Mandana exploring Hendon, London and Surrounding Areas
Today I am sharing some fond memories from my diary whilst in and around Hendon & North London. North London is an location very popular for families to live in. Some of London’s best schools are situated here as well as beautiful parks and plenty of activities for the entire family.
Royal Air Force Museum
I invited my mother to join me to go shopping at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, but I made a surprise stop at the Royal Air Force Museum. After years in North London this was my first ever visit there. Upon our entry, the sheer magnitude of the museum took me by surprise, with so many historical aircrafts from both world wars. I took a moment to consider why I hadn’t visited earlier. I felt completely immersed in history. Each aircraft, missiles and bombers story was painted so vividly.
I looked into a plane used in world war one which had a pouch to deliver written messages onto people on the ground. We even saw the very fast fighter aircraft used in the world! It had the engine in the back in order to leave the front open to hold a machine gun. We passed the Avro Lancaster, the best known heavy bomber used in the second world war. This is an impressive aircraft even by today’s standards. We were told it could carry a 22,000 lb bomb.
It was a truly humbling morning, to really feel all the sacrifices men and women had made during the war.
Brent Cross Shopping Centre
Brent Cross Shopping Centre is a mall which I can say I’ve grown up at. As a child I remember visiting the Early Learning Centre for toys and puzzles and through my teenage years there was never a shortage of fashionable stores to keep me busy.
From the museum we went onto Brent Cross Shopping Centre. I still love the variety I can find at the mall as well as the great convenience of free parking and ease of access.
What’s interesting is Brent Cross was the country’s first American-style indoor shopping centre. It paved the way for future malls throughout the country, however at the time of opening it was thought of as futuristic with an indoor water fountain and air conditioning.
Brent Cross Shopping Centre is about to undergo a major revamp, the Brent Cross regeneration scheme is one of the largest regeneration schemes in Europe.
In the evening to wind down I take a walk through The Hampstead Heath. My mind relaxes and wanders amongst the beauty of the lush greenery. This park is absolutely spectacular, with famous ponds, woodlands, swamps and the most beautiful gardens i’ve ever visited. I stumbled across The Hill Garden and Pergola completely by accident. I was walking through the woodlands and saw a door, not too sure where it led but feeling adventurous I decided to take a peep. Oh my Gosh what I saw took my breath away, a secret garden, I couldn’t believe this was in the park on my doorstep. Georgian-era terraces, gardens and Edwardian-pergolas, absolutely stunning architecture, a haven for weddings and photographers. The pergola has the most extraordinary and extravagant terrace which offers multiple winding footpaths, elevated to offer breathtaking views of the gardens and park.
Hampstead heaths swampy and sandy grounds with ponds and springs all surrounded by a forest of woodland, have allowed wildlife to flourish. You can spot foxes, rabbits and squirrels through the park as well as bats and frogs.
Italian at L’artista
In the evening after my walk I meet my cousin at L’artista for a delicious Italian dinner. L’artista established in 1985 has become fairly famous throughout north London for its high quality food and ambiance which makes it feel like a mini Italy. The pizzas are handmade right in front of you, even the dough itself. The weekends tend to be very loud with many families eating out together. The restaurants positioning right under the train tracks creates an incredibly authentic atmosphere.