Stalking Trees: Stalking the Invisible

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Date(s) - 30/11/2019
10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Hampstead tube station


Following on from our delightful autumnal walk through Golders Hill Park and the Heath Extension in October in the company of Dr Peter Coles, we join him again on this walk that traces ancient Parish boundaries running through the woods of Hampstead Heath and Kenwood, marked by old oak and beech trees, as well as the odd sweet chestnut.  A highlight is the ancient ditch and mound boundary  just inside the Kenwood  estate, with stone and metal boundary markers still visible at the foot of some veteran oaks. 

As we segue from autumn towards winter, the woods take on a different aspect.  The ground is carpeted with damp leaves and the almost bare trees show off their skeletal form, difficult to see at the height of summer. This is a great time of year to photograph trees, or just appreciate their beauty without leaves. And the smell of the woods at this time of year apparently stimulates happy feelings in the brain, possibly to offset the fewer hours of daylight.

Starting at Hampstead Tube station, we head through the Georgian streets of Hampstead village into an exquisite lime tree avenue into the woods. Walking mostly on gravelled and hard paths, we head up towards Kenwood, with plenty of time to appreciate some of the massive old oaks here – it’s still amazing to find trees like these in London. 

At Kenwood we can trace the line of high beeches and oaks that show where the old Highgate road ran along the edge of the Bishop’s Wood, before it was moved a hundred yards north. After a quick visit to the kitchen garden, with its heated south-facing wall, time for refreshments at the Brew House.  There’s also plenty to see in Kenwood House itself, including one of the best Rembrandt self-portraits. 

Photo credit: Reena

Buses to Hampstead and Highgate run frequently from just outside the entrance to Kenwood (Hampstead Ln, Highgate, London NW3 7JR).

It may be wet and a bit muddy – though we keep to good paths – so dress appropriately.

Ticket prices: Early bird (until 23/11/19) £15 / £18 thereafter / £20 on the day / Concessions £12 – please note that on-line bookings close at midnight on 29 November. Black Friday special £12 only available from 00.00am to 11.30pm on Friday 29 November

When booking, if you are not a PayPal account holder, an option to use a credit / debit card will be available once purchasers have clicked the PayPal button.

What3words – is a location finding app – and we’ve been asked to use it – so here goes: //shift.lazy.once  should get you to the start of this walkshop.

What took place

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What participants fedback about this event –


For several years, we have been getting people to share their knowledge and stories about trees, and more recently, with the help of urban nature photographer and writer Dr Peter Coles, we have been ‘stalking trees’ to discover more about individual species and specimen, and how they can be photographed in different seasons. You can find out more about our Stalking Trees walkshops here.

We at the Museum of Walking are not “tree huggers” but we do love trees, for we feel that they contribute more to our urban neighbourhoods than they detract.  We are the co-producers of the Urban Tree Festival set for 17-24 May 2020.

Photo credits: Dr Peter Coles

Walking in step with:

A new book on the Mulberry by Dr Peter Coles has just been published by Reaktion Books  Read more here


Bookings are closed for this event.

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