Primrose Hill offers a stunning vantage point with views across the capital - in fact the sightline to St Paul's, for example, is a protected view. In 1842 an Act of Parliament secured the land as a public open space and the park has been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for many years as a place to survey the city and take stock.
The strategic value of Primrose Hill has been realised in fact and fiction. In H.G.Wells' The War of the Worlds (1898) the Martians make their seventh 'final and largest' base at Primrose Hill, to attempt a decisive assault on the city.
During the Blitz (in the Second World War) Primrose Hill provided a location from which to defend the city, as described in Aldous Huxley's wartime novel Time Must have A Stop (1944): A man meditates in his flat during an air raid in which 'the guns on Primrose Hill were banging away in a kind of frenzy.'
The Twilight Bark
In The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (1956) Pongo and Missis escape from Regent's Park and run to Primrose Hill. Here they stand on the hill's summit and bark out a message across the city asking for help in tracing the lost puppies.
Next to the park, Primrose Hill village is full of character, with a good independent bookshop. One of the area's most famous current residents is Alan Bennett.
Just opposite the entrance to the park (on the village side) you'll see the house at 122 Regent's Park Road with a blue plaque. Friedrich Engels, the philosopher and communist theoretician who worked with and financially supported Karl Marx, lived from 1870-1894.