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As you’d expect from the home of Steven Fry, gorgeous Hampstead is where the capital’s literary, liberal-minded folk have gathered for hundreds of years.
With a continental villagey atmosphere, the beloved wild expanses of Hampstead Heath and extraordinary property prices – there’s more millionaires per square mile here than any other part of the UK, this is one of Londo ns most aspirational and artistic districts.
There are several worthy hotels in Hampstead and they tend to be cheaper than those of more central areas.
On Frognal in Hampstead is the Langorf Hotel. This 3 star hotel offers a leafy location and cheap prices for the area.
If you are wanting a hotel in Hampstead then have a look at the Quality Hampstead which offers car parking. With Finchley Road tube station just three minutes walk away, the Quality Hotel Hampstead is recommended for both business and leisure travellers. Primrose Hill, Regents Park, Swiss Cottage and St Johns Wood are just minutes away by tube or taxi.
If you like a hotel with great guest reviews then have a look at La Gaffe Hotel just 2 minutes walk from Hampstead High Street and the tube. This highly rated hotel has a great restaurant and wine bar.
The list of inhabitants past and present reads like a who’s-who of London thinkers: Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Dickens and Dr Johnson; Kingley Amis and his son Martin, Hampstead legend Peter Cook and Sigmund Freud are just a few greats closely associated with the area’s leafy pleasures: there’s even a statue of Freud at the corner of Belsize Lane, and a museum (20 Maresfield Gardens, 020 7435 2002, www.freud.org.uk) at his London home is a popular pilgrimage site, featuring the very couch where psychoanalysis was born.
The atmosphere of bookish refinement is best explored around Hampstead Village, rife with outstanding restaurants, pavement cafes, vibrant olde-worlde pubs and the most inconspicuous McDonald’s you’ll ever see. Hampstead Heath is the area’s other big draw: a hilly 790-acre stretch of moorland popular for wild ponds and outdoor lidos, stunning views from Parliament Hill, and stately Kenwood House (Hampstead Lane, 020 8348 1286, www.english-heritage.org.uk), which you’ll recognise from a million period dramas.
In the summer there’s outdoor classical and world music concerts, and there’s no better spot for a Sunday afternoon picnic and stroll.
A bunch of angry locals with Kenwood House in their sights during the 1780 Gordon Riots stopped in at the Spaniards Inn (Spaniards Road, 020 8731 8406) for a quick ale and never returned: you can still see their muskets at the bar of this historic, food-centric pub, a favourite of Dick Turpin and where Keats wrote “An Ode To A Nightingale”.
The Northern Line stops at Hampstead, and there’s an overground service for Hampstead Heath itself.
|Hampstead Station||2||Northern||0.68 miles|
|Golders Green Station||3||Northern||1.54 miles|
|Belsize Park Station||2||Northern||1.67 miles|
|Finchley Road Station||2||Metropolitan - Jubilee||1.75 miles|
|West Hampstead Station||2||Jubilee||1.97 miles|
|Hampstead Heath Station||1.22 miles|
|Finchley Road and Frognal Station||1.47 miles|
|West Hampstead Thameslink Station||1.82 miles|
|West Hampstead Station||1.93 miles|
|Gospel Oak Station||2.05 miles|