There are a few places in London I always want to visit come Autumn, and Hampstead Heath is most definitely one of them. A vast green space full of trees with leaves in all colours you could imagine and just the right amount of people to make it feel like a peaceful and relaxing experience. Even though I know that others, like me, go to Hampstead Heath from all corners of London, there’s still a sort of local feel to it. It’s not uncommon to see people sitting on benches underneath the trees reading books or strolling around the open park, walking their dogs.
It’s that village-y feeling that made me fall in love with Hampstead in the first place, and it never really disappoints. There are multiple cosy pubs all around the edges of the park (the beautiful Flask and Freemasons Arms to name a few) for a glass of red wine or a hot drink afterwards and in those moments it honestly feels like you’re not in one of the biggest cities in the world at all. It’s the perfect escape.
Parts of the Heath almost feel like a forest and if you have time, allow yourself to get a bit lost. We did just that and ended up finding this short little street full of the most beautiful cottages, right on the edge of the park. One of them even had those proper glass milk bottles delivered on the porch which just added to the local village feel. To a born and bred city dweller like me things like this always feel like such a novelty..!
There’s a few different stations around the Heath you could start with, but I always recommend the Hampstead Heath overground station. It takes you right to the village-y heart of the area, only has about a 5 minute walk to the park and is also very close to the poet John Keats’s house, now acting as a museum. There’s also lots of independent shops and cafes around these parts if you’re interested in mooching around a bit before or after your walk.
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