To explore London in all of its glory, a stop-off trip to Hampstead is a must. Here’s our condensed guide to one of the capital’s prettiest destinations.
Food and drink
If afternoon tea is your thing, or if you simply fancy a bite to eat, be sure to visit Gail’s Artisan Bakery (64 Hampstead High Street). A short walk from Hampstead tube station, this excellent eaterie serves a selection of sandwiches, salads, cakes and pastries. Gail’s prides itself on creating perfect artisan loaves, and boasts a range of sourdough and rye products to make the mouth water.
Close to Hampstead Heath and also near to Belsize Park tube station are two branches of the Euphorium Bakery (45 Southend Road, Hampstead, and 211 Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park). Serving handmade bloomers and baguettes, delicious eclairs and croissants, Euphorium prides itself on providing the best of British baking.
Steak is the dish of the day at Gaucho (64 Heath Street), while cravings for pizza should be indulged at Franco Manca Belsize (216 Haverstock Hill), a London-based chain which has received acclaim in the national press. The Little Thai (85b Fleet Road) also receives consistently excellent reviews.
Those with a sweet tooth should head to La Creperie de Hampstead (77a Hampstead High St). This busy small window-serve fixture is a local gem and also caters for the savoury appetite, with a selection of crepes to choose from.
Hampstead station is on the Northern Line and is located on the boundary of Zones 2 and 3 – fans of trivia might be interested to know that it boasts the title of being the deepest station below street level on the entire underground network at 58.5 metres.
Hop off the tube at Hampstead station and take a walk down the High Street for a variety of niche boutique shops and eateries.
Belsize Park station is one stop away from Hampstead station and falls within Zone 2. Journeys to Kings Cross take just 10 minutes from Hampstead station and 8 minutes from Belsize Park. Both stations are located on the Edgware branch of the Northern line.
Hampstead is also served by the London Overground at Hampstead Heath station (Zone 2).
For entertainment, head to Everyman Cinema Club (5 Holly Bush Vale, Hampstead). Part of an independent network of boutique cinemas, visitors can enjoy the latest releases in plush surroundings, where a full menu of food is also served.
There are literary connections aplenty in the area, including Keats House (10 Keats Grove), a museum in a house once occupied by the Romantic poet John Keats.
Museum-goers can also visit The Freud Museum (20 Maresfield Gardens). Created in the home where Freud died in 1938, the building was coveted into a museum in the 1980s after the death of his daughter, who had lived there until 1982.
Of course, no visit to Hampstead is complete without taking in the views found at the historic Hampstead Heath. With its rolling countryside spilling out over London and the most spectacular backdrop swathing across the hills, showcasing London’s skyline in all of its splendour, it’s little wonder that it remains such a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Other local buildings of note locally include the Royal Free Hospital (Pond Street) and the Isokon building (Lawn Road), a Grade I-listed 1930s apartment building whose famous past residents include Agatha Christie. Within the Isokon Buidling is the Isokon Gallery, which tells the story of the building, which was opened as an experiment in new ways of urban living.