Lens-Artists #75: Three Nostalgic Walks

I think you can only be nostalgic for something you’ve lost.~Jim Jarmusch

This week, Tina is focusing on nostalgia–a great theme for this time of the year when we are flooded with reminders of holidays past and time spent with family and friends in celebration.

Nostalgia can heighten our pleasure in the present moment. This happens when we take actual trips down “memory lane” by revisiting places which we knew and loved in the past. Our pleasure is doubled and tripled as we return to these place, while thinking back on our experiences in the past.

During our stay in London in October, we learned about the nostalgia that the British feel for their  countryside and small towns.  To understand this, we took several trips throughout the U.K.


One place beloved by the British is Oxford, famous not only for its university, but also in popular culture.  Dozens of books and movies have been set in this town–like Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.  If you haven’t seen the PBS mini-series based on this novel, I highly recommend taking the time to see it.

We spent an afternoon wandering around this charming town, visiting the university campus and stopping for tea at a local shop. Here you can see the famous Radcliffe Camera, on the Oxford campus, which has existed on this site for over 800 years, making it one of the oldest universities in the world.   I loved the juxtaposition of the historic building and the modern bicycles on campus.


The city, which showcases a variety of architecture, is beautifully preserved.  Even the doors were magnificent!

The Cotswolds

Nature inspires me because it’s so peaceful. It makes me have an inward experience. It makes me reflective and nostalgic.~Brett Dennen

On the same day, we visited the Cotswolds, known as one of the prettiest areas in England, which covers  787 square miles (2,040 km2).  It is the second largest protected landscape in England.  Here you can see the charm of a country lane and thatched cottages.

Hampstead Heath

On another day, we explored Hampstead Heath in London with a wonderful new British friend. As we walked, she told us stories about the dogs, which she walked here over the years, and shared her memories of coming here as a child.

This ancient heath extends over 790 acres, and has wooded trails and a series of ponds, open for swimming.  As you can see, dogs and their companions love to come here and enjoy long walks or quiet moments together.

In this open stretch of rolling hills, you can see several people walking–if you look closely. I love the changing leaves and the undulating landscape.

Now, that we’ve taken this nostalgic trip through the UK, I’ll end this post with a cautionary note about another type of nostalgia, which is misleading and dangerous.  It is used by populist leaders who try to invoke the “good old days” of nationalistic pride, when life was supposedly simpler and less complicated. This is a dangerous illusion.  History tells us that these leaders use nostalgia as a way of manipulating our emotions to achieve their own ends.  This is their primary goal.

I also want to thank you all who participated in my “Abstract” challenge last week.   Your responses were fabulous and truly inspired me to continue exploring abstract photography.  Thank you!

Tina, Amy, Ann-Christine and I hope you join us for this week’s “Nostalgic” challenge.  If you join us, include a link to Tina’s post. (Links from the Reader are not working correctly.) Use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you. For instructions on how to join us, click here.

Next week, it’s Amy turn to host LAPC Challenge #76.

PLEASE NOTE we will not be publishing our challenge the week of December 21 to 27.

As always, Amy, Tina, Ann-Christine, and I thank you for your continued support of our photo challenge.  Have an inspiring week!

68 replies »

  1. Dear Patti All the three places are wonderful, peaceful captivating and deeply engrossing .Nothing like a walk in such majestic natural surroundings and so true about ‘revisiting places’ once lived in’…’going down memory lane’..

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A very beautiful nostalgic photos and stories. These places have magnificent history. We visited Oxford three years ago.
    Thank you for the wise cautionary note; it is a dangerous illusion that they use. Love this post, Patti!
    BTW, I found the Brideshead Revisited movie on Amazon Prime for free. 🙂 Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Superb contribution Patti, Oxford and 800 years of history, definitely nostalgic place for huge number of people there and around the world. Like the first shot with the bikes lined up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I stayed in Buckinghamshire for 2 years as an au-pair, and Oxford was a place I liked to visit during the weekend.
    Beautiful photos. I like the first one especially which could be a postcard it is so perfect!


    • Hi, IJ. That’s true! I love that! I’m glad you liked my “cautionary note.” It worries me that people can accept candidates’ positions without digging deeper into them. Emotionally-based appeals can mask a variety of evils!! Thanks so much for your thoughts, IJ.


    • You’re very welcome! I’m delighted that you like these shots. I waited a long time to go to those places. They lived up to their reputations! I was absolutely enchanted with the Heath. Dogs, sunshine, beautiful scenery…what more could I want??


  5. Beautiful photos of places I’ve always read about. Having never been there, these places don’t feel nostalgic to me. However after reading countless novels set in merry old England, it’s wonderful to see them (in pixels 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sandy. I totally agree about reading about these places in novels. It was wonderful to go there and keep the memories in pixels! Thanks for your kind words, too.


  6. First of all, Patti, apologies for not making it last week. The images were in my head but never made it to camera. 😦 We seem to be walking more than ever so I shall blame that 🙂 In my years in London I never did make it up to Hampstead Heath either. No dog to walk! I know- the excuses get weaker. 🙂 But I love your image of the Radcliffe Camera, and the colours are so rich in that first of the Heath.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jo. There’s no need to apologize. Life can get in the way of our best intentions! I loved the Heath. I hope you go there when you’re back in London. Oxford was so full of history. I loved it, too. I hope all’s well, Jo. Enjoy all those long walks!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Love the Cotswolds. Jim Jarmusch?! Where did you dig up that one? I saw Mystery Train decades ago, while working in England I think. I remember my coworker and friend Richard Schiotling recommended it. Quirky, of course. It’s Jarmusch. I saw Evita at the Apollo Theater in Oxford, now called the New Theater, Wiki tells me. Nostalgia, old memories, that’s what they are. I presume your warning of the old days is RE: Brexit. No man is an island anymore. Not even England. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, John. I don’t know Jarmusch. Now you’ve got me curious. His quote just “fit” my thoughts! I’m thinking of nostalgia being used for political ends in the countries where populist leaders are “rising” or in power (e.g. Make America Great Again).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m proudly, politically unaffiliated, as in recent years I don’t feel like any political parties represent me, but there definitely has been a hard shift ‘right’ in America and many European countries. I hope we don’t have a reactionary hard shift to the far left as a result, but whatever it takes to get in the vicinity of the middle, we must strive for, I trust.


  8. Three lovely places that fit so well with the theme— though I agree with Sue about revisiting. I have a particular soft spot for the heath, having briefly lived in nearby Golders Green. Oxford I never really warmed to; probably because I lived in Cambridge for a while and have wonderful memories of that.


    • Hi, Su. We didn’t get to Cambridge. Another trip! I can understand your loyalty. It’s so interesting how people get so passionate about their favorite places!! I guess I’m that way about New York City!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Patti – yet again, I’m in awe of your composition in your photos. You’re so talented, I’m always inspired by what you share. Thank you for taking us on your three walks. I can see why you’d remember each place fondly!


    • Well, Shelley. Your comment definitely has me smiling!! I’m thrilled to hear that. I am always grateful for the feedback and support of our creative community, which helps us grow as creative people. I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yay, I’m so happy to hear my comment brought a smile to your face. I’m with you – feedback that helps us grow is a wonderful gift! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Magnificent images! Thank you for this virtual tour – amazing moments in time. I also agree with you about the manipulative way “nostalgia” can be orchestrated by those in power. Thank you, also, for mentioning that. It is important to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

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