Primrose Hill – A Nice Vantage Point and Recreation Area:
Primrose Hill was a stop on our Regent’s Canal Walk from Little Venice to Camden Town. Located on the north side of Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill is the name of this small hill as well as the surrounding district.
Primrose Hill is not on the tourist trail, but this royal park has been a popular place with Londoners for over 150 years. People come here to get away from the hustle and bustle of London, yet it is close enough that you can see the skyline of central London. The top of the hill is a nice vantage point offering panoramic views of the capital. Our friend Neil helped us spot landmarks like Canary Wharf, the Millennium Dome, the Post Tower and others in the horizon, but don’t worry if you don’t have a local guide – a viewing panel at the top helps identify the buildings.
A Popular Green Space
Primrose Hill is a popular recreational area for Londoners who come up here on weekends, especially during the warmer weather, to jog, have a picnic, read a book or to just chill out. If you are so inclined, celebrity spotting may be another reason to come to Primrose Hill. The Primrose Hill neighbourhood has always been one of the fashionable districts and is well known for its enclave of creative types. Amongst the local residents are a large number of artists, singers, composers, writers, supermodels and media personalities and some have been seen on the Hill.
Primrose Hill is also a popular film location with British directors. The Fourth Protocol, Career Girls and Bridget Jones are some of the movies with scenes from Primrose Hill.
From the hill, we walked down to the Primrose Hill village and continued our walk to Camden Markets, but not before checking out some of the Primrose Hill pubs, restaurants and cafes.
Interesting Facts about Primrose Hill
- Primrose Hill, like Regent’s Park, was once part of King Henry VIII’s game reserve in the 16th century. It became an open public space in 1842 through an Act of Parliament.
- In 1678, a magistrate was murdered here with his own sword. Primrose Hill was very briefly referred to as “Greenberry Hill”, named after Green, Berry and Hill, the three royal servants who were hung and convicted for the murder.
- There was a plan to build a cemetery here, but that idea was quickly kiboshed and in 1847 an open air gymnasium was built instead. This gymnasium still remains today.
- In 1864 Samuel Phelps planted an oak tree here to mark the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. That tree died but a replacement tree was planted in 1964 to mark the 400th anniversary.
Map of Primrose Hill: