Lonely Planet review for Hampstead Heath
Sprawling Hampstead Heath, with its rolling woodlands and meadows, feels a million miles away – despite being approximately four – from the City of London. It covers 320 hectares, most of it woods, hills and meadows, and is home to about 180 bird species, 23 species of butterflies, grass snakes, bats and a rich array of flora. It's a wonder-ful place for a ramble, especially to the top of Parliament Hill, which offers expansive views across the city and is one of the most popular places in London to fly a kite. Alternatively head up the hill in North Wood or lose your-self in the West Heath.
If walking is too pedestrian for you, another major attraction is the bathing ponds (separate beautiful ones for men and women and a slightly less pleasant mixed pond).
Those of a more artistic bent should make a beeline for Kenwood House but stop to admire the sculptures by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth on the way.
Once you've had your fill of fresh air and/or culture, do as Londoners do and head to one of the wonderful nearby pubs for a restorative pint.