Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient park in North London covering 320 hectares (790 acres) and just 6 miles from Trafalgar Square. Hampstead Heath is the wildest of London’s parks and a fantastic place to escape the city and return to nature. During the summer it is a fantastic place to sunbathe, picnic and cool off in the refreshing freshwater swimming pools. While in winter it’s a great place for a bracing walk and to while away an afternoon feeding the ducks and exploring the lush woodland, meadows and bogs, much of which is designated as areas of scientific interest by English Nature.
Londoner’s Local Info: The Western side of the Heath is a popular gay cruising area. George Michelin in particular has been a vocal admirer of its nocturnal charms.
Hampstead Heath Highlights
This is one of the highest points in London and its summit provides a fantastic view of the city. St Pauls, the Canary Wharf tower and the London Eye can all be viewed from here. It’s a popular spot for kite flyers and lovers.
Hampstead Heath has 3 three open-air public swimming ponds (Men only, Ladies only and Mixed).
Running along the Eastern Perimeter these freshwater ponds are a fantastic place to cool off on a hot sunny day. Or can give you a racing swim in winter.
Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds Opening Times:
The swimming ponds are open every day of the year from 7am.
In the North East corner of the park is Kenwood House one of London’s most beautiful period houses. It has a lovely café where you can have cream teas. It also hosts a superb collection of paintings, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner and Gainsborough, as well as the Suffolk collection of rare Elizabethan portraits.