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Hampstead Heath is one of London’s biggest parks located in the Camden area of London and in the middle of Hampstead, which many say is London’s most beautiful neighbourhood.
After living in Hampstead for 2.5 years and taking many walks around Hampstead Heath on the weekend I can tell you that there are more things to see on Hampstead Heath than you may expect. So in this Hampstead Heath Travel Blog, I’m going to share with you my local insider tips on what to do on Hampstead Heath!
How to get to Hampstead Heath.
The closest Hampstead station to Hampstead Park is Hampstead Heath Overground Station on the overground line. The Heath is easily accessible to Hampstead Tube Station on the Northern Line and you can walk through Hampstead Village on the way to the Heath. There’s also plenty of bus stops around Hampstead too!
Hampstead Heath Bathing Ponds
Hampstead Swimming Ponds are an institution in Hampstead and in London. This is the only in place in London where you can swim in natural ponds rather than a lido in London.
The swimming ponds on Hampstead Heath are open all year round. Come summer in London these are the most popular thing to do in Hampstead with hundreds of Londoner’s coming to cool down in them and sit in the sun by them, and with a Mixed pond, Men’s pond and Ladies pond, there’s plenty of room. If you’re feeling brave enough you can still visit in the colder months, pack a towel and some swimwear, get to the ponds and see how you feel!
For all the information you need about the Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds, have a read of my Hampstead Heath Bathing Ponds blog post here!
If you want to walk around Hampstead Heath but you’re not sure where to aim for. Kenwood House is a good place to walk to and one of the good places to visit on Hampstead Heath, even if you don’t want to go inside as it will provide you with a great Hampstead Heath walking route.
The tracks that lead you from the entrance to Hampstead Heath to Kenwood House are a mixture of forest and meadow footpaths so make sure you wear good walking footwear in case you end up walking along a wet and muddy path.
Once at Kenwood House you can go inside this beautiful Stately Home, you can relax in the grassy area around the house, there’s a huge field in front of the house which is popular to sunbathe in and for picnics when it’s hot. There’s a cafe on site which is open all year round with a nice outdoor seating area and toilets to break your walk up in.
For more information on Kenwood House, have a look at their website here.
Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden
Now, this is the hidden secret place in Hampstead that I’m most excited to tell you about as not that many people know that this is here!
The main reason not as many people visit the Pergola and Hill Garden is because it is not located in the same part of Hampstead Heath as the rest of the points in this post and where people usualy go walking in Hampstead Heath. It’s located in the North Western side of the park, across the road and closer to Golders Green than Hampstead.
When you reach here you’ll feel like you have stumbled upon a gem and one of the best things to see in Hampstead Heath, especially as the forest surrounding the Garden is pretty wild but the garden itself is in perfect condition.
The Pergola is an extravagant Edwardian design which was used for many parties but since its completion in 1925 it’s gone through a lot of changes from a home to a hospital to being abandoned and to being brought back to life.
For more information on the Pergola in Hampstead, have a look at their website here.
For the best view from Hampstead Heath over London you need to head to Parliament Hill.
Parliament Hill viewing platform is noted on Google Maps and Maps.me and the walk there from Hampstead Village and Hampstead Heath overground is along a paved path so you’re not likely to get too dirty if it’s been raining. This is the easiest walk to do on Hampstead Heath.
There are a few benches to enjoy the view over London on, or you can sit on the grass too. This is the best picnic spot on Hampstead Heath I think!
Hampstead Heath Swimming Pool
If you don’t fancy swimming in a pond but you want to combine your visit to Hampstead Heath with a swim, which is a good idea for things to do in London for families, then you can visit Hampstead Heath lido / outdoor pool.
It is also open all year round and will be a tad warmer than the ponds.
For more information on the Hampstead Heath Lido including opening times and prices, visit their website here.
Enjoy the Hampstead Heath Restaurants and Pubs
These are not in Hampstead Park but after a good walk around the Heath, the restaurants and pubs in Hampstead are a good place to visit for a well-earned drink and meal.
There are a number of Hampstead Heath Pubs close to the park including the Freemason Arms, The Garden Gate and The Wells Tavern.
Hampstead Heath Running Club
Almost every Saturday a group of runners take to Hampstead Heath to run its hills for about 2 hours.
For all the information on what you need to wear to Hampstead Heath runners club and the timings, have a look at this website.
Parliament Hill Saturday Farmer’s Market
The weekend is the best time to visit Hampstead and Hampstead Heath in my opinion because everyone is out enjoying the park in a nice relaxed way.
If you find yourself in Hampstead Heath on a Saturday you can visit the Farmer’s Market which is on from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at William Ellis School off Highgate Road.
They have stalls selling lots of fresh, organic food to eat now and take home for later and they even have a dog park which they say is the most Instagrammed part of the farmers market!
For more details on the Farmer’s Market, have a look at their website.
Hampstead is not all about Hampstead Heath Park though, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy Hampstead. Check out these posts of mine to get the most out of your visit to Hampstead in London: