According to legend, Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators planned to watch the Parliament burn bright from Parliament Hill in Hampstead. A doubtful (albeit famous) story. Nevertheless, walk up the hill and you’ll see why such a legend was created.
With Bonfire Night this week (“Remember, remember, the 5th of November”), our family took advantage of late autumnal sunshine and ventured out to Hampstead.
I never get tired of the beautiful iconic view of London from the heath but there are also other reasons why I love Hampstead so dearly: a quaint yet cosmopolitan village, a fantastic adventure playground at the foot of Parliament Hill, great restaurants and gelateria, Flask Walk (filled with many old shops) and Well Walk (where D.H.Lawrence and John Constable lived) between the High Street and the heath, the magnificent Kenwood House, a number of historical pubs with fantastic food, a picnic on the heath, its long literary intellectual connections (D.H. Lawrence, John Keats, Wilkie Collins, Sigmund Freud, Kingsley Amis were some of its famous residents), and the list goes on.
If you (mostly your children) don’t mind venturing out a little farther walking toward Highgate, try Sunday roast at The Bull and Last, one of the best gastro pubs in London (or The Best, by many critics) for the exceptional food and atmosphere. Booking is essential.