England’s best views: From Primrose Hill

‘Primrose Hill competes with Parliament Hill, Alexandra Palace and Shooter’s Hill as natural viewpoints over central London. I lived there for most of my life and from its summit watched London’s skyline changing by the year. The hill’s survival is fortuitous.

With pressure mounting to save London’s ‘northern heights’ from development, an act was secured in 1842 to keep Primrose Hill as open space. It acquired a mystical personality when William Blake saw it as the location of ‘Jerusalem’s pillars of gold’, where he would ‘converse with the spiritual sun’.

It has since featured in many films and literature. Primrose Hill is a place where Londoners come to watch over their city, mingling private pains and pleasures with those of the city as a whole. There is always a knot of spectators on its summit. ‘

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