Getting the Most out of Hampstead Heath
01 Feb 2016

Getting the Most out of Hampstead Heath

Here are some ideas about how you can make the most out of your visit to Hampstead Heath.

01 Feb 2016

The area of Hampstead Heath in London become well-known for its healing spa waters in the 18th century and is one of the most relaxing and scenic areas of the capital. Here you can stroll through seemingly endless meadows and woodlands dotted with swimming pools, playing fields and historical buildings.

Hampstead Heath is wild and untamed, different than the many manicured lawns and landscaped gardens in other parts of the city. With 790 acres of wood, meadow and heathland it is so large that you might even get lost. It’s a lovely place to catch a breath of fresh air and take a break from the big and bustling city.

So how can you make the most out of your visit to Hampstead Heath? Here are some ideas:

Check out the Hill Garden and Pergola

Not everyone knowns about this beautiful hidden garden on West Heath. It was part of a garden within the grounds of the 19th century Inverforth House, which was constructed by Viscount Leverhulme. The gardens are now part of the Heath and they are truly gorgeous, with a historic timber pergola covered in climbing honeysuckle, wisteria and other vines. The views from the pergola are breath-taking and you can see the elegantly landscaped gardens stretching out beneath you. There is also an ornamental fish pond with a bench that offers gorgeous views of the skyline of London.

Bring Your Swimsuit and Take a Dip in the Pond

Plan your visit to Hampstead Heath on a sunny day and bring along your swimsuit so that you can take a dip in the ponds. Dating back to 1860, many hardy Londoners have swum in these wooded ponds. There are three ponds and they are separated into men’s, women’s and mixed. They are the only life-guarded open water swimming facilities that are open to the public every day of the year in the UK.

Go Fishing

One way to enjoy Hampstead Heath is to spend a quiet afternoon casting your rod and patiently waiting for a bite while you soak up the tranquillity and beauty of your surroundings. Fishing is allowed in Hampstead Heath in the Model Boating Pond, the Mixed Pond, the Men’s Pond, the Hampstead No 2 Pond, the Vale of Heath Pond and the Viaduct Pond. You will need to obtain an Environment Agency license and a Hampstead Heath fishing permit in order to go fishing in the park and fishing is not allowed between March and June.

Check Out the View From Parliament Hill

From the lookout point on Parliament Hill you can spot many of the most famous landmarks of London, including the Shard, the Gherkin, Canary Wharf and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The viewpoint is easy to get to, simply walk there in five minutes from Hampstead Heath underground station. This is also a great place to fly a kite on a windy day.

Visit Golders Hill Park

This lovely area is located at the north western end of the park and it is a popular spot for families with kids. It has a small zoo and aviary that the little ones will enjoy. Admission to the zoo is free, which is great for families looking for a budget day out on the weekend that will keep the kids entertained and happy.

Take Part in Sporting Activities

The Heath offers an opportunity to enjoy a range of activities, including 16 different sports. Some of the sporting facilities here include a volleyball court, a petanque pitch and athletics track and a bowling green. There are also cricket pitches available and the trails around the park have become popular with cyclists. Football pitches are available from September to March on Parliament Hill and a putting green is available at Golders Hill Park. There are also rugby pitches available.

Hampstead Heath has a lot to offer and there are so many things you can do in this laid back and relaxing green space. Escape from the busy concrete jungle of London and to the wilderness of Hampstead Heath

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