Hampstead Village & Heath Walking Tour

(162 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:

25-12-2024

Led by guides who know this area of London inside out (they’re locals), they don’t come much better than our Hampstead walk. Mr London Walks himself, David (who admittedly is rather biased) names this as his favourite London walking tour (just don’t tell the others!)

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE GUIDING

Don’t just take it from us…

What’s to love about Hampstead?

The North London district of Hampstead stands on the Northern Heights looking down on the City of London. The Northern Heights – David’s walk goes there – is the roof of London. It offers spectacular panoramic views across Greater London. As does Parliament Hill. On a clear day you can see all the way to Kent. That’s the big-picture view. Tighten the focus and you’ve got spectacular views of the City of London skyline.

The crown jewel of the Northern Heights is of course Kenwood with its lovely grounds and conservatory and arguably the finest private library in the land and of course its magnificent art gallery. Let alone its splendid cafe. And – embarrassment of riches – it’s free to visit.

But Hampstead’s chief glory is Hampstead Heath. Meadows and fields and ponds and trees – a huge stretch of countryside smack in the middle of a great world city. It’s unique. No other city in the world has anything like it. Those glorious green expanses aren’t just the focal point of Hampstead, they’re the key ingredient. They transform Hampstead from a lovely north London neighbourhood to something extraordinary.

Hampstead is like a country village (hence it being known as Hampstead Village) and yet it’s in the heart of London. Walk down Hampstead High Street and you’ll find the usual suspects, but it’s meandering through the winding walkways that will enable you to discover Hampstead, as you’ll find out on our circular Hampstead walk.

A few facts about London NW3

A mere 15 minutes on the tube from Hampstead tube station and you’re in buzzing Central London.
Hampstead is often referred to as Georgian, but its history goes way further back than that. We’re not talking 17th century either. There’s a recording of 986AD, but there is evidence of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers too.

About our Hampstead Walk

Our London Walks Hampstead Village guides have such a wealth of knowledge about this area (and more). It means that you learn an awful lot in a small space of time. On a self-guided walk, you’d have to get stuck into Hampstead many times over a period of years to discover as much, and it wouldn’t be as much fun.

This arty suburb has attracted creatives for centuries. We’ll point out some houses of the famous (alive and dead) including John Constable, Boy George, H.G Wells, Wilkie Collins, Kenneth Clark, Kingsley Amis, Mr Bean, Ricky Gervais, Gerald DuMaurier and his daughter Daphne DuMaurier, Kenneth Clark, John Le Carre, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Judi Dench… the list just goes on and on.

John Keats started to write poetry here in The Vale of Health. John Constable painted skylines and his view of St Paul’s Cathedral from here.

You’ll see Fenton House, the oldest grand house in Hampstead, it’s a National Trust property. Then there’s Admiral’s House, built by a retired Navy Lieutenant (not an admiral at all). John Constable lived nearby and featured it in a painting too. P L Travers gained inspiration here that influenced the Mary Poppins story.

As you’d expect, we’ll walk around parts of the heath – West Heath and the main section with wonderful viewing platforms (like the one at Parliament Hill).

You’ll discover Well Walk (off East Heath Road) and Flask Walk, a lively, buzzing little pedestrian-only shopping lane with everything from antiques to sushi to a great pub (The Flask) and a Turkish barbers.

Our circular walk ends at Church Row.

A few other places to visit in Hampstead:

These places need time to explore properly in their own right. We highly recommend you do so.

Kenwood House – an English Heritage property that hosts incredible events and has a rich history to explore

Burgh House – a historic, Queen Anne listed home that incorporates Hampstead Museum

Highgate Ponds – are you brave enough for a dip on the east heath? It’s an exhilarating experience

The Holly Bush pub – a wonderful, traditional 18th century Georgian inn that has everything you want from a pub experience. Find it off Holly Bush Hill.

Hill Garden and pergola – a beautiful west heath Georgian arbour and terrace.

Practical tips for our Hampstead Walk

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 underground station. That’s at the bottom of Heath Street and top of Hampstead High Street.

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

Hear from our guides:

Hampstead podcasts

Hampstead: an introduction from  David.

Another David podcast about Hampstead.

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

And another one.

 Jan’s podcast on Hampstead Heath and Kenwood.

This is why you go on walking tours (well, it’s one reason, a helluva good reason)

Things to Do in Hampstead, A Local’s Guide

Hampstead videos

LONDON WALKS VIDEOS

David’s video number 1

And here’s our 2nd Hampstead film

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 Niamh or Peter 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.

162 reviews for Hampstead Village & Heath Walking Tour

  1. James

    A wonderful ramble around a gorgeous part of London, informatively delivered with style, humour, and passion from a local guide who really knows his stuff. I have visited Hampstead so many times over the years and thought I had a pretty good knowledge, but David just kept the revelations coming and coming. A perfect mix of history, heath and higgledy-piggledy lanes, with interesting characters both past and present whose stories have shaped this unique part of London. Expertly delivered and thoroughly recommended. Thank you David.

  2. 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.

  3. Mary Lawless

    I can thoroughly recommend this walk led by Richard. He imparts so much information and with a great sense of humour. We learnt about many of literary and artistic residents of Hampstead, past and present as well as the history of this beautiful ‘village’.

  4. Paul F

    David’s Hampstead Village & Heath walking tour was monumental by any measure, covering vast swaths of geological, social, political, architectural, and cultural history, made vivid by his gift for storytelling and his passion for this part of London. The persistent and ultimately successful efforts to save the Heath was a recurring and compelling theme. The walk was fascinating, informative, entertaining, and delightful. Highly recommended

  5. Mitchell H Radow

    David’s tour of Hampstead is brilliant, informative, uplifting, magical and poetic. I have been to Hampstead several times but after my first tour with David I realised how much I had missed. David took us to numerous hidden gems of Hamspstead, knew the history of every step we took, knew every famous person who lived there, knew all the architectural marvels and bombarded us with one amazing personal story after another. Best of all was David’s passion, unique sense of humour, story telling and intense love for the beauty of Hampstead and its people. All this comes alive with increasing intensity as with each and every step David makes us a part of this heaven on Earth.

  6. Katja Flaig

    I can only fully recommend the walk with David. What a pleasure it was! So full of information and good insights. The route of the walk is beautiful, very varied, from beautiful private houses, to National Trust properties, across the Heath, not one boring minute.

  7. Leor Margulies

    I did this tour at least 14 years ago in another lifetime but this one was even better! I’m assuming David has had more time to perfect the tour:) So much passion and knowledge! One of my favorite London Walk tours. Hampstead village is indeed a special place and David’s tour made it even more so. Reminded me of the tour we once did of the Montmartre district in Paris. All the cultural history, painters, and writers and gorgeous old homes.

    David is a super guide and I highly recommend this tour to anyone looking for an entertaining and cultural experience and an opportunity to go back in time with so much of Hampstead preserved. Thank you so much David!

  8. Margaret Russell

    We enjoyed our walk at Hampstead Heath as it was a relief from the hustle of ‘typical’ London. It felt like we were in a small village. Richard was extremely knowledgeable regarding the history of the area and it’s residence. Highly recommended.

  9. Claire

    Absolutely stunning area to be guided around. You get so much more from a guided tour because of all the hidden gems and context for artwork. David is a fabulous guide with lots of energy and is utterly passionate about Hampstead, which really shines through bringing an unforgettable quality to the whole experience. Take a decent camera with you for the viewing points as they are breath taking.

  10. Elaine

    I love Hampstead but always get lost on the Heath so my walks are always quite short so I don’t go off the beaten track!

    My walk yesterday with David was simply outstanding. I could give it 100 stars.

    He is hugely knowledgeable and passionate about the area and it showed. I loved that he knew many locals who stopped to chat to us.

    His history knowledge of the area is outstanding!

    I would highly recommend London Walks, so much so I bought a loyalty card which enables me to get £5 off every walk for the next 6 months and it only cost £5.

    I simply cannot wait to book on my next one 😍.

  11. Jeremy

    Run – don’t walk – to this walk. David gives a master class in how to properly stroll through a beautiful and historic London neighborhood while soaking in history, humor, natural beauty, art, architecture, celebrity sightings and much more. I enjoy strolling around the streets of London, but from here on out, I will be calling a professional at London walks to make sure the job is done right.

  12. Harvey Glick

    David was superb as promised in guiding us through beautiful Hampstead. I have done walking tours in numerous cities and David’s tour was certainly one of the most interesting and enjoyable. David has so much historical knowledge about the area as well as some of the more recent stories of its famous inhabitants. More important is his love for the area and his love of guiding which made this tour so entertaining and educational. Highly recommended

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