street, and wound up in what seemed like an entirely different part of the country. With playgrounds, huge green fields, trees, ponds, rose gardens, and high hedges, it is entirely possible to forget that you are in a huge, busy city.

 Regent’s Park – photo courtesy of GardenVisit.com 

I know it sounds pretty cliché, but it really was fantastic to get back in touch with nature after so seeing much brick and stone day after day. I could have sat and watched the swans swim and stare at the flowers all day. Unfortunately I was only able to spend a few hours in the parks, but it was an amazing diversion from busy city life. And today at Hampstead Heath was completely gorgeous. Some of the girls and I had to take the time to frolic through the fields because we’ve missed nature so much.  

Even though I initially dismissed the importance of the parks in London, I loved seeing so much green in the middle of the buildings. And because there aren’t so many skyscrapers in London, it was much easier than expected to forget I was in the city at all. No traffic noise, no pollution, no impatient drivers or pedestrians; just nature, for as far as I could see.

Categories: 2010 Jessica
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