Finally, the sun has come out to play! No, I’m not talking about Rupert Murdoch and Co. bringing round their Twilight figurines – seriously Rupert, stop calling – but the actual sun, giver of light and life, shining proudly over NW6 for the second day in a row.
In typically British fashion, hordes of Londoners will be flocking to the city’s many open spaces this weekend, to soak up as many UV rays as possible, sunglasses on and can of ‘original Irish cider’ in hand – shame on anyone who returns to work on Monday morning without a sufficiently lobster-pink hue. And when it comes to selecting a nice nearby patch of green on which to lounge away the afternoon, those living in NW6 are spoilt for choice.
NW6 top pick: Kilburn Grange Park. Tucked away between the High Road and West Hampstead, this little park is a real community gem. It’s got a basketball/5-a-side court, three tennis courts and one of those fluorescent open-air gyms, but most importantly, it has a large green space, perfect for picnicking and lovely for lounging. I couldn’t tell you how many Olympic-sized swimming pools or double decker buses it’s equivalent in size to, but if pushed, I’d estimate two football pitches. And if all the outdoorsiness gets too much for you, the park is an underarm stone’s throw from the Black Lion pub.
Less charming, but actually much more impressive in terms of both size and facilities, is Queens Park, resting in the south-west corner of the postcode. You can play a round of pitch-and-putt golf, take a stroll around the ornamental garden, or just enjoy a coffee (yawn) or an ice lolly (whoopee!) from the cafe.
But if what you really want is to ditch NW6 and sunbathe in close proximity to some celebrity types, then I’d recommend the short trip down to Primrose Hill. The C11 and 31 buses will both be glad to take you – not that they have much choice – and the views from the top of the hill are as famous as the area’s residents, and for good reason.
Alternatively, Hampstead Heath is but a short walk away from West Hampstead, or you could just hop on the 328 bus and alight at Golders Hill Park, where you’ll find kids and adults alike cooing over the deer, flamingos and other resident beasties.
Wherever you choose to enjoy the sunshine this weekend, make the most of it; you never know how long it’s going to last…