We lived in London for nearly two years before we discovered the Hampstead Heath, which is a huge shame as it is one of London’s finest gems, and is, in my opinion, the most liberating outdoor activity in London. The fact that you can feel so far removed from the ‘hustle and bustle’ of London and yet be smack in the middle of it is a treat which is unusual for such a big city.
Hampstead Heath is London’s largest historic parkland, and arguably the most beautiful. Unlike the more manicured and planned Royal Parks of London, the Heath is wild in nature, offering 3.2 sq km of roaming meadows, fishing and swimming ponds, dark and lush woodlands, hiking and biking trails, and some of London’s best playgrounds.
It is here where you can fly a kite from the top of ‘kite hill’ and enjoy incredible views of central London. You can also make a visit to Kenwood House and see the famous paintings and library, or have a bite to eat at the café. And lastly, a trip to Hampstead Heath would not be complete without letting your kids enjoy the famous and newly-renovated Parliament Hill Playground.
As a local here in London, I couldn’t imagine life without regular trips to the Heath. It’s really no wonder the Wallpaper* City Guide for London lists Hampstead Heath as an activity you should definitely experience if you only had 24 hours in London!