Hampstead Heath

Address: Hampstead Heath, London, NW3, United Kingdom

- Free


Escape to the country in this vast and varied open space.

This huge and much-loved chunk of wild and hilly countryside in the heart of North London is one of the capital's greatest treasures. It's worth visiting any time of the year to walk, relax, picnic and contemplate the very English scene it often presents. At its heart lies Kenwood House (www.english-heritage.org.uk), a splendid 18th-century mansion that's free to enter. The elegant interiors is filled with fine art (including work by Vermeer, Rembrandt and Gainsborough) and alongside stands the Brew House cafe, a good self-service restaurant. I like to approach the Heath by walking west from Highgate Village, or you can enter from the north (Hampstead Lane). In  the south, Parliament Hill is a panoramic spot popular with kite-fliers, where you can enjoy a superb view over central London.

Value for money

Expert tips

Fancy a dip? The Heath has three open-air bathing ponds for male, female and mixed swimming, plus a Lido.

While you're in the area pay a visit to Keats House (www.keatshouse.cityoflondon.gov.uk) where the Romantic poet John Keats lived from 1818-20.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Families with younger children
  • Mature travellers
  • Singles
  • Travellers with pets
  • Escaping the crowds
  • Great views / scenery
  • Relaxation
  • Chilling out
  • Nature / wildlife