Saturday, 23 October 2010


With its parks, monuments and gloriously sinuous river, London is a city of sensational views and vistas.

Incomparable among them (in my opinion) is the vast southern panorama to be seen from Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath.

I've been going here for years, but the sudden opening out of the landscape, from this not exactly vertiginous hilltop, never fails to surprise and delight. Take an overseas visitor with you, and I guarantee that they will subsequently refer to the experience as one of the highlights of their time in the capital.

This picture (snapped today) shows the latest addition to the skyline - directly to the right of the central figure.

It's The Shard, a skyscraper under construction near London Bridge. When completed in 2012 it will be the tallest building in the European Union.

Not surprisingly Parliament Hill has featured in innumerable movies.

If you've seen Notes on a Scandal, the seat to the right of the picture may prompt an involuntary frisson.

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