HomePlaces To GoHampstead Heath
Deckchairs at Hampstead Heath.
Greater London
London
England
United Kingdom
North London
Greater London
Greater London
London
England
United Kingdom
North London
Greater London

Hampstead Heath

Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines
  • Spend a lovely afternoon at Hampstead Heath, a large open park just a stone’s throw from Central London.
  • Explore the beautiful Hampstead hill garden and pergola, an extravagant mansion forgotten in the sands of time and taken over by nature.
  • If you’re feeling brave, take a dip in the unique Hampstead ponds or the nearby Parliament Hill Lido.
  • Take in the wonderful views of London from the top of Parliament Hill.

Discover the beautiful open spaces of Hampstead Heath, an oasis of calm just a few miles from the bustling centre of London. This 790-acre space is not technically a park, with no fences or gates; instead, it is an open public space with plenty of great things for families to do and events that take place throughout the year. 

Hampstead Heath park has a rich history, carved by the generations over thousands of years. Today, it has a charming ruggedness to it that isn’t always evident in other parks of London. With its many paths and places to explore, the Heath is the perfect place for a family picnic and a lazy afternoon with the kids.

In the south-east of the Heath, you’ll find Parliament Hill. From this vantage point is one of the best views in London, with a government-protected sight over Central London. It’s an absolutely beautiful view and certainly not one to be missed. 

A crumbling mansion may not be high on your list of places to visit in the capital, but Hampstead Heath pergola is something special. Built by Lord Leverhulme in 1904 as a garden terrace to show off during his fancy parties, the pergola was eventually abandoned and left to ruin. In 1963, it was taken over by the local council, who turned it into a public garden. 

Today, the Hampstead hill garden and pergola is one of the most picturesque sites on the already beautiful Hampstead Heath. It’s popular for wedding photography and offers brilliant views. There’s nothing quite like it in the rest of London, and it’s a must-see for anyone visiting the Heath.

If you’d prefer a fully-furnished mansion to a crumbling one, then Kenwood House is a great place to visit on Hampstead Heath. This fantastic building is home to some incredible architecture and beautiful artwork. You can visit the mansion for free. The gardens of the house are landscaped and are a great place for kids to run around and play whilst grown-ups enjoy a picnic on the grass. It’s one of the best things to do in Hampstead for families.

Hampstead Heath is home to one of the quirkiest experiences to be found in the whole of London; open-air swimming in nature. There are three ponds at Hampstead Heath where you can go swimming; a brilliant and unique chance to swim in a natural pond in the middle of London. The water at the Hampstead Heath ponds can be pretty cold, and it is rather deep, so children must be aged eight or above, be accomplished swimmers, and be supervised by an adult if they want to swim at the ponds. 

Surprisingly, the natural ponds aren’t the only place you can go for a chilly dip in Hampstead Heath. The Hampstead Heath Lido, also known as Parliament Hill Lido, is a Hampstead institution, with an open-air pool that is open to the public year-round. While the ponds are only open to accomplished swimmers, the lido is a great place for families with young kids to enjoy a hot summer’s day.

There are tonnes of great events that happen on the Heath. The weekly Hampstead Heath Parkrun attracts hundreds of amateur runners and takes place every Saturday at 9 am, when participants run 5 km through the Heath. Other fun events include nature photography sessions, art fairs, and even live music events at Kenwood House, on the outskirts of Hampstead Heath.

What to know before you go

  • Hampstead Heath is open 24 hours a day. The Hampstead hill garden and pergola is open from 8:30 am till dusk.
  • There are lots of great places to grab a bite or something more substantial in this trendy part of north London. Parliament Hill Café is on the Heath itself and serves snacks, drinks, and light bites. There’s also the Lido Café and a café in nearby Golders Hill Park. 
  • Outside of the Heath, there’s a large range of restaurants with different cuisines, including traditional British pubs, Japanese takeaways, and French bakeries. The famous Spaniards Inn sits on the edge of the Heath and has been around since 1585. It was said to have been a hiding place of highwayman Dick Turpin and has connections to authors and poets including Charles Dickens, Bram Stoker, and John Keats.
  • There are several public toilets on Hampstead Heath. You can find them at all the major buildings in the park, as well as a few more dotted around the Heath. They have accessible toilets and baby changing facilities. 
  • The more popular areas of the Heath are wheelchair and buggy accessible, such as Parliament Hill. However, parts of the Heath do not have paved or concrete pathways, so it is less accessible.

Getting there

  • Hampstead Heath is mainly located in the London Borough of Camden and is a 20-minute drive from Central London.
  • There are four different car parks near Hampstead Heath. The largest one, East Heath car park, is on the south of the Heath and costs £4 for a 2-hour stay. Other places for Hampstead Heath parking include the one at Parliament Hill Lido and another at Kenwood House.  
  • Hampstead Heath has great access to public transport, all within a short walk of the Heath. Hampstead Heath Station is in Zone 2 on the Overground line and is just across the road from the southern edge of the park. Gospel Oak Station is also on the Overground line, less than a minute’s walk from the park, and the best station to go to if you want easy access to Parliament Hill.
  • On the Northern line, Hampstead Station is to the south of the park and is a ten-minute walk away. Golders Green Station is also on the Northern line and is a ten-minute walk away, but it is to the north-west of the Heath.
  • Buses that serve the Hampstead Heath area include the C2, C11, H3, 24, 46, 168, 210, 214, and 268.

Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Government Guidelines
Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Events available
Lowest Price Guarantee
?
From 
Free
£
0.00

More amazing things to do