The mention of London conjures up imaginations of a metropolis that is steeped in history, politics, and intellectualism. Setting foot in London almost feels like entering a shrine and looking at a panoramic revelation of old charm, new grace, and unbroken glory. Today, the “Old Smoke” is full of energy and is as vibrant as a few others on the globe. It’s a world of adventure—dotted with many attractions that can appeal to a million tastes. Students, artists, politicians, businessmen, hard-nosed bureaucrats, football fans and fanatics, towering names in academia, different races and creeds—the grave and the gay—all make the city hum with a rhythm and cadence that’s hard to scorn or ignore.
Yet London is huge. The Metropolitan area is almost twice as big as that of New York. In this article, we focus on Hampstead, arguably one of the prettiest neighborhoods in London.
Here’s What To Know About Hampstead, London’s Prettiest Neighborhood.
Hampstead, is in the Borough of Camden, in London. The name “Hampstead” itself, a slight linguistic variant of Homestead, is more like a cradle of some of the greatest minds to have emerged in England, and in Western Europe. While today it’s easier to spot Alexandre Lacazette or many other English Premier League players taking a walk —or cruising in their Ferraris—it was not always like this. A century ago, one would brush shoulders with such men as George Orwell, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Charles Dickens. Other Hampstead notables include H.G Wells, T.S Elliot, and Aldous Huxley.
Yet Hampstead was always like any typical medieval village in Britain: dull and drowsy. Then a calamity would later steal upon the inhabitants of the greater London area in the 17th century, inflaming glands in the groin—and turning the skins of victims into loathsome black patches. Less than 12 months after this outbreak, a blazing, uncontrollable fire swept through Central London, driving inhabitants out of the city’s inner centers. Both those who were running away from the Black Death in the far-flung rural areas—and those who were escaping the snowballing fire in Central London—looked for a place that was not deep in the villages, and not within proximity of the smoldering city. Many of them would settle in Hampstead. A decent number of these people were fairly wealthy and well-to-do.
Its fame would again spiral about a century later when a doctor discovered that spring waters in the village had healing properties. The rich would troop to Hampstead, building beautiful mansions that still stand to date. In 1852, a railway station built within its environs would be a game changer. It was now much easy to stay in Hampstead and commute to London. The rest, as they, is history.
Interesting Places To Visit In Hampstead, London
On stepping into Hampstead, one is confronted by a charming village look, punctuated with spots of dazzling modernity. There’s the idyllic, old-school flavor and an architectural air that’s a little scented with both the sleepy and the vivid. For those thinking of spending a weekend in London, Hampstead can be a captivating detour. Sigmund Freud, the celebrated (and reviled) Austrian psychoanalyst—lived here. The house where he lived is now a popular museum. The original study and library which Freud used are preserved in what is now called the Freud Museum. Even Freud’s dining room is still preserved intact.
- What’s The Distance Between Hampstead And The City Of London? The approximate distance between Hampstead and the City of London is about 5.6 miles.
- How Much Is The Entry Charges To Freud Museum? Adults pay £14.00, 12-16-year-olds pay £9.00, and it’s free for children under 12.
John Keats, one of the finest British poets in history, also lived in Hampstead. Actually, He may have composed Ode To A Nightingale, which many consider one of the best artistic productions of modern times—while staying in Hampstead. Keats House, the Villa where the venerable poet lived—is now a registered charity provided by the City of London Corporation as part of its contribution to the cultural life of the city and the wider British public. Visitors to Keats House will enjoy going over his original manuscripts and artifacts.
There’s also 2 Willow Road in Hampstead, one of the finest examples of Modernist architecture. It was designed and built by Ernö Goldfinger, the humorless, architectural genius—who also built both Trellick and Balfron Towers. Other interesting Hampstead destinations include Catto Gallery located at 100 Heath Street, a contemporary art gallery with some amazing works of art. But that’s not all for art lovers. There’s also Camden Arts Center, a fascinating community arts center located on Arkwright Road. History buffs will love a trip to Burgh House, right in the heart of Hampstead. Burgh House houses galleries, a café, a museum and a space for recitals and talks.
Here’s the truth. A trip to Hampstead will make one walk in the imposing shadow of some best-known English greats. While on a visit to London, this is a chance that may knock once.