It was our final week in the UK (read part 1-“London: Blue Skies Overhead!” and part 2-“Great Scott! Exploring Glasgow & Edinburgh), and so for our return to London we decided to stay in a different area that was walking distance to Camden, Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath. Roaming around our different ‘neighborhoods’ became one of our favorite things to do with shops, markets, eateries, pubs, canals, lakes, zoos, picnic grounds and sprawling parks all close by.

When not exploring our surrounding areas, we luckily got to catch some wonderful shows that we had  really, really been wanting to experience like the London Philharmonic’s Best of Broadway concert at the Royal Albert Hall (wow!). We also caught two plays, a small, but hilarious comedy of errors “The Play That Goes Wrong”, and a play that we’d been very interested in and curious about–no pun intended–the brilliant “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”.

We also made the most of the weather that had miraculously held up the entire length of our trip by climbing the hills and strolling the  gorgeous public gardens, sitting outside and enjoying the tea salons, bakeries and coffee shops that dotted the various parks’ perimeters. Once, we even wandered off far enough to find ourselves in a local café/bakery tucked away in Hampstead Heath, where a neighborhood regular, a friendly–and shamelessly flirtatious!–senior artist named Paul Winner introduced himself to me, and then upon meeting Ito (who came in from outside where he was having a smoke) proceeded to flatter us both and sketch Ito in his artists’ pad, LOL!

These numerous chance encounters with people, the many surprise events that happened, and the unexpected places we got to see really made this UK trip extra special. What I love most about travel is how it really opens us up to all these amazing experiences that expand our minds as well as our horizons 🙂  (And who knew then that we would be back again so soon after?)

Returning to London to explore a different side

The Albert Memorial overlooking the gardens

Taking a drizzly walk to Kensington Gardens

Catching the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall

Celebrating my birthday at Balthazar in Covent Garden

Loving the clear night and full moon on my birthday night out to catch a show

Admiring the gorgeous interiors of the Royal Albert Hall

Spending an afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery

Trying out the different bakeries, cafés and tea salons in our “neighborhood” between Camden & Hamstead Heath

Meeting the very friendly, very charming Paul Winner who even did a sketch of Ito

Strolling through the city’s beautiful lakes, gardens, hills and parks

Relaxing over afternoon tea (and coffee) at The Orangery in Kensington Palace

Enjoying beautiful days that led to many wonderful and unexpected experiences

*All photos by Ito Ocampo

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