Whether you live in London or you’re just visiting London, here is how I recommend you spend one day in Hampstead!
If you ask a Londoner what the prettiest neighbourhood in London is they’ll probably reply with Hampstead!
Not only is it beautiful but it makes you feel like you’re a million miles away from London in a small village with beautiful old houses, colourful front doors, endless cafes, cute side streets and the huge green park of Hampstead Heath.
But, actually, you’re still in Zone 2 of London City and from the top of Hampstead Heath, you have an incredible view of the city skyline below reminding you just how close you actually are!
Best Time To Visit Hampstead
Any day in Hampstead is a good day, trust me I lived there for 2.5 years and I love this neighbourhood so much, but weekends in Hampstead are particularly lovely as everyone is making the most of their days off work, leisurely walking around with a coffee and browsing the stores so they are the best time to visit Hampstead.
In terms of the best time of year to visit Hampstead, Hampstead offers something different in all seasons so there’s no best or worse time of year to visit.
How to Get to Hampstead London?
Hampstead has 2 stations- Hampstead Station on the Northern Line and Hampstead Heath on the Overground Line. (FYI- I’m basing the below guide to Hampstead on you getting off at Hampstead Underground station)
If you’re not in London already and need to book train tickets to London, be sure to check out The Train Line. I use them all the time to compare the best train times, journey lengths and prices!
How To Spend a Day in Hampstead
Hampstead High Street
The first thing I would suggest is checking out the High Street and making sure that you take all the little streets off of the high street too as they are so lovely! Perrins Court is one of my favourites!
Related Post: 30 Things To Do in Hampstead London!
Brunch and Coffee in Hampstead
There’s an array of places to get breakfast and/or a coffee in Hampstead from the chain cafes of Le Pain Quotidien, to Pauls, to Gails, to the independent cafes like Ginger & White, Coffee Cup and Melrose and Morgan.
Related Posts: Where to Eat Brunch in Hampstead and The Best Cafes in Hampstead to Visit!
Shopping in Hampstead
Hampstead is also home to lovely shops and stores, again a few chain stores and some independent stores.
They are, however, fairly upmarket stores (Hampstead is pretty fancy!) but if you want a bargain then there are a few charity shops which are more upmarket than you’re usual charity shop elsewhere if you know what I mean!
Once you have had a walk around the High Street head up Flask Walk which is the little street next to Pauls Bakery.
This section of the street is only small but it’s lovely, especially with the antique shop and the florist shops spilling out onto the street.
Related Post: A Walking Guide Around Beautiful Hampstead, London.
If you’re hungry or need a sugar pick-me-up then stop off at Oddono’s Italian Ice Cream shop on Flask Walk, I can tell you first hand that their ice cream is amazing and during the Summer there’s usually a queue right out the door to prove it!
CAR HIRE IN HAMPSTEAD
If you’re reading this post with future dreams of going Hampstead but don’t have a car, visit Rentalcars to get a quote. They search all of the top rental companies like Budget and Hertz to get you the best price!
Search car rental prices here!
Burgh House and Hampstead Museum
From here carry on down Flask Walk Road where you’ll pass by the dreamiest houses with lovely coloured doors and onto Wells Walk Road where you’ll pass by the Burgh House and Hampstead Museum which is a beautiful building and one of the museums in Hampstead if you fancy popping in and they also have a cafe.
Alternatively keep going straight, straight, straight until you enter Hampstead Heath Park.
Hampstead Heath is a pretty huge park so I would suggest deciding whether you want to visit the famous Kenwood House– a 17th century Country House or whether you want to see the view of the city from Parliament Hill.
Personally I would head to Parliament Hill and then continue walking around and seeing some of the ponds.
If you’re visiting in the Summer then why not pack a picnic and enjoy a picnic with a city view AND if you’re brave enough then pack some swimming gear and go swimming in one of the swimming ponds!
Related Posts: What To Do On Hampstead Heath and How To Swim in the Hampstead Heath Ponds.
Pubs in Hampstead
After you’ve spent enough time in the park the exit at Downshire Hill and walk down South End Road which is where Hampstead Heath Overground station is and there’s a few cafes, restaurants and pubs down here that are perfect for lunch and a drink.
There is also an amazing Italian restaurant in Hampstead Heath called Mimmo La Bufala or there are some coffee shops if you just want a coffee.
Related Post: The Best Pubs in Hampstead to Visit!
From there you can take any of the streets back up to the main High Street but Keats Grove is one of my favourites and from the High Street I suggest you carry on up past the Station and head uphill up Heath Street.
Then just wander the small streets that come off either side of Heath Street, you’ll find that some of these really make you feel like you’re in a village in the Country!
Wander until you find your way back down to the station!
After all of this, you’ll probably be ready to leave Hampstead but at the same time, you’ll probably never want to leave either!
Hampstead is great to visit any day of the week but as I said there’s such a different vibe on the weekends so if you can visit then, I would!!
Monday 28th of May 2018
I am from Germany and I went to Hampstead a few weeks ago, when I visited London and eventhough it was nearly dark (which on the other hand makes it even more beautiful), I fell in love with this part of London immediately. I stumbled over your blog entry when I was searching for pictures of the pub "the flask". For a staying-away-from-home-for-long-time-isn't-my-favourite-person like me it is very impressive how much you love traveling. You made me curious about what wonderful places I can explore on my next trip to London!
P.S. I am really sorry for the spelling misktakes, I hope you don't mind
Monday 28th of May 2018
Hello Pia, thank you for commenting. I’m glad you found my blog post and you’re right, Hampstead is just as beautiful in the evening and in the dark. I’m really glad you loved it. I hope you get to come back to London soon to see more :)
Your English is absolutely fine, don’t worry :)
Tuesday 3rd of April 2018
Very nice walk that I did following your guidelines. Thanks for publishing them as I really enjoyed my tour :-)
Tuesday 3rd of April 2018
That’s so great to hear Dorothee! Thank you for letting me know, When did you do it? If it was recently I hope you managed to avoid the rain! :)
Thursday 13th of July 2017
Good to hear! Thanks for reading and commenting :)
Thursday 30th of March 2017
A great guide to Hampstead! I've been living in the area for about 6 weeks now and am loving it, although there's still so much left to explore! Oddono's is high on my list now the sun is starting to shine...
Thursday 30th of March 2017
Glad you love it although it's hard not to! Good it's so yummy!
Emma Hart | Paper Planes and Caramel Waffles
Tuesday 22nd of November 2016
I went to Hampstead Heath in the summer and the view of the city is incredible from the top of Parliament Hill. I never made it into Hampstead though but after reading this post I'll definitely have to visit! It just looks so pretty.
Wednesday 23rd of November 2016
Ah yeah I hope you make it back and go into the 'village' it's so lovely! Wait until spring though!