Hampstead - London’s Country Village
Leafy Hampstead is one of London’s treasures. It is more countryside than capital, and its peaceful streets exude a charm and appeal that is guaranteed to both enchant and fascinate you.
We begin with a stroll along the capitals most exquisite 18th century promenade, “an avenue of Dutch, red-faced houses, leading demurely to the old church tower that stands, guarding its graves in the flowery churchyard” was how Thackeray’s daughter, Anne, described it. And sure enough having absorbed the ambience of the attractive houses, we step through the “Handel” gates and find ourselves in a churchyard that seems miles and centuries away from the rush of modern London. Beneath a shady canopy of mighty trees we discover the graves of the artist Constable and John Harrison of Longitude fame.
Emerging from this tranquil haven we set off into old cobblestone lanes, atmospheric thoroughfares, passing elegant old manor houses and attractive cottages. We pause for some unsurpassed views down over the London skyline, before venturing out onto the wilder reaches of Hampstead Heath, 800 wild acres of untamed woodland.
Add to all this a cast of characters that include, Dickens, Keats, Hogarth, Dick Turpin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Poppins, Boy George, Peter Cook, H. G. Wells and Elizabeth Taylor, and the stage is set for a memorable journey through a part of London that will unfetter the mind and set the spirits soaring.