Last Sunday we met in Primrose Hill for the March Makelight photography walk, and we were so lucky to be in one of London's prettiest locations spoiled with gorgeous and warming early Spring light.
Emily's above video reminded me of a wonderful moment at the end of this month's walk. We were standing together on the corner of the village beneath a magnolia tree. Late afternoon sun - hinting that we might finally be approaching Spring! - filtered through the pink blossoms, and we could hear a street performer playing an enthusiastic tune on his accordion. With so much wonder in her voice, one of us delightedly exclaimed: "It's like we're on holiday!" And in that moment it really did feel true.
If you’re not familiar with Primrose Hill, it’s an enchanting North London neighbourhood bordering both Regent's Park and Regent's Canal. Its noisy and boisterous neighbour is Camden Town, but Primrose Hill is all calm and grace by comparison. The hill for which this area is named is right on the edge of the village, and if you climb it you will certainly be rewarded with a striking view of London.
But Primrose Hill also refers to this whole mostly residential area which includes streets of delightful pastel houses, a little bridge overlooking Regent’s Canal and a traditional looking village of inviting and mostly independent shops, cafes, florists and restaurants.
In case you didn’t make our walk, here’s a short guide to the best sites to photograph in Primrose Hill. If you want to arrive by public transport, the closet tube station is Chalk Farm. You only have to cross the street and find the very colourful bridge that will lead you into the heart of the neighbourhood.
Chalcot Square | For Makelight-inspired photographers this is truly the gem of Primrose Hill. It’s a little square of terraced painted row houses and in the centre is a garden which was full of daffodils on the day we visited. Look out for American writer Sylvia Plath’s pastel pink house which is marked with a blue plaque.
Chalcot Crescent | When you leave Chalcot Square, be sure to head towards the crescent with the same name. It has the same lovely houses, but these are built on a curve which makes for an enchanting image.
The Bridge over Regent’s Canal | Aim for St. Mark’s Church and look for the small bridge - part of Regent’s Park Road. From the bridge you have a wonderful view of the canal with the scenic houseboats and magnolia trees lining the river.
Primrose Bakery | One of the highlights of the walk was our lovely tea and cupcake break at Primrose Bakery. This is the original and the one that inspired the famous cookbook. You’ll find it on Gloucester Avenue - take Princess Road to get there and stop to snap some of the adorable coloured doors. On the way, you can also grab an image of the lovely brick sign next to the school. Primrose Bakery not only has the most delightful cakes, but this one in particular is full of stylish cards, party accessories and milk glass cake stands.
If Emily’s swoon-worthy video above has inspired you to join our next Makelight Walk, then we will be meeting on Saturday the 23rd of April at 2.00 in the afternoon to explore gorgeous and genteel Hampstead Village. Spaces are limited so if you are hoping to come along, please sign up now.