Tag Archives: open-air swimming

37: Escape to Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath, locally known as the Heath, is an age-old institution in London. According to the legend, the Celtic queen Boudica is buried there; it was also Karl Marx’s favorite family outing. Still today, this hilly park, which covers 320 hectares and comprises woodland, playing fields, swimming ponds, a training track, and which adjoins Kenwood House, remains a genuinely popular public place.

Kenwood House

Kenwood House

There, you may see swimmers taking a refreshing dip in the ponds in the summer time, or even earlier for the bravest ones – the water remains chilly all year long. Hampstead Heath is also used by walkers and runners of all sorts and is believed to be the home of cross-country running in Britain – you can meditate on that while you try and jog up and down the hills without running out of steam.

Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath

Parliament Hill's protected view: one of "the Heath's" trademarks

Indeed Hampstead Heath is also famous for being one of the highest points in London, and, in the Southern end of the park, Parliament Hill’s splendid view over the city is even protected by law. It is a magic place, where lovers on romantic walks meet kite-fliers taking advantage of the wind on the hill.

Kite-fliers in Hampstead Heath

Kite-flying on Parliament Hill

Nearest Tube stations: Hampstead Heath, Gospel Oak Hampstead, Belsize Park,Golders Green, Highgate and Archway

Advertisements