See another side of London life in this fashionable neighbourhood, packed with pretty cafes, cosy wine bars and these cute hotels – bookable with Culture Trip – plus the mighty Hampstead Heath park.
North London’s Hampstead has long been a popular area among locals and tourists, who fantasise about moving into the mansions owned by arty celebrities around the cobbled, old-village High Street. The leafy streets and countless tempting eateries are reason enough to visit, but there’s also the not-so-small matter of Hampstead Heath – a sprawling park and woodland covering over 800 acres (324ha), dotted with historic pubs and viewpoints offering unrivalled vistas across London. The area is also within easy reach of other well-known city sights like Regent’s Park, Lord’s Cricket Ground and many more. Here’s where to stay when you’re visiting this effortlessly charming enclave.
Being just three minutes from Belsize Park Tube station means that the location will be the big draw at this straightforward, budget-leaning hotel in a former pub. If the ex-watering hole setting whets your appetite for the local boozers, investigate the swathes of charming gastropubs scattered around the area, alongside restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and a smattering of boutique shops. NOX is equidistant between Hampstead Heath and pretty Primrose Hill – so once you’ve finished your urban hike, you’ll have a bright and airy hotel to relax in, with quietly stylish rooms.
With a London Overground station – Finchley Road and Frognal – steps away and a Tube station within a short stroll, this simple and cosy spot is perfectly placed for exploring the city. Nature is on your doorstep via the wilderness of Hampstead Heath to the north and Regent’s Park to the south, and the best of urban London is also easily reachable. Camden Market and the V&A Museum are within a few miles, and Wembley Stadium is a 20-minute drive away. There’s also a bar and lounge area for kicking back at the hotel after a day of sightseeing.
As the name suggests, this smart hotel is in the perfect spot for exploring gorgeous Regent’s Park and the surrounding area around Swiss Cottage, which means great restaurants, bars and shops, plus a Tube station nearby. There’s a lot to love about the hotel itself, too: spacious rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows – plus some impressive suites – a swimming pool and gym with personal trainers. Culture-vultures will love the fact that Hampstead Theatre is only a five-minute walk away.
This northwest London spot is ideal for journeying out to big-name sights. The show-stopping concerts and sports events of Wembley Stadium are 30 minutes away by public transport, and Harry Potter fans will love being within reach of the hugely popular Warner Bros. Studio Tour. The vast Brent Cross shopping centre is 15 minutes away by car or bus. The hotel offers free parking, plus a well-fitted gym and multiple on-site options for eating, including historic gastropub the Crown – which dates back to 1899 – and afternoon tea served in an elegant lobby. Clayton Crown is a great pick for families thanks to family rooms, child-friendly menus in the restaurants and family-focused activities nearby.
Set on a tree-lined street a five-minute walk from Golders Green Tube station, this cosy bed and breakfast has a homely feel and rooms that cover all bases, from spacious family rooms with a private balcony to compact single rooms. Whatever you choose, it’ll be equipped with a high-spec coffee machine, TV and wifi. Being so close to a Tube station means that you’ve got London’s best bits within easy reach – but if you don’t want to travel, simply stroll to Hampstead Heath’s Hill Garden and Pergola, a beautiful Georgian terrace. A little further away is the Spaniards Inn, a handsome 16th-century pub mentioned in Charles Dickens’ first novel, The Pickwick Papers.
Courtesy of St John's Boutique Hotel / Booking.com
This stylish and subtly luxurious pad reflects its chic surroundings in St John’s Wood, an attractive and upmarket neighbourhood with a village feel. Rooms are contemporary and gleaming white, and there’s a very inviting pub next door, the New Inn, that offers posh pub meals and cocktails – from classics like mojitos to bespoke boozy creations like the Bugsy Malone (gin, prosecco, raspberries and grenadine). Location-wise, you’re spoilt for choice with upscale eateries and bars – and seeing as you’re on the edge of Regent’s Park, an after-dinner stroll is a must.
Soak up London village life to the full in bohemian Hampstead Village by staying at this family-run guesthouse and Italian restaurant. The restaurant has hosted its share of famous faces over the years, including various members of the Royal Family. It’s not hard to understand the appeal of the quirky-yet-classical decor and the warm hospitality – and the location, of course. As well as the clean, bright rooms – some with a jacuzzi – and fresh Italian cuisine dished up every night, the major appeal of La Gaffe is its setting. You’ll be surrounded by history-filled pubs, independent shops, cosmopolitan cafes, historic attractions and the rugged acres of Hampstead Heath.