An Oasis of Outstanding Natural Beauty

London is a busy place.  People from other parts of the UK think that it moves too fast and is too crowded.  Coming from America and comparing this city to New York or even LA  — well, this place for me operates on a more human scale, both in terms of its builit environment and it’s pace of life.  But every so often a respite can be enjoyed without hassle, without prior planning and without much travelling.  A few weeks ago, my younger daughter and I drove out to Box Hill in the Surrey Hills.  I’d bookmarked this place in my mind years ago and finally had a few hours to explore this AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designated by Natural England to be conserved).  And it’s true — when you travel, even a short distance, for pleasure — time slows down and every moment, every vista, every conversation can be savoured.  And treasured.