Growing up in Winchester was always going to give me a love of fresh air and open spaces. Although it is a city (and much bigger than I ever really think), compared to other big cities in the UK and the rest of the world, Winch is very much on the country side of things.
And I’ve realised that it has set in me a certain need for finding peace and quiet in the midst of concrete.
In Winchester us wewine girls used to frequent a little area we named Little Italy for some getaway time. Hidden near the bottom of the cathedral grounds (and I’m being deliberately vague here because screw you, it’s our secret place haha) it’s essentially just a small patch of grass by a garden with a fountain. But, it’s the most perfect sun trap, it’s mostly always quiet and it’s just so lush. Green green grass, dangling flowers, birds a-tweeting. We had some pretty perfect times there. And even in Winchester, where the noise is never really deafening, it was so great to find a place that felt like another country – hence the Little Italy aspect. We felt transported every time we lay down.
When I go to New York I make sure I go to the Elevated Acre in The Financial District. It’s a hidden acre of land literally between a bunch of skyscrapers. It looks out on to the piers, the East River and Brooklyn and is a mini haven. It’s where I go to read books and to generally escape the buzz of the city.
And here in London I’m lucky to have an escape right next to my flat in Parkland Walk. I live next to the South section – which stretches between Highgate and Finsbury Park. And it’s just a trail. That’s all. But it’s a trail filled with so much life, so many trees, so much grass and SO MANY BLACKBERRIES. This weekend I walked down to Finsbury Park at a snail’s pace, taking in all the sun light coming through the leaves and just loving how warm it was. It’s funny. All the trees create a kind of tunnel almost the entire way, so it just makes you forget that you’re in the city.
I’ve been in London for three years now and I’m continually finding new places to fill my greenery love. This is a city that never ends and it makes me so happy.
Do you guys have spots like this where you live? Your little natural habitats? Let me know! And any Londoners out there, tell me where to go next!