An engaging portrait of Hampstead Heath – a place rich not just in natural wonders but in history and monuments, emotions and memories, people and places. ‘I enjoyed every inch of the way, from Parliament Hill to the Pergola… A late-life little masterpiece’ Ferdinand Mount ‘A love letter, both to the Heath and to his late wife’ Islington Tribune ‘An affectionate book which blends personal anecdote, history and interviews’ Ham & HighThe eight hundred acres of Hampstead Heath lie just four miles from central London; and yet unlike the manicured inner-city parks, it feels like the countryside: it has hills and lakes, wild spots and tame spots. Hunter Davies has lived within a stone’s throw of Hampstead Heath for more than sixty years and has walked on it nearly every day of his London life. For him, it is not just a place of recreation and relaxation but also a treasure-house of memories and emotions. In The Heath, he visits all parts of this, the largest area of common land in Britain’s capital city: from Kenwood House to the Vale of Health, from Parliament Hill to Boudicca’s Mound, and from the Ladies Bathing Pond to the fabulous pergola. As he walks, Davies talks to the diverse array of individuals who frequent the Heath: regulars; visitors; dog walkers; stall holders at the weekly farmer’s market; famous faces having their morning stroll; twenty-first-century hippies spreading peace, love and happiness.
Shopify Vendor: Davies, Hunter
Love in Old Age : My Year in the Wight House
A wryly humorous memoir from Hunter Davies, as he falls in love again in his eighties and chronicles the first year of living with his new girlfriend in their cottage on the Isle of Wight. King Charles I was imprisoned here; Queen Victoria so liked its mild climate and coastal scenery that she built an Italianate house here (and later expired in it); hundreds of thousands of people got stoned here at music festivals in the 1960s summers of love. And, in the very un-hippyish summer of 2020, Hunter and Claire escaped locked-down North London for a week’s holiday on the Isle of Wight, fell in love with its sleepy charm – and ended up buying a Grade 2-listed love nest in the elegant Victorian seaside resort of Ryde. Love in Old Age tells the story of their first twelve months on the island. It is a journey of discovery to a forgotten corner of England; an exploration of the attraction of meeting new people and new places in old age, and a celebration of flat sandy beaches. It brings together the themes of love in old age; Covid lockdown; rural escape; the anxieties of house-buying; and the history and curiosities of England’s largest and second most populous island – all bound together by Hunter Davies’s insatiable curiosity about people and places, and his irrepressible and ironic sense of humour.