The wildest of London's parks, Hampstead Heath has fields to run in, long grass to roll in, woods to hide in and, most famously, ponds to swim in. In north London this 791-acre heath and woodland is THE place to get back to nature. Strewn with picnickers, cyclists, families and the rest, the heath is large enough and has enough copses, hills and mounds that a quiet spot is never far away. 'Chronicles of Narnia' author, CS Lewis, lived near Hampstead Heath and local folklore asserts that it was its picturesque rises, ponds and woodland glades which inspired his mystical land. Parliament Hill is a beacon in the midst of this sprawling expanse of natural beauty. Its summit provides a view of the city almost in its entirety. Spot the famous dome of St Paul's juxtaposed by the ultra-modern Canary Wharf towers in the distance. This is the perfect kite-flying spot. Hampstead Heath is renowned as a rich conservation area and parts of it are designated as areas of scientific interest by English Nature. Hoards flock to the refreshing waters of the heath's celebrated ponds in the summer months whilst in the colder months its more rewarding to while away an afternoon feeding the ducks or exploring the lush woodland, bogs, hedgerows and grassland. Along the edges of the heath a number of attractions will attempt to lure you away. There's the lido at the south, Kenwood House at the north, South End Green and Hampstead Village at the west, and Highgate to the east. There are also plenty of pubs dotted around the edge - The Spaniards Inn (Spaniards Road), the Holly Bush (22 Holly Mount) or the Freemasons Arms (32 Downshire Hill) are all worthy of a visit. The heath doesn't look quite as rural as when Constable painted it, but nonetheless, it is as close to rural as you're going to get in a capital city.
Wild and woody walks, ponds, picnics and panoramic views.
Hampstead Heath images
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London > Hotels > Budget Chain Hotel from £50 30% off
58 Regents Park Road, N3 | 2.1 miles from Hampstead Heath
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London > Leisure > Activities
Parliament Hill Fields, Gordon House Road, NW5 | 17 minutes from Hampstead Heath
The gorgeous unheated Parliament Hill Lido on Hampstead Heath (also called 'Hampstead Heath Lido') was upgraded not so long ago when it had a generous £2.9million ... More
London > Leisure > Fitness
213 Haverstock Hill, NW3 | 23 minutes from Hampstead Heath
The London School of Yoga attempts to demystify Yoga, eliminating the intimidating jargon and self-important ritual that so often attaches itself to the activity. Skilled instructors, ... More
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London > Entertainment > Cinemas
5 Holly Bush Vale, Hampstead Village, NW3 | 19 minutes from Hampstead Heath
Bang in the middle of Hampstead Village, the Everyman Cinema Club boasts recommendations from celebrities as diverse as Ewan McGregor, Jools Oliver, Gianluca Vialli and Giles ... More
London > Education > Evening Classes
89/91 Bayham Street, Camden Town, London NW1 | 2.4 miles from Hampstead Heath
Unique and innovative workshops teaching flower arranging and floristry with monthly, weekly or daily workshops. This is a really enjoyable art form that allows its students ... More
London > Education > Cookery Courses
Unit 8 The Islington Studios, 6 Hornsey Road, N7 | 2.6 miles from Hampstead Heath
Islington cafe-cum-deli Jenius Social isn't just a place to enjoy fine food and carefully sourced balsamic vinegar, artisan chocolates and cured meats. It's also a ... More
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Unit 207, Belgravia Workshop, 157-163 Marlborough Road, N19 | 37 minutes from Hampstead Heath
Only the French could come up with an art form so bizarrely fascinating. Mime is as relaxing as Tai Chi, as healthy as yoga, and as ... More
London > Business > Venue Hire
96 Euston Road, King's Cross, London NW1 | 3.2 miles from Hampstead Heath
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