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Hampstead pubs

Experience more than just the ponds. Here are the best pubs to pick up a pint in Hampstead

By Time Out London Food & Drink

With the heath, ponds, the connection to Keats and its quaint villagey charm, it's no surprise that Hampstead is home to a number of delightfully British pubs. In among the grand houses, independent coffee spots, boutique shops and the famous La Crêperie de Hampstead, the area boasts some quality boozers, many offering spacious beer gardens, and even the odd cocktail bar, perfect for that post-pond swim. 

Pop into the Spaniards Inn, a favourite of Keats and Dickens, for a taste of history or head to the Garden Gate, with its huge beer garden, for any sociable occasion. And if you're after an expertly made cocktail, the Wells, tucked down a residential street, is a must. Wherever you head, Hampstead is the perfect place to wet your whistle. 

RECOMMENDED: Find more history in the neighbourhood in our Hampstead area guide

The best pubs in Hampstead

The Duke of Hamilton

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Hampstead

Locals seem to have embraced a renovation and new management at the Duke of Hamilton along New End. The new team also run The Clifton in St John’s Wood and bring along with them delicious Sunday roasts and a few decent London beers on draught. They’ve made the most of an original bar and have given the room a dusky green-grey colour scheme. Hampstead Jazz Club remains in the basement, so you can settle in for an enduring session.


Bars and pubs Gastropubs Hampstead

A family- and dog-friendly pub a stone's throw from Hampstead tube station. They serve roasts on Sundays, often with live music to boot, and beer drinkers will be happy to know that as it's original home, the Horseshoe stocks the entire Camden Town Brewery range.



Bars and pubs Gastropubs Hampstead

The Sunday lunch at the Wells is what it's all about, but you'll need to book. If you're just popping in for a pint, though, the bar is wonderfully cosy, and as a Free House there's always a splendid variety of beers to choose from, as well as a nifty cocktail menu, too. 


Bars and pubs Hampstead

Blending perfectly with the second-hand bookstores and other arcana along this lovely, narrow pedestrianised passage, this historic but welcoming Young’s pub has benefited from a 2007 refit that spruced it up without draining its character. Decorative accents are provided by scenes from fairytales, black-and-white photos of days out and century-old posters for London Underground, but the best seats are around the tall table facing the picture window.


The Belrose

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Belsize Park

In what was formerly the Load of Hay Tavern now sits the Belrose, a neighbourhood pub with its head firmly in the Mediterranean. From the colour palette of blues and creams to the rustic Italian food, you could be in a modern trattoria if it weren't for the dark wood and very pub-like bar. 

Heads + Tails

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Cocktail bars West Hampstead

The bar gets its name from its two clear concepts – the upstairs (Heads) is a light space serving low-alcohol drinks, and the basement (Tails) is a barely lit spot for cocktails made from dark spirits. 

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Holly Bush

Bars and pubs Pubs Hampstead

Another of Hampstead's historic pubs, this beloved neighboorhood spot is perched up on the picturesque cobbled Holly Mount. With a lived-in feel, you'll find Fuller's beers in the three low-ceilinged bar areas, as well as other staples. There are fireplaces and cosy corners, while the food is top notch, too. Just be wary as things can get super, super busy. 

Garden Gate

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Hampstead

With its the proximity to Mother Nature as well as the train station, this Hampstead boozer boasts a lovely, spacious garden, which is always brimming with people soaking up the atmosphere. Food is fairly typical gastropub fare and drinks veer from firm favourites to craft beers, sometimes with one-off tap takeovers. 


Spaniards Inn

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Hampstead Heath

Most Londoners know the Spaniards Inn – it’s been a feature of Hampstead Heath since 1585, with Keats and Dickens both former quaffers. Now run by booze behemoth Mitchells & Butlers, it has remained as atmospheric as you’d hope, with dark panels and low beams stretching through the bar and restaurant rooms.


Bars and pubs Pubs Hampstead

This Young's pub is right across the road from the Royal Free Hospital, but it's far more than a safe haven for the hospital staff. Inside you'll find a kitschy but comfy decor and there's plenty of outside space, too. Drinks are varied, too, with some local breweries on tap along with Young's favourites. It can get booked up for food, however, so it might be worth making a reservation. 

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