Hampstead Village & Heath

(40 customer reviews)

Hampstead Underground station, London

Guided by David or Peter G. or Richard III

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
Sunday Weekly 10.30 am 1 pm Winter Summer Reserve Online
Wednesday Weekly 2 pm 4 pm Winter Summer Reserve Online

N.B. this walk will not take place on the following dates:

07-12-2022 14-12-2022 21-12-2022 25-12-2022 28-12-2022 04-01-2023 11-01-2023 18-01-2023 25-01-2023

Short read: This is a great walk. They don’t come any better than this.

Long read: London’s penthouse. The Skybox in NW3. Our setting is London’s most picturesque neighbourhood – a perfectly preserved Georgian village crowning the top of a handsome hill and garnished with the capital’s most elegant old world promenade, a medley of cobble-stone lanes, pretty cottages, surprising turnings, and unsurpassed views.

Say hello to Hampstead and meet David. He introduces Hampstead in this podcast.

And here’s another David podcast about Hampstead.

By Orchard Pond – David’s been out on Hampstead Heath listening to nature 

And yet another one.

And here’s a Jan Podcast on Hampstead Heath and Kenwood.

Pre-walk recommendations: TBC

: 

As for our cast of characters… well, it’s every bit as beguiling as our setting, ranging from the highwayman Dick Turpin to the painter Constable to the poet Keats; from Freud and D.H. Lawrence to Sting and Boy George; from Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Dench and Emma Thompson to Rex Harrison, Peter O’Toole, Alan Bates, Dudley Moore, Rowan Atkinson, Liam Gallagher and Jeremy Irons.

And for good measure, there’s London’s most villagey atmosphere, white swans on a lake, and magnificent Hampstead Heath.

HAMPSTEAD WALK – THE PRACTICALS

The Old Hampstead Village & Heath walk takes place at 10:30 am every  Sunday morning, year-round. The Sunday morning walk is guided by David*

The Old Hampstead Village & Heath walk also takes place at 2 pm every Wednesday afternoon (except in January and February). The 2 pm Wednesday afternoon Hampstead walk is guided by Richard III or Peter.

The meeting point is just outside the exit of Hampstead Tube Stop.

The walk ends in Church Row, Hampstead’s grandest street, just a stone’s throw from Hampstead Tube Stop.

*Personal note. This is my (David’s) favourite of the 58 different London Walks in my repertory. Surely some sort of recommendation.

LONDON WALKS VIDEOS

Want another preview of the walk? Here’s a little hand-held video number I, David, whipped up. It’s called The Footpaths of Leafy Hampstead. I shot it to bring to the fore and underline a point that’s often overlooked – namely that one of the things you’re paying for on a walk is the route. A lot of these places and byways you wouldn’t be able to find off your own bat. Let alone piece them together into the coherent narrative of a two-hour walk.

It’s not a word that very often comes to mind in connection with a delightful stroll through, say, leafy Hampstead, but a quality walking tour is a wonderfully efficient creation. You’d have to get stuck into Hampstead many times over a period of years to discover and then piece together this route. Who – apart from a London Walks Hampstead Village guide – has the time, inclination and determination to do that?

And a 2017 update: here’s another hand-held “tracking shot” – all of 72 seconds long – of a different “secret Hampstead passageway.” Counting the “path through the woods” we thread our way along a half dozen or so of these secret passages. There’s no other London Walk like this in that regard alone.

And – embarrassment of riches – we’ve got a second Hampstead film. This was about the 15th one we made. The ones that had preceded it had all pretty much followed the same formula: shoot a few bits of the walk, show the guide in action, show the walkers, soundtrack it, put up some credits, say “that’s a wrap.” We plumped for something entirely different with this one. We commissioned Keiko, a Japanese stills photographer. Took her over the route. And then turned her loose with that very special camera – and technique – of her. It was edited by Jon. Some musician chums of his composed and performed a piece especially for it. And here it is – unique, beautiful and mysterious. Which is just so right for Hampstead.

You can see David guiding here (the first of our two Along the Thames Pub Walk videos). Or here, the video Jim Albritton, a professional American filmmaker, shot of our Kensington Walk.

Final point. David‘s thing is Literary London. The Mail has just singled out his Dickens Walk as one of the ten best guided tours in the country.” The “fit” of course is that London doesn’t come much more literary than Hampstead.

Refrain: this is my (David’s) favourite of the 58 different London Walks I’m able to guide. That’s got to be some sort of recommendation.

LONDON WALKS REVIEWS

“I joined David’s tour around Hampstead village today [May 9, 2021] and I simply just couldn’t have wished for a better way to spend my Sunday. David was full of important facts and light anecdotes and his enthusiasm was so contagious that we were charmed from the first minute of his tour to the last. Given his background in literature and history, and having lived in Hampstead for nearly 50 years, he was amazingly qualified to give the tour. He was also personally extremely engaging, though, and we had a wonderful time chatting with each other and even with a few interesting Hampstead characters (a painter, a bird watcher!) we met along the way. Needless to say that Hampstead itself is just incredibly charming and worth every minute!

I have been doing quite a few guided tours with other companies these past weeks post-lockdown, but this was by far the best one! Such a gap between David and all the other guides I have seen so far.

I will only book with London Walks from now on. Also, I understand that all the guides do very much their personal tours and tailor them well, so that other Hampstead tours are different from David’s. I will hence make sure to be back to this one, too!”  TripAdvisor, May 2021 

“London Walks is the best, hands down.”  Frommer’s London

“The original and best – there are several companies offering walking tours of London but London Walks (London’s oldest) is easily the pick of the bunch”  London, Cadogan Guide

“London Walks offers guided walks throughout London, but the two-hour saunter through Hampstead’s centuries of architectural and cultural history is the jewel in their crown.” The New York Times

“We chose the Hampstead Walk among many options offered by London Walks. It was great, informative, funny, knowledgeable and varied in what we saw. Our guide David was an endless fountain of historical and contemporary information about the neighborhood. He chose a combination of unique vantage points, nature (the Hampstead Heath) and urban settings. Highly recommend this group for any of the walks they offer.”  Encoredesigner, TripAdvisor, Dec. 2019

A huge ‘thank you’ to David for our Hampstead walk this morning [19 February 2017]. I’ve lived in Hampstead for the past 25 years and you still managed to teach me things about my ‘hood! I thoroughly enjoyed, seeing Hampstead through your eyes, your aesthetic, as well as your formidable knowledge from geology to history. Your love of the place shone through. We had a totally wonderful morning. It was a pleasure meeting you and I’ll be back for more walks with visitors… so until the next time, it’s bye for now. Best wishes and thanks again Sarena” Sarena

“Last Sunday morning I had an enchanting walk around Hampstead in the company of a group of strangers and an erudite guide. I’ve enjoyed a number of these London walks over the years and so it was that one cold January afternoon in Little Venice I learned about the history of the Regent’s Canal and enjoyed peering nosily through houseboat windows. On another walk I explored the quirks of upmarket Notting Hill, and a walk around Chelsea revealed intricate treasures from the Arts and Crafts movement. But Hampstead is definitely my favourite walk so far, with its panoramic views over London and streets so steep they have handrails.” Lynn Farley-Rose, author of 31 Treats and a Marriage

“We did the Hampstead tour and wish we could have trailed after David all day! He was so interesting and it made for an enjoyable morning. He shared other tips and recommendations that we used for the rest of our trip. We have joined London Walks on a previous trip. Each guide has been top-notch! Because of these tours, we have tried similar walking tours in other cities in the U.S. and Europe, but London Walks is my favorite.” Julia N. [September 2017]

“Our walk through Hampstead was no exception. Besides being a personable and inveterate storyteller, David has an encyclopedic knowledge of the area and stopped regularly to introduce us to local pubs, viewpoints, historic homes, the famous Hampstead Heath and architectural/historic features that we would never have found or understood on our own. Even our seven-year-old son enjoyed the walk and was easily able to discuss what he learned by listening to David and asking questions, which David never failed to answer in his warm and friendly manner.”

“We really enjoyed David’s lively and interesting Sunday morning Walking tour of Hampstead. We saw everything we wanted to see and really appreciated his warm, knowledgeable and enthusiastic approach. We learnt plenty and got to know a part of London and its history that we didn’t know before. Nicely balanced content. Very glad we did this – we’ll definitely do more of these walks in the future. Highly recommended!” juliegV2946AJ  Hemel Hempstead, TripAdvisor, November 2019

Après Walk

We finish at about 1 pm. You’ll have worked up a bit of an appetite. So sure, I make several recommendations. All of them places I know well. I regularly frequent them because this is my home patch. One of them – the tiniest cafe in Hampstead – figures in a podcast I did. I interviewed the proprietor, the wonderful Ghassan. Click here to have a listen.

And for a send-off here’s a 53-course Hampstead feast: Things to Do in Hampstead, A Local’s Guide

LONDON WALKS PRIVATE WALKS

If you can’t make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, Hampstead Village & Heath it can always be booked as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Hampstead Village & Heath walk – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We’ll tailor it to your requirements. Ring Fiona or Noel or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk – they’re good value for an individual or couple and sensational value for a group – makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing.

GIVE THE GIFT OF LONDON WALKS

A private London Walk makes a fab gift – be it a birthday or anniversary or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that’s special. Memories make us rich.

LONDON WALKS – STREETS AHEAD!

Don’t just take it from us.

OTHER TOURS YOU MAY LIKE

40 reviews for Hampstead Village & Heath

  1. Dave Thomas

    It’s not many guided walks that give you so much as David’s tour of Hampstead. He takes you to places you’re unlikely to find on your own then talks with the authority of someone who has researched not only what you see today but why it’s there, how it has changed and the connections of people past and present. He tells stories both first and second hand, that bring the place to life. At the end of the walk you feel you want to stay as there’s more to be discovered by your self.

  2. Matthew Barker

    What an insightful and eye opening walk… We covered famous residents, the battle for the Heath and Hampstead, and even managed to see some wonderful views. David was charming, told a good story, and knew his stuff. The perfect guide.

    Be prepared for a bit of mud if you’re walking in the Autumn or Winter (hey, it’s London so maybe be prepared all year round), you’ll find yourself walking through the countryside.

  3. Your review is awaiting approval

    David is an accomplished presenter and provided wonderful anecdotes about a place he clearly loves. Our group was small so much personal attention. Extremely good value for money.

  4. Tal Sarig

    David made me fall in love with Hampstead, and explore its fascinating past and present.

  5. Jonathan Gorman

    David was a great guide, stufed full of facts and local knowledge but with a great delivery and infectious enthusiam. thankyou

  6. Celeste Krishna

    Lovely tour! Highly recommend

  7. Rainer Eisenbach

    We took part in this walk on the 23rd October and David was our guide. The tour was phantastic although it was a bit rainy at first. We have been to London many times and also Hampstead, but the insight and dephth of Davids tour was superb and all presented in an entertaining way and always open to personal questions. We can strongly recommend this tour and also other London walks we did earlier in the year were great. It should be a must for any London visitor at a very reasonable price.

  8. Jo Hudaly

    Loved the 🚶‍♀️learnt a lot fascinating and helpful to read what you sent to refresh my memory! 😊 Look forward to the next 🚶‍♀️ want to do Greenwich ever thought of adding ot to your list?

  9. Brevy Cannon

    This is one of the best walks! David is terrific, and the area is a crown jewel of London! Highly recommend! Not to be missed!

  10. Nancy

    An excellent walk by a very knowledgeable tour guide. David knows his stuff and has loads to share. Love the attention to detail and breadth of knowledge.

  11. Susan Griffin

    Great to hear about Hamstead from someone who is both passionate and very knowledgeable about the area. Great stories and anecdotes from David on Sunday.

  12. Becky – October 2022

    We had a beautiful morning walk with David in a stunning landscape. We wanted something different for our last day in London and this walk/talk exceeded our expectations. David’s knowledge and enthusiasm are amazing and we loved our quiet break in London. I highly recommend this walking tour.

  13. Marion

    I have recently moved to Hampstead so joined the walk to pick up some new facts and find some new spots for my own explorations. The walk was mainly tourists and a few locals. I enjoyed the pace, the stories and some personal anecdotes that made the tour feel quite special. I ended up going for a coffee afterwards with one of the other walk attendees- a lovely Sunday all round 🙂

  14. anna

    Entertaining, fun, knowleadgeble, and very passionate. It’s really put Hampstead and its Heath into historic perspective for me, allowing me to enjoy my subsequent walks in the Heath even more. Great morning!

  15. Brian Westbye

    You always remember that one great professor: the one whose enthusiasm and passion for their subject sucks you in and makes you a true believer. We were fortunate to have that experience with David on the Hampstead Village & Heath tour on Sunday, 01/10/2022. David’s knowledge of Hampstead and the Heath is contagious, and his presentation is absolutely memorable, like a great Shakespearean actor. I will always remember the beauty of Hampstead and the Heath, the glorious morning, the camaraderie of the tour, but I will especially remember the presentation, how the past and present of this amazing area came alive under the guidance of a great professor for one morning.

  16. Karen Pettigrew

    David – a Shakespearean voice with a deep love of the heath and Hampstead and really great love of literature. Without his knowledge I would have missed out on so many fine details had I visited Hampstead on my own. With his guidance the Heath, the history, the viewing points, the architecture and so much more came vividly to life. A huge glowing star and a thank you! Go and do this walk (my 9th) – you won’t regret it and you will discover so much about this heath and village in the centre of a metropolis.

  17. Mary Ulick

    This is my favorite walking tour. This September will be my 4th and each time, I bring a new person with me who is just as delighted as I am. Dave is a superb guide and after viewing all the beautiful and iconic places in the city center, this particular walk leaves me refreshed and relaxed “far from the maddening crowd.”

  18. Tim Gifford

    A really fascinating and entertaining walk with David who holds Hampstead close to his heart. His inside information and good humour made for a very enjoyable two and a half hours. Highly recommended!

  19. Tal Cohen

    Great walk!!!

  20. K.C. Myers

    A Sunday walk through the Heath with David is like a riveting theatrical production. I am still processing some of David’s stories and enticed to research more – instead, I look forward to my next tour with him! This is no ordinary tour – guaranteed to impress and entertain! Thank you David for a lovely Sunday stroll through the Heath!

  21. Abigail Franklin

    Hampstead is an absolutely gorgeous village within a city, and David could not have been a better guide to showcase its many wonders. A perfect combination of beautiful nature, stunning architecture, great stories, on a perfect day. Would take the tour a second time since it was so good.

  22. Marie-Josée

    It was our third Hampstead Village and Heath walk with David in 20 years… while I did not remember all the stories our guide told us in the past, I remembered the unique atmosphere of this walk. It is still very bucolic, quiet and enjoyable. David is kind, generous and attentive to everyone. He is not only knowledgeable, he is passionate about Hampstead. We highly recommend this walk.

  23. Chris Hall

    What a wonderful tour, David educated us in the most effortless way about the preservation of the Heath. Apparently it was a long and hard fought battle. Interspersed with the gradual unfolding of this tale we were treated to the visual delight that is Hampstead village and stunning views across various London vistas, all delivered with David’s charm, wit and passion for his adopted village. The fascinating facts and observations came thick and fast, whilst the physical pace was gentle. (It is hilly which may deter some, but steps and handrails on the one steeper gradient aided accessibility, my dodgy knee coped just fine). This oasis in the city attracted, and continues to attract, gifted and creative people. Artists, actors, writers and musicians being particularly well represented. The architecture is varied and stunningly beautiful.
    Thank goodness those visionaries were successful in preserving the Heath as common land for all Londoners to enjoy. No rewilding needed here! Nature has always found a home this corner of London. That’s how far ahead of their time those campaigners were.
    The contrast between the bustling village and peace and tranquillity of the Heath gave the tour an unusual dimension and unique perspective.
    Factor in some time to explore Hampstead village post tour and (top tip) have a light breakfast because there are some absolutely delightful places to eat! Can’t recommend this tour highly enough. Don’t dither, book it!

  24. Susan Baron

    I enjoyed this walking tour of Hampstead with Richard III so much several years ago that I brought my daughter back with me in April 2022 to take it again. If I could give more than 5 stars, I would. Richard III is witty, kind, and incredibly knowledgeable. We spent a very fun couple of hours traipsing around the town of Hampstead — learning about John Keats, John Constable, the DuMauriers, and Hampstead architecture — just to name a few of the fascinating topics discussed during this amazing walk. I highly recommend leaving central London to learn about this erstwhile nearby village. You will see more London residents than tourists as the tube stop is at the outermost edge of Zone 2.

  25. Katherine

    My daughter and I went on this walk and thought it was so fabulous we tried to recreate it for the rest of the family… kind of failed because we weren’t nearly as good as our guide… but also succeeded because we had discovered a gem!
    I’ve been on 4 London Walks now—all different, each excellent.
    This one might have been the “walkiest”—covered lots of ground, got all muddy… great fun!

  26. Kenny

    We took the Hampstead Village & Heath walk with David. Although, I have lived in London for 20 years, he brought me to several areas I had never been too before. David has a tremendous knowledge of the area and a great ability and tell its stories. I have been on many guided walks and this ranks up there with the best. Thank you very much David!

  27. Isabel

    I’ve been on several London Walks now and have thoroughly enjoyed them all. Each shows how varied different areas of London are, and the Hampstead and Heath walk by David introduced me to an area I’ve never visited before. David was most entertaining, with many interesting and sometimes quirky historical facts about the area. I was most interested in the story of how the Heath was saved from development over many years. We could just about make out the central London landmarks he pointed out from viewpoints despite the drizzle. I’m definitely planning to go back on a clearer day. Highly recommended.

  28. Theresa Guppy

    What a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning – strolling around the fascinating streets and paths of Hampstead Village and Heath. You won’t find a more knowledgable and enthusiastic guide than David.

  29. Robin

    Fabulous walk. Interesting, entertaining and fun. A part of London we didn’t know brought vividly to life. And a pub lunch in a recommendation to finish. What’s not to like! We’ll be back.
    Thanks David.

  30. Melanie Adegbite

    Fantastic walk, my guide David was extremely knowledgeable and he bought Hampstead Heath to life.
    What a great few hours of history, humour, facts, walking and socialising.
    I would highly recommend this for anyone particularly those that are new to London Walks. This was my first London Walk and I am already booking another for next weekend.
    Thanks David for a great day.

  31. Irina

    What a great Sunday walk with David! He is a great storyteller indeed! He knows not just every corner of Hampstead Heath but also showed the most picturesque views, hidden paths, and the best angles. I know Hampstead quite well though I learnt a lot during the tour including new paths, very moving and sentimental stories, historical facts, architectural details, and names of people who lived or still enjoying this beautiful area. The best way to spend your Sunday morning is to explore this peaceful, well-off village with a knowledgeable and passionate guide. Thank you so much David, I truly enjoyed the walk today!

  32. Irina Tolstova

    What an imazing walk on Sunday with David! He is a great story teller indeed! He knows not just every hidden corner of Hampstead village but also showed its best views and angles. Despite I know Hampstead really well I was happy I joined the tour as learnt lots of interesting facts, moving and sentimental stories and opened so many new paths, details of the architecture, history and famous names, of course! One of the best ways to spend your Sunday morning is to explore this beuatiful area with knowledgebale and passionate guide! Thank you, David! I truly enjoyed the walk.

  33. Steve Lesley

    What a great way to spend a Sunday Morning! The tour uncovered parts and the History of Hampstead that the majority of people would never seek out. Thank you David

  34. Chris Fisher

    It makes the world of difference when your guide isn’t working from a script but is speaking from extensive personal knowledge rooted in a deep and genuine interest. We went on the Hampstead walk with David on Boxing Day and despite the low misty cloud we thoroughly enjoyed the warm and enthusiastic way he shared his obvious love of the neighbourhood. Unfortunately because of the low cloud we couldn’t see any of the views which are a key feature of this walk. That’s the only excuse we need to go back and do it again in the summer. If you’re thinking of going on a London Walk don’t hold back. We’ve done several now and can recommend them highly.

  35. D. Beckham

    “a wonderful tour, easily one of the best we’ve had in London”

  36. Rebecca

    I turned out to be the only person on this Walks tour (10/31/21), and David still gave me a fantastic tour and truly made my time in Hampstead one to remember. I would not have been able to learn as much and see as varied of walkways on my own had David not guided me through this wonderful walk. Taking this Walks tour, I learned and saw so much more thanks to David’s eyes than I could have on my own. I had planned on doing this tour and then going back to central London, but after this walk with David I decided to take my time and spent another hour discovering Hampstead on my own. I cannot wait to go back and discover even more of the village on my next trip to London.

  37. Alice Kathryn Chen

    Spent a delightful morning walking with David of London Walks learning all about Hampstead and Hampstead Heath. Why? 1) Because once upon a time in high school, the only book I really enjoyed in my AP English was Return of the Native, and I decided it was very important that one day I experience a heath in person – couldn’t make it to Ogden Heath this time around (sorry Thomas Hardy) so Hampstead will have to suffice and 2) because as David so eloquently said “Hampstead is a place for those with particularly developed visual capacities” which I interpret as “It’s a place for people who like pretty and wild things” which is def me. Of all the neighborhoods I’ve visited in London, I’d def want to live in Hampstead among the artists, actors and brambles. If you are ever in London and you love to walk, look and learn with a charming human who clearly LOVES and knows all the nooks and crannies of his neighbourhood check out @londonwalksofficial and make sure you spend some time with David. He’s a very jaunty dresser, as well which gets him extra points in my book!

  38. Lynn Farley-Rose, author of 31 Treats and a Marriage

    “Last Sunday morning I had an enchanting walk around Hampstead in the company of a group of strangers and an erudite guide. I’ve enjoyed a number of these over the years and so it was that one cold January afternoon in Little Venice I learned about the history of the Regent’s Canal and enjoyed peering nosily through houseboat windows. On another walk I explored the quirks of upmarket Notting Hill, and a walk around Chelsea revealed intricate treasures from the Arts and Crafts movement. But Hampstead is definitely my favourite walk so far, with its panoramic views over London and streets so steep they have handrails.”

  39. Sarena

    “A huge ‘thank you’ to David for our Hampstead walk this morning [19 February 2017]. I’ve lived in Hampstead for the past 25 years and you still managed to teach me things about my ‘hood! I thoroughly enjoyed, seeing Hampstead through your eyes, your aesthetic, as well as your formidable knowledge from geology to history. Your love of the place shone through. We had a totally wonderful morning. It was a pleasure meeting you and I’ll be back for more walks with visitors… so until the next time, it’s bye for now. Best wishes and thanks again Sarena”

  40. C. Travell – Toronto Canada

    We went on the Hampstead Village & Heath walk with David and thoroughly enjoyed it. David is extremely knowledgeable and his obvious love for what he does shines through. He pointed out things we never would have seen on our own, and took us to places we never would have found. Would certainly recommend David’s walk.

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