This itinerary will have you strolling through grand picturesque streets, capturing the serene beauty of London. This quirky adventure is perfect for a romantic date or a catch up with an old mate on a clear day.
Enter the tranquil Parkland Walk via Holmesdale Road. This route is known as the ghost railway with its abandoned platforms. Follow the course of the old railway that once ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace. There are many surprises along the route including intriguing arches, eerie sculptures, crumbling old stations and graffiti art.
Continue towards Hornsey Lane Bridge where you will stumble across a fantastic viewpoint of London over the A1 on Archway Rd.
Time for a pit stop at The Flask pub with a history dating back centuries; sit in the seats where famous authors, playwrights and rock stars once sat. Check out the two 17th century horseboxes in place and the original shutter-window bar with the bull’s eye glass panels. Be careful on the way to the loo you might bump into the Spanish barmaid ghost or the man in Cavalier uniform vanishing into a pillar.
The Flask ghost stories set the scene for our next stop, Highgate Cemetery with its quirky and anecdotal approach to history. You’ll find a vast array of magnificent funerary architecture monuments. Explore the famous graves but also the less well known with interesting stories behind them. Seek out the famous residents Karl Marx, Michael Faraday and George Elliot, with their impressive tombs.
Time to loose yourself in the beautiful Hampstead Heath discover its 790 acres of woods, meadow and heath land with an Italian pergola, bathing ponds and a legendary view of London. You’ll get the best panoramic viewpoint at Parliament Hill, what a sight!… spot the towers and structures amongst the kites, joggers, dog walkers, pond swimmers, families, first dates, artists and poets. North of the Heath is Kenwood House stately home surrounded by tranquil landscaped gardens. At the edge of the heath is Golders Hill Park with its small zoo with wallabies and deer, a water garden, butterfly house and playground.
Nestled among the trees is one of London’s most unexpected and serene discoveries. The Italian Pergola and Hill Garden covered with luscious overgrown climbing exotic flowers and vines, and is set amidst some spectacular gardens.
Open-air swimming is internationally famous on Hampstead Heath with the Ladies’ Pond, the Men’s Pond, the Mixed Pond and the Parliament Hill Lido. Make your way down the Heath crossing through Whitestone Pond past Jack Straws Castle towards the calm Judges walk, the place where justices came to take the air after they had fled London during the Great Plague of 1665.
The Holly Bush is our next stop, a charming old pub tucked away on Hollymount, a pretty street with cobbled alleyways in the heart of historic Hampstead. Discover a wealth of cosy corners, hidden booths and enjoy fabulous food, traditional ales and wine.
Continue down the hill towards The Everyman boutique cinema, a cinematic treat with unique comfy armchairs and sofas. Opposite the cinema on Heath Street stumble across a wonderful shop at number 36 called ‘Artichoke’ a traditional greengrocers with a difference selling cold pressed juices, microherbs, edible flowers and a wonderful selection of fresh exotic fruit and veg. Further along Heath St there are quirky coloured houses each with their own unique stamp. Wander down Perrin’s Court, an ideal spot for a delicious cake and coffee is Ginger and White. Carry on through to Hampsted High St past the popular La Creperie de Hampstead and Hampstead Community Centre towards Gails bread bakery where you can pick up a beautiful loaf. The final stop of the itinerary is a hidden Hampstead alley known as Flask Walk boasting an array of independent stores a short stroll back to Hampstead tube for your journey home.