There is a beautiful English Heritage stately home and garden close to my parents place in London, on the edge of Hampstead Heath called Kenwood House. The house, garden and heath are a haven of calm in the otherwise busy metropolis. Kenwood House was originally built in the early 17th century, but it was remodeled in the late 18th century. The property was donated to the nation by Lord Iveagh, a member of the Guinness family, when he died in 1927. It has been open to the public since 1928. I’ve been to the house so many times. It has a nice enough collection of English paintings and is worth a look round, but the it is somewhat overshadowed by the gardens, which, when visited at the right time of year, are spectacular! By ‘the right time of year’, I am referring to early summer – May/June – when the Azaleas and Rhodoendrons are in bloom. A few years ago we took my great aunt to the gardens. She proclaimed that they were as close to Paradise as she expected to be whilst on earth.

Needless to say a visit to Kenwood early on during my trip home was high on my list of priorities. Here are some of the photos I took there.

Just two of the flower beds, decked out with colorful flowers!

A close-up of some stunning pink Rhododendrons

You can actually walk into the middle of one of the large Rhododendron bushes. Once inside, you feel like you are in a Rhododendron cave! It is stunning!

Dual-colored Rhododendrons

Pretty pink Azaleas

Fragrant fuschia-colored Azalea

There is a wonderful view of the London skyline from the part of Hampstead Heath that adjoins Kenwood. Look carefully from left to right and see if you can spot landmarks such as 'The Gherkin', St Paul's Cathedral. The London Eye and Big Ben!

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