The weather is SO gorgeous outside, my recommended day-touring on a day like this would be to head north.  Catch the Northern Line to either Archway or Highgate tube stations and catch the afternoon tour at Highgate Cemetery.  You can tour the East cemetery on your own for £3, seeing notable graves such as that of Karl Marx, then partake in the guided tour of the cemetery’s atmospherically overgrown West cemetery, also the resting place of reputable people such as the Rossettis and several of Charles Dickens’s immediate family.  Under the shade of the immense trees (a few of which are Redwoods from America’s west coast), you’ll meander through the lush vegetation and look on the chipped and eroded outcroppings of Victorian-style gravestones; perhaps the most unexpected part of this tour is the “Egyptian Avenue,” crypts fashioned after ancient Egyptian burials, which was the vogue thing to do in 19th-century England, evidently.

From Highgate Cemetery, you are in walking distance of the nearly 800 green acres of Hampstead Heath.  Tour this immense park at your leisure, hiking the hills, sitting by the duck ponds, or even swimming in the designated human ponds. 🙂  A great pub located just outside the northwest edge of the heath is the Spaniards Inn, where you don’t yet have to forego the outdoors when you seat yourself in the sunshine of their beergarden.  Otherwise, make your way to the high street for any assortment of sidewalk cafes and boutiques in the old stomping grounds of Keats.  From here, you can hop the tube at either Hampstead or Belsize Park stations.

Depending on how your day is progressing, you can close it out here or perhaps take advantage of the extended summer daylight hours and make your way to the darling village of Primrose Hill (via tube to Chalk Farm or walking) for dinner and to watch the sunset from Primrose Hill itself, which, like Hampstead Heath, offers an outstanding city view.

This is a trek that not many tourists make, but when you actually move to London, make a point to explore these serene, residential northern villages.

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