Primrose Hill

Introduction

Primrose Hill is a hill of 213 feet located on the northern side of Regent’s Park in London. The hill summit has a clear view of central London, as well as Hampstead and Belsize Park to the north. Nowadays it is one of the most exclusive and expensive residential areas in London and is home to many prominent residents.

Amenities of the hill include an outdoor gym known as the Hill Trim Trail, a children’s playground, and toilets, all located on the south side near Primrose Hill bridge which connects to London Zoo and Regent’s Park.

The location of Promise Hill in London

The location of Primrose Hill in London

In order to investigate the role of Primrose Hill in London, we paid visits in different times  and observed the behavior of people there, trying to understand their purposes of visit.

Our observations

Saturday noon, 25th February – cloudy and started to rain

  • Around 40 people  in the top.
  • Not many tourists, because people were speaking in British English.
  • People’s activities included:
  1. People walking their dog
  2. Boys in football lessons
  3. Couples observing the view
  4. People running
  5. Teenagers taking selfies
  6. Playing ultimate freesbe
  7. The police came
  • Weather: It was very cloudy and started to rain.
  • Observations: people went there anyways but less that on sunny days. People did not leave when it started raining, they kept going up.
People on the summit

People on the summit

Tuesday morning, 28th February-10.15h- Sunny

  • Approximately 6 joggers, most of whom took Primrose Hill as well as Regent’s Park as part of the jogging routes. There are one senior citizen doing exercise. We consider these people as frequent visitors. They are fast movers and not staying very long in the park.
  • Approximately 10 dog walkers, most of whom stayed for more than 20 minutes. They are probably residents living nearby and frequent visitors. They walked leisurely and played with the dogs, enjoying the nature and the fantastic view of the city.
  • More than 10 children and the young adults accompanying them. Children were chasing each other, playing the dogs or walking around. Yong adults were talking and taking pictures. Most of them stayed for more than 30 minutes.
  • Around 10 tourists. We recognized them as tourists because they are holding cameras or taking pictures of both the sceneries and themselves. They might not very frequent visitors of this park, some of them may visit there for the first time.
  • Several people sitting still on the benches, looking around. This quiet and relatively isolated park is a good place for them to be alone, thinking and relaxing.
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Tourists taking selfies on the summit

Wednesday afternoon, 1st March –16.30h- Rain

There was really no sunset because it was bad weather. When I was there, it was sparkling. As we have agreed, we have decided to make two types of observations: one focused on the park and another on the hill.

In the park:

  • Most people were walking their dogs. Some were covered in mud because of the rain. Now I see normal to see dogs in the parks but the first time I went to one I found it curious because in Spain is not allowed dogs entrance in most parks, there are some specials for them.
  • There were some doing sports: A group of teenagers playing football. Two men practicing rugby. Some running.
  • Children with school backpacks crossing the park, I imagine they were returning to their homes. It is an hour when the children have finished the school day.
  • A few just taking a walk.

On the hill:

  • I have gone more times and never seen it so empty, there were between 20-25 people. Maybe this is because it was a weekday or because of the weather it was all muddy and not the best day to enjoy the view.
  • A group of 5 very well dressed young people. Looking at the huge backpacks they had on their feet I realized that they were a hockey team as the sticks of the backpacks protruded.
  • Most of them looked like tourists, they were taking pictures and selfies with the London skyline.
  • A woman with a baby carriage, has to be very athletic because it was difficult for me to climb up. I do not want to imagine climbing a baby carriage.
  • Two couples (they seemed tourists too)
  • A single man lying on a towel and with the bicycle at his side.

I expected less people for the fact of being a weekday, but not so little, since I have gone at other times with bad weather and there were lots of people. So I imagine that more than the weather, what influences the most is whether it is weekend or during the weekdays. Also when we were told that Primrose Hill was a fairly visited site in London. I do not know if it has become fashionable to go this year, but from what I understand it does not appear in the tourist guides and I know some people who have lived here before and had never gone. Perhaps it is becoming better known by word of mouth and more and more go up the hill to see Londo’s skyline.

A man walking a dog

A man walking a dog

Conclusion of our observations

From our observations at three different times, we find that generally people going to Primrose Hill include children playing with the nature, tourists sightseeing and taking pictures, people doing sports( jogging, hiking and exercising), people enjoying leisure time (lying, sitting and walking) and people walking their dogs. Also, we find that more people going during the weekend than the weekdays, and more people in the evening than in the morning, when it is time for work and school. Weather affects the number of people going there as well, since it is an open-air space.

On the whole, this is a spare where people spend their leisure hours and do exercise in their free time. Most of people going there are residents of London and their activities there are a part of their normal life. They feel very free to go and spend time there, enjoying all the advantages of this area provides. I think in these people’s mind, Promise Hill is an indispensable part of  their London life.

Primrose Hill’s characteristics

As a park, it is an open space for everyone. It provides a place for people to entertain, socialise and exercise as well as get close to nature. Compared to other type of public space, parks’ exclusive characteristics are the connection with nature, including trees, grass, flowers, as well as the fresh air. It is public open space and there are no any shops or restaurants inside the park, so it is completely free for people going there.

Primrose Hill also owns some unique characteristics compared to other parks in London. It is relatively isolated. The nearest tube station is Chalk Farm tube station to the northeast and Swiss Cottage tube station to the northwest, but it still takes about 10 minutes to walk there from the stations. It is surrounded by residential houses, and there are no busy shopping streets or shopping malls nearby, and thus it is separated from the noises and crowds. It is not as well-known as Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, which leads to less visitors there. Therefore, Primrose Hill is a quieter place for people who want to get close to the nature and meanwhile escape from the noise and crowds.

The residential houses nearby

The residential houses nearby

Primrose Hill is special due to its special geographic feature. At the top of the hill is one of the six protected viewpoints in London. The summit is almost 63 metres above sea level and the trees are kept low so as not to obscure the view. the summit offers one of the highest points in the city from which to marvel at Central London landmarks such as The Gherkin, the London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral. There is a circular area marking the summit of the hill and several benches there allowing people to sit on, looking at the urban London buildings. This unique feature makes Primrose Hill not only a famous destination for tourists, but also a fantastic venue for lovers, friends and families. Some people even made marriage proposals on the summit, appreciating the romantic ambience it creates at night.

The summit area

View of London from the summit area

 

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