Take a look around. Yellow daffodils are starting to greet you on your morning commute. There's a buzz in the air around local cafés as people bravely use outdoor seating again. And you might even notice an extra spring in your step as you realise - it's not dark at 5 o'clock anymore.
That's right - this week marks the beginning of Spring in London. And after the winter we've had - it couldn't be more welcome.
It's time to get out there to enjoy Spring flowers, fresh air, and the feeling of new beginnings.
So whether you're planning a family-friendly day out, a chilled afternoon with friends or a zen morning by yourself - there's something on this list for you!
These are our top 5 places in North London to visit in the Spring:
Photo by @oscarcreativedigital
1. Golders Hill Park
Located just north of Hampstead in Golders Green is the beautiful Golders Hill Park. It has something for everyone: lush green fields, a beautiful walled flower garden, a bird pond, a deer enclosure and even a zoo with exotic animals.
If you have children this is the perfect place to bring a picnic; it has lots to keep you entertained, including a playground.
If you're looking for a zen nature walk this is also the place for you, with trails through the trees, gentle hills and a labyrinth of flower beds. The only thing that could make it better? A coffee or tea from the Golders Hill Park Café in your hand.
Photo by @sachithanda
2. The Hill Garden and Pergola
This really is a hidden gem in the North West of London. Four years ago I discovered it by chance on a run through the nearby trails - and I've been telling people about it ever since. I'm always amazed how many Londoners haven't seen it!
The Hill Garden and Pergola are located just south of Golders Hill Park. When you come upon it through the trees, you immediately feel like you've time travelled. It's a snapshot of Edwardian extravagance, partially reclaimed by nature.
Built by a wealthy gardening enthusiast, the Pergola was designed to impress it's early 1900's-era guests. And even today, as you wander through its two levels of arches, trellises and flowering gardens - you can't help but think "is this really in London?". It's absolutely stunning.
When you reach the end of the Pergola, curving stone staircases lead out to The Hill Garden. You'll see beautifully landscaped gardens with a pond and seating to enjoy the scenery.
If this isn't the most ideal way to enjoy the freshness of Spring, I don't know what is.
And whether you've spent the day in Golders Hill Park, The Hill Garden and Pergola, or both - I’d highly recommend stopping off for a late lunch at the nearby Spaniards Inn. This is an iconic London pub that has great food and a fantastic patio to enjoy the spring air.
Photo by @marilumedda
3. Kenwood House and Garden
Unlike The Hill Garden and Pergola, Kenwood House is no secret. This Georgian villa has been in movies like Notting Hill and Mansfield Park.
If you're an art enthusiast you can enjoy a tour of its famous paintings, but if you're more interested in being outside, Kenwood House has beautiful vast grounds within Hampstead Heath. These include landscaped gardens with massive pink rhododendron bushes and lush green hills that lead down to a pond, where you'll often spot a few exotic Egyptian geese.
Start your day off with a beverage and a treat from The Brew House café located on site and then see where inspiration takes you!
Photo by @uniquelyupg
4. Gladstone Park and the Stables café
A few streets north of Dollis Hill station and covering 35 hectares is the expansive Gladstone Park. Popular with dog walkers and park runners, Gladstone is a great place for an early Spring stroll.
You're likely to see a flock or two of London's famous wild parakeets, and for a moment you may even feel like you're in the countryside.
If you head up the hill toward the north side of the park you'll have a spectacular view of the city - especially in the evening.
If you're here early in the day I'd highly recommend stopping off at the Stables Café, located at the north end of the park. The food is delicious and the family that run it are absolutely lovely. Not to mention the unique charm - the café really did used to be stables, and some of the tables are tucked into what used to be the old stalls!
5. West End Lane
Sure we may be a little biased, but West Hampstead really does have an amazing high street!
West End Lane is full of independent cafes, restaurants and shops. It's the perfect place to emerge from your winter hibernation, soundtrack playing on your headphones like you're in the opening credits of a romcom as you browse from shop to shop.
Enjoy a pastry and hot beverage from Wired co., GEO Art Cafe, or the very ethical Intermission Coffee, and then why not pick up some spring flowers at Flowerstalk or the Flower Gallery to brighten up your home?
And if it's green space you're after, head up West End Lane until it turns into Fortune Green Road. You'll find Fortune Green on your left - a relaxing little park with flowers, benches and a playground for the little ones.