Hampstead Underground station, London
|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|
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!)
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 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.
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.
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:
LONDON WALKS VIDEOS
David’s video number 1
And here’s our 2nd Hampstead film
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.