There are few green spaces left in London that quite retain an air of secrecy and other-worldliness like Holland Park. Nestled between Kensington High Street and Notting Hill, at first sight the park’s walled exterior seems almost to shield it from the inclemency of city life. Inside, the footpaths meander around dense thickets of bush and woodland. Even in the icy grip of winter – when we visited – the park was dubbed with a marvellous mix of birdsong. To the untrained ear, bird calls probably resemble little more than a cacophony; but with patience and mindfulness they begin to unveil a world that still dances to the rhythm of the seasons and beats to a tune before time. At the heart of the park is the little known Kyoto Peace Garden – a sanctuary for silence-seekers and a fine example of a traditional Japanese water garden. The garden and surrounds are also home to a flock of peacocks which add to the sense of exoticness unique to the park.
In the afternoon we paid a brief visit to the Natural History Museum. As impressive as the extent of its collections is the museum’s architectural splendour. The front façade and entrance hall is perhaps one of the finest of any building in the UK – and a fitting monument to Victorian extravagance. Highlights of the visit included the life size replica of a blue whale spanning 30m in length across the museum’s mammalian hall.
Technical details: Sony a850 with Tokina 19-35mm lens.