Hampstead Heath

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
3 Love It
© Oliver Knight
Dartmouth Park

Wild and undulating, the grassy sprawl of Hampstead Heath makes a wonderfully untamed contrast to the manicured lawns and flowerbeds found elsewhere in the capital – and it will feel even more delightfully rural if the City of London Corporation's 'aspiration' to graze sheep on the heath as a flock of organic lawnmowers comes to fruition.

The heath stretches across 791 acres of woodland, playing fields, swimming ponds and meadows of tall grass in north London from Hampstead to Highgate, and has provided the inspiration for countless films, books and poems. On hot summer days, the Hampstead Ponds are perfect for a refreshing dip, while the dizzying heights of Parliament Hill provide a popular destination for kite-fliers when the weather turns breezy.

Venue name: Hampstead Heath
Contact:
Address: Highgate Road
London
NW5 1QR
Transport: Tube: Hampstead, Kentish Town: Rail: Hampstead Heath
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4.6 / 5

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Tom Bruce
Tastemaker

Rain or shine, Hampstead Heath is the ultimate rambling grounds in Greater London. No Sunday Lunch is complete without a quick muck through its rolling trails. Nearly 800 acres of dense woodland, ponds, gardens, and teletubby hills make up this most famous and distinctive of national parks. It can swallow you whole, and it would take quite the explorer to see all that it has to offer. Every path brings with it a surprise, every visit a new appreciation for nature's size and power. Coming here not only gives you a literal breath of fresh air - being the biggest plant-lung in the metropolis means it has the cleanest, purest O2 you'll get outside of eating a sim card - but also a fresh state of mind, as the elements cleanse you and rid your spirit of the city's many temptations. That is unless you've gone there specifically to hook up for casual rut in the mud, as many do - it was a roaming ground for this sort of activity long before Grindr ruined the authentic experience, and the nostalgic probably still prefer to get down and dirty here for the very reason that you can't get an internet signal in the Heath. 


Hampstead is as close as the countryside as you can get without having to go to the countryside, which only tourists and the clinically insane would do. It's better than our Great British rural landscapes because, unlike the home counties (where pubs close at 7pm and people hurt animals to pass the time) when you have had your fill of the outdoors, and trees, and all that mess, you can leave, hop on a bus, go down the pub, then wake up in a skip in Shoreditch 12 hours later with some sandwich on you, after yet another prodigious bender involving low level accidental property damage and swearing at bouncers. 

Amy M
Tastemaker

It may not be Provence but you can get a little taste of the French lavender fields in Hampstead Heath park!! If you have a week in London add this to your must see list!! Stroll around the acres of lovely green surroundings and grab an ice cream and bask in the sun (if it's around). There are also cute cafes and an amazing look out for those happy tourist snaps.

Angharad
Tastemaker

For a great picnic spot, head to the Italian pergola and hill garden at the very top of the Heath. This fairytale corner of the heath is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city streets and just while away a few hours with a good book. It's perfectly peaceful and beautiful when the garden's flowers are in bloom, with benches throughout carved with lovely lines of poetry. 

Hazel T

There are so many wonderful aspects of Hampstead Heath, I love the walks and the vast green areas to picnic and play.