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Most people visit Hampstead Heath to go to Parliament Hill to see a view of London, to visit Kenwood House, swim in the Hampstead Heath Bathing Ponds or for a general walk around the Heath and many do not know about a Secret Garden in Hampstead Heath that is the Hampstead Pergola and Hill Gardens!
How To Visit Hampstead Heath Pergola!
The main reason not as many people visit the Hampstead Pergola & Hill Gardens is because it is not located in the same part of Hampstead Heath as Parliament Hill, Kenwood House and the Bathing Ponds which is where people usually go walking in Hampstead Heath so you don’t just randomly come across it.
The Pergola Hill Garden in Hampstead is located in the North-Western part of Hampstead Heath, across the road and closer to Golders Green than Hampstead Village.
However it’s still easy to reach from Hampstead so, in this Hampstead Travel Guide and Hampstead Blog, I’m going to tell you how to visit the Hampstead Heath Pergola.
First up, use the help of Google Maps as Google knows the directions to the Hampstead Heath Pergola and Hill Gardens, click here to find it on google maps!
This part of the Heath is a lot less visited and a bit more wild than the Eastern side of the Heath so you may feel like you are following the footpath to the Hill Garden and Pergola in Hampstead and it’s not the right direction but after walking through some forestry you will suddenly see a huge, old building in the middle of the forest!
Hampstead Hill Garden History:
The Pergola Hill Garden is an extravagant Edwardian design. The land was purchased in 1904 by Lord Leverhulme and construction began in 1905 to make the Pergola and Gardens the perfect setting for garden parties. The land needed to be raised in order to have the large Gardens Lord Leverhulme wanted, luckily at the the the Northern Line was being built at the same time in Hampstead so the rumble that was used to dig out the tunnels was taken here to raise the hill!
It was finished in 1906 and extended again in 1911. Between this time and the Second World War, The Great War stopped construction, Lord Leverhulme died and The Hill was purchased by Baron Inverforth and renamed Inverforth House who lived there until his death in 1955 and after this, it was used as a home for the Manor House Hospital.
The Second World War was not kind to The Hill Garden and unfortunately, the London Country Council who bought the Pergola and gardens after the war and opened it up to the public was abolished a few years later.
Nature quickly took over and the garden and pergola was once again left in a very dilapidated condition with much of the timber rotting and twisting beyond repair.
Restoration has been done since then now that it’s back open to the public, however when you visit you’ll see that the climbing plants have still taken hold of the main building and it is not how it once looked due to the finance that would be required to fully restore it and look after it.
With that being said, it is looked after and you can walk right up into the main building and through the arches at the top and all through the gardens when you visit which is really nice.
Hill Garden and Pergola Hampstead Opening Times: 8:30 AM and closes before dusk. *Times subject to change*
Hill Garden and Pergola Hampstead Entrance Fee: Free!
For more information on the Pergola in Hampstead, have a look at their website here.
For something that is a unique and different thing to do in Hampstead be sure that you visit this Hampstead Heath Garden for some history, a relaxed walk and a beautiful setting.
Afterwards head back into Hampstead Village to visit one of the many cafes in Hampstead, or continue your walk on the other side of Hampstead Heath.
- These Hampstead Blog Posts of mine will help you plan the rest of your day:
- 30 Things to do in Hampstead.
- The Best Cafes for Brunch in Hampstead.
- What to see on Hampstead Heath.
- How to Swim in the Hampstead Heath Bathing Ponds.
- Museums in Hampstead to Visit!
How to get to Hampstead Pergola
The closest Hampstead station to Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden is Hampstead Tube Station on the Northern Line and you walk up through Hampstead Village to the North-Western Side of Hampstead Heath.
This part of Hampstead Heath is also very close to Golders Green so you could get off at Golders Green Tub Station on the Northern Line and walk from there.
There’s also plenty of bus stops around Hampstead too so be sure to use City Mapper to check the best route!