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Parliament Hill

Attractions, Sightseeing Hampstead Heath
4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
Photograph: Ben Rowe Parliament Hill

Time Out says

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.



Address: Hampstead Heath
East Heath Rd
Transport: Rail: Hampstead Heath
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Users say (5)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

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Parliament Hill remains one of my favourite places in London! On a clear and sunny day, the view from up there is amazing and you can have a picnic at the top of the hill as well. Hampstead Heath in general is a great park to walk around, it feels very wild and not London-esque. Go as soon as you can!


Camera phone photos cannot do the view from Parliament Hill any sort of fair justice, so you won't find one attached to this review. It'd be like looking at a police impression artist's sketch of a serial killer, as compared to being strangled by the spree murderer first hand. That's the degree of difference you're looking at. On a clear day, which only the luckiest of strollers get at this drab, damp time of year, onlookers can see all the way to the Crystal Palace broadcast tower in deepest South London, and even to the hill beyond that. All the world stretches before you. 

One issue with the name: you can't actually see the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben clock tower from the top anymore. Nothing against the gentlemen/women who bestowed its title, because at the time there is no doubt that the eponymous landmark was clearly visible from their above sea level standing. No, they couldn't known what London would become. It is the corrupt city planners and big buck developers that are to blame for this ironic eventuality in which the place that was famous for being a good spot to see a famous building is now not a good spot to see the famous building because of the skyscrapers and tower blocks in the way. Primrose Hill is at a slightly better angle in relation to the city skyline; ipso facto, it has a better view than Parliament Hill. 

But I digress. Parliament Hill is still a must-go and a must-see. An alarming number of dogs are always on top, pretty much 24/7, so there's them to enjoy too. Not if you have a dog phobia and/or severe allergy, though. If you have both, how unlucky. Or perhaps it makes sense - the dogs produce unpleasant physical symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and dying, and therefore you are rightly fearful of being anywhere near them, making it a totally logical phobia to have. 


So legend has it that Parliament Hill is where Guy Fawkes was planning to watch his little 5th November firework display from - tsk tsk. If that's not a reason to go here, I don't know what is! The view stretches out over London and can be viewed from different heights on the way up. I still seem to have a bigger soft spot for Primrose Hill but that's mainly because it always seems to be pretty muddy at the top of Parliament Hill. The grounds and forests are vast so go play! Explore! Enjoy! Also a lovely manor house is nearby and garden cafes with often long lines for a cup of earl grey and an icecream! Everyone is there on a sunny day, dogs, people, kids, picnics, books, kites etc etc. The area is fab to explore with cafes, pubs and shops just outside the grounds. The perfect way to spend a lazy weekend.

We take our kids to Parliament Hill on lovely summer days.  No need to pay just take a picnic, find a spot of grass, take in the rays and let the kids play in the fantastic playground with paddling pool.  There is plenty of space to take the cricket set or have a game of rounders.  It can be tricky to park nearby as there are a number of parking restrictions but the overground goes directly there and makes for a more relaxing day.  The playground is best suited for kids up to 8 years old but the grass and the views can cater for all ages.  Enjoy your summer weekend there.

0 of 1 found helpful

Please be aware there is NO REFUND POLICY AND NO RE-ADMISSION POLICY the cafe its very dirty, there is loads of rubbish around and the whole place falls below the standard levels of hygienic . there is no chairs to sit so people sit on the floors. please if you go and you are concern with health and safety communicate with the concil and speak to the manager who is very friendly. I suugest you take folded chairs and your own food if you feel that there is an issue once in, speak directly to the manager as you will be instantly rejected by the cashier. this places has a lot of potential and the council should be doing more to improve the place and offer value for money

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