Hampstead’s piece de resistance is Hampstead Heath, an ancient London heathland. The heath runs from Hampstead to Highgate and is more than just a green space. Ancient woodlands, swimming ponds, and stunning views of the city contribute to its unique and magical charm. As one of the highest points in London, it offers an overview of the city from its verdant and timeless public ground. Popular with millionaires, Hampstead is adorned with beautiful period houses, quaint lanes, and elegant character. Legacy families remain in the “village” generation after generation, so compelling and rare is its sense of place. Perhaps it is because it is the village overlooking the city that it commands such an aspirational postcode. However, the range of excellent schools, boutique galleries and shops, and celebrity residents also give it a signature of quality. 4 miles north of London it is possible to get away from the chaos and enjoy the gothic majesty of North London.
Fitness and wellness on the Heath
Hampstead Heath is such a varied space that one can never tire of which way to walk on it. Whether it’s a morning or evening walk, or a full all day picnic adventure the Heath is a world in itself. Kenwood House adjoins the heath and is home to many summer festivals and events. Historic monuments, springs and wild nature reserve land bestow the sense of English heritage and wilderness while the city skyline is always on the periphery.
There are four different swimming ponds around the heath. Kenwood Ladies Ponds, Hampstead Mixed Ponds, Parliament Hill Lido, and Hampstead Men’s Ponds. The fact that these ponds are open on Christmas Day attests to the enthusiasm of local swimmers. In the summer these places are a heavenly place to be in the capital.
With a huge variety of open space, the Heath offers challenge and variety as well as a natural landscape for runners. There are many different routes online that can give you a great loop of the Heath and its city intersections.
The Parliament Hill Athletic Track is an eight-lane floodlit track allows you to train whatever the weather. Open from 7.30 am – 4.30 seven days a week it provides an excellent resource for those that need the focus of a dedicated track.
While there are many different Yoga Classes in Hampstead village, in the fairer months it is possible to join classes out on the Heath. Close by, in Primrose Hill is the flagship TriYoga centre which holds the full hand in yoga, pilates, barre and treatments across the city.
House Prices in Hampstead
The overall average price of properties in Hampstead over the last year was £1,375,444. Flats sold around the £900,000 mark. House prices have increased 7% on the previous year.
Average rental costs:
1 bed – £1650 per month
4 bed – £5200 per month
Average costs to buy:
1 bed – £580,000
4 bed – £2.8 million
Schools in Hampstead
For private schools Hampstead is studded with exemplary education places. The international school Collège Français Bilingue de Londres draws a lot of French ex- pats to the area. Secondary schools in the area include South Hampstead, The King Alfred school on the edge of the Heath, and Hampstead Fine Arts College. Check out the top ten primary schools in Hampstead, and the local Montessori options in the area. Close by in Crouch End is the North London Steiner School which makes good use of the Heath and Highgate Woods in its early learning nature curriculum.
Culture in Hampstead
Hampstead is home to many museums, places of art and stately homes, all of which bequeath to the area its sense of cultural importance. Home to the poet John Keats and George Orwell, there have been many artists and writers tracking inspiration in its leafy enclave. Traces of this history can be explored in various open houses and local cultural spots. A local Hampstead Arts Festival showcases aesthetic and craft activities in the area. Other places of note are:
- Keats House – a museum located in the house where Romantic poet John Keats once resided and wrote his superlative works. The museum is also open for school workshops.
- Freud Museum – a museum dedicated to psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud located in the house where he lived with his family during the last year of his life. Weekly tours, courses and in- house talks are part of the cultural program here.
- Kenwood House – a former stately home that has a permanent collection of masterpieces. Rembrandt, Vermeer, Gainsborough, Reynolds and Turners can all be seen here in the permanent collection. Kenwood is home to seasonal attractions such as open air music events in the summer and winter wonderlands for Christmas.
- Fenton House – a 17th century merchant’s house was donated to the National Trust. Now it is open to public and is a horticultural haven. Travel back through time in this illustrious property and its orchards, lawns, and terraces.
- Catto Gallery – The Catto Gallery on Heath Street has many exhibitions of contemporary artists. Offering consultancy for interior design in collaboration with architects and designers, the gallery is a hub of commercial creativity.
- Hampstead Theatre – For over 60 years the Hampstead Theatre has been the stage for fledgling actors and playwrights to take flight. With many famous actors having walked the stage this small theatre is intrinsic to London theatre culture.
Transport Links in Hampstead
Excellent transport links connect the heights of Hampstead to all different parts of the city. Hampstead station is on the Northern Line and can take you swiftly into the centre of town. Hampstead Heath overland station runs trains from Richmond to Stratford and the popular intersection of Clapham Junction. It is also possible to pick up this line at West Hampstead. Multiple bus routes edge closer into town via Camden and Euston as well as other routes. Walking around Hampstead itself is highly pleasurable in this prestigious and very safe part of London.
Moving to Hampstead
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