Looking for a stress-free mini weekend escape that lets you keep your head in the clouds? Grab your kite and head to North London beauty spot Hampstead Heath. In the southeast corner of the heath the hidden gem of Parliament Hill offers a breathtaking bird's eye view of the capital rivaled only by the London Eye - and admission is free!
Like many London landmarks, the hill boasts a fascinating history. Legend has it that it was on Parliment Hill that Guy Fawkes and his collaborators in the famous 'Gun Powder Plot' had intended to watch the Houses of Parliament explode. And paradoxically, 40 years later during the English Civil War, it was dubbed 'Traitor's Hill' because it was occupied by troops loyal to the English Parliment.
Measuring in at roughly 321 feet (98 metres) high, climbing Parliament Hill is guaranteed to help you feel above it all. Because of the hill's elevation, you can generally count on a good stiff breeze - a feature that makes it perfect for a lazy afternoon watching your colourful kite dip and soar high above the capital. From your lofty perch atop the summit, you can drink in coveted and protected views of London landmarks, such as the City's Gerkin Building, the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, and the majestic St. Paul's Cathedral.
This is one outing that's fun for the whole family, so why not bring the kids, the dog, a picnic lunch and make a day of it?
Got everything but the kite? Why not visit The Kite Shop in Covent Garden? The first specialty kite shop in Europe and now the oldest in the world that has been kept under the same management, they stock everything from beginner kites to specialty brands for the serious kite enthusiast.
So what's stopping you? In the words of Mary Poppins - "Up in the atmosphere, up where the air is clear - let's go fly a kite!"