This leafy area of north west London is made for weekend walks, and escaping crowds. It is a very grand neighbourhood, but it’s not all about it wealthy residents. Hampstead is rich in history, culture, green spaces, cobbled streets and architecture.
Visit the Heath, which is a rolling 791 acre area of woodland, long wild grass, playing fields and swimming ponds. Nature is a big part of the life on the heath too. It is also home to diverse habitats including rare birds, plants, trees and animals. A visit to the heath can be a day out in itself, with so many parts to explore and it’s easily one of the best free things you can do in the area. Walk up to Parliament Hill fields for some of the best views over the city, and arrive early for good picnic spots in the summertime or a bracing dip in the swimming ponds or Parliament Hill Lido.
Fuel up for walking, and grab reasonably priced food on the go from famous La Crêperie de Hampstead stand, coffee and cake from Ginger & White or deli treats from The Hampstead Butcher & Providore. Take a walk down the pretty High Street, wander through alleyway Flask Walk, and stroll past Admiral’s House, the subject of John Constable’s ‘The most romantic house in Hampstead’.
There is plenty to see indoors too. Keats House, Burgh House, Freud Museum are all in Hampstead, and 2 Willow Road is the modernist former home of its architect Ernö Goldfinger. At night, it’s more about atmospheric old pubs than bars like The Holly Bush, Garden Gate and Spaniards Inn.