Did You Know
- Hampstead tube station is a whopping 192 feet below ground level, making it the deepest underground station on the London Underground network.
- Dusty Springfield was born in West Hampstead on the 16th April, 1939.
- Scenes from An American Werewolf in London (1981) were shot on Hampstead Heath.
- There are at least 60 English Heritage blue plaques in Hampstead, making it the most of any London suburb.
- McDonalds spent over a decade controversially trying to gain permission to open shop (which was finally granted in 1992). Nevertheless it closed in 2013 – and no one is complaining! Instead you will find quality food, perfectly pulled pints and some of London’s top-end brand names.
- Celebrities like Harry Styles, James Corden, Boy George, Liam Gallagher, the Arsenal football team and Ricky Gervais all call Hampstead home, favouring the anonymity and serenity yet proximity to central London.
- The beautiful regency home of Kenwood house located within Hampstead Heath, is open to the public for free and is noted for its gorgeous 18th century-style landscaped gardens. Find work of artists such as Rembrant and Vermeer hanging on the walls, and the gardens are used for opera performances throughout the summer.
Architecture and property
The hilltop village of Hampstead has a wide array of properties to offer, including grand Georgian houses, large Victorian terraced houses, detached Twenties and Thirties homes, and smaller cottages.
Take a stroll down the slopes of Back Lane and the surrounding paths of the village and you will find lovely terraced houses with a combination of Victorian and Georgian architecture. Church Row, Elm Row, Willow Road & Cannon Lane all have the same blend of houses with cobbled streets and pavements running throughout.
The Bishop’s Avenue & Winnington are famously known for their large multi-million pounds mansions that are considered some of the most expensive properties in the world.
Who lives there
Hampstead village has a colourful tapestry of residents, notably intellectuals, thespians, artists, architects and the wealthy. It has always been a popular area for the famous that seek privacy, and yet still have access to chic boutiques and the vast fields of Hampstead Heath where they can be found jogging or dog-walking.
Young professionals also contribute to the area’s fabric; despite the quaint nature of the village there is plenty of entertainment from the high end restaurants to the traditional pubs that have stood the test of time.
Where to Eat & Drink
Daytime coffee culture and bakeries: Aubaine, Gails, Joe and the Juice, Paul, Roni’s and Euphorium
Traditional pubs: Hampstead is well known for its traditional pubs. Gas lit until recently you have The Holly Bush and Spaniard’s Inn where highwayman Dick Turpin took refuge. Others include: The Flask, The Duke of Hamilton, The Old Bull and Bush and The Old White Bear, The Freemasons Arms
Casual Eats: Mimmo La Bufala (authentic Wood fire oven pizza), Jin Kichi (Japanese, make sure you have a reservation!), Spielburgers (American burger joint), Cote, Café Rouge, Carluccio’s
Cocktails and a night out: Frida’s Bodega (Mexican food and interestingly concocted cocktails to boot)
Cinema & theatre: Hampstead Theatre, Pentameters Theatre, Everyman Cinema (opened in 1933, showing art-house movies and recent blockbusters), View Cinema at the 02 Centre (with Nando’s, Yo Sushi!, Wagamama, etc. all under one roof)
Finer dining: Gaucho (Argentinian steakhouse with an impressively curated wine menu), Villa Bianca (long-standing Italian restaurant with al-fresco dining in the summer)
High-end delicatessens and grocers: Melrose and Morgan, The Hampstead Butcher, Providore, Artichoke, Jeroboams (fine wines), Hampstead Community Market
Sports & leisure
The 320 hectares of Hampstead Heath! Lots of space for running or long walks and the wild swimming in the ponds (weather permitting of course!). Private health clubs include: The Gym West Hampstead, The Armour and UCS active which is open to residents out of school times.
Hampstead has a good choice of chic boutiques, with French brands such as Zadig & Voltaire, Petit Bateau, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Maje, Claudie Pierlot and Cop-Copine all here. Independent boutiques include long-standing Jane & Dada and Linea. For high street shopping: Oxford Street & Brent Cross Shopping Centre within 15 minutes by car or public transport.
Parks & green spaces
Hampstead Heath is well known by Londoners for its beautiful expansive park land. There are 790 acres of meadows, woods, and gardens to explore and on a sunny day you can take a dip in the Hampstead Heath pond (separated into men’s, women’s and mixed).
You can also visit the zoo, spot birds and other wildlife in their natural environments and or join the fitness buffs making use of the open running space. Head to Parliament Hill for a romantic sunset, where from this high point of Hampstead Heath you get beautiful legally-protected views of the London skyline.
Underground (London only): Hampstead (zone 2) is on the Edgware branch of the Northern line, with direct trains to Euston and central London (20 minutes to Oxford Circus).
Overground: Trains to Richmond and Stratford from Finchley Road & Frognal and Hampstead Heath.
Buses: Buses 46, 210,268, 603 all run through Hampstead and serve central London.
Car: The Finchley Road connects Hampstead to central London; you can be in in Baker Street in 15 minutes.
The selection of private primary and preparatory schools in Hampstead is larger than anywhere else in London, with six all-through private schools. In the state sector, all primary schools are judged to be “good” or better by the government’s education watchdog Ofsted.
Primary schooling is dominated by the independent sector, with a number of very highly regarded schools such as Northbridge House, Devonshire House, The Hall, Queen Mary’s School for Girls and Lyndhurst House to name a few. The area also boasts a number of very highly regarded selective secondary schools including South Hampstead High School for Girls, and UCS up the road teaching boys.