Famous for its iconic views over London, Parliament Hill is capable of reviving even the most jaded Londoner, and on a clear day, you'll have to tiptoe over tourists and locals lounging on the grass and admiring landmarks (The Gherkin, St Paul's) among the numerous tower blocks. Originally a point of defence during the English Civil War, it was named after the troops loyal to Parliament and was often referred to as Traitor's Hill. More recently, the land (occupying a south eastern spot within Hampstead Heath) was used to rear livestock for Smithfield Market (until the 1940s), as well as a sportsground for cross-country, a film location and a popular place to fly kites. The surrounding Parliament Fields also play host to a regular farmers' market and house a public lido. Parliament Hill sports a state-of-the-art adventure playground, still looking spanking new after its award-winning refurb. The imaginative equipment is designed to challenge children rather than keep them boringly safe, and there’s also a huge and popular paddling pool.