A great oak tree on Hampstead Heath in full bloom. Shelter for hundreds of organisms, from the ivy encircling its grooved trunk to the gray squirrels running along its crooked branches and magpies nesting in its yawning canopy, it is a haven for life and a feast for the eyes. It can live for centuries, as time passes more slowly for this enormous and beautiful creature. Come to the Heath and fill your lungs with nature’s sweet breath to recharge your soul. Sit beneath this lonely tree and ponder the meaning of life, the despair of love, the impending arrival of death. Exit the city and enter a dreamland.

Hamptead Heath Ponds

Every picture of the Heath is a painting, and this one of Hampstead’s No 1 Pond is no different. It aches to be set on canvas. An end of summer project perhaps? Whenever I’m feeling too closed in from living in the city, a walk on the Heath sets me straight. Quacking ducks, barking dogs, rustling leaves, and — if you’re lucky — a bit of sun gives this spot of nature in the midst of London the power to mend a tired soul.