What makes Hampstead special?
Sitting high above London, Hampstead prides itself on its village feel. That’s accentuated, of course, by the wild spaces of Hampstead Heath that take up much of the area. We’ll discuss both the famous and domestic architecture, but what really makes it distinctive is the way that the streets and the buildings are shaped by and shape the landscape. It’s the way the shopping streets seem to dive down the hill towards the capital while the streets with most of the houses – several of which call themselves walks rather than roads – float above it.
It’s that sense of being not quite in London yet just a quick Tube ride into town that has made Hampstead such a desirable place to live for so long. And it’s one that has created a fiercely protective local community that has successfully fought to preserve the unique feeling of the place.
As well as to stroll on the Heath, visitors come for Kenwood House, Keat’s House, the Freud Museum and The Spaniards Inn – a Grade II listed pub that dates back to the 16th century. One of London’s great modernist buildings, Isokon Flats, is in Hampstead by some reckonings although the proud residents of Belsize Park would probably argue otherwise.