The Hampstead circular - Fenton House to 2 Willow Road
Saunter through the streets of Hampstead and discover the diverse architecture of its homes before ascending to the heights of one of London’s most loved open spaces to behold its bucolic beauty.
Holly Hill has a steep incline and can become dangerous in both wet and icy weather conditions. Dogs are not permitted within Fenton House or 2 Willow Road.
Hampstead Underground Station
Upon arrival at Hampstead tube station exit via Hampstead High St. Immediately turn right to face the four way junction and walk towards it, turning right at the corner joining Heath St. Cross the road at the pedestrian crossing ahead of you. Turn left when you reach the other side. Ahead of you, on the right hand side, you will see the entrance to Holly Hill. Turn right in to Holly Hill, walking up the hill in a north westerly direction (please note: this hill has a steep incline).
Continue up the hill following the path to the right entering Holly Bush Hill. As Holly Bush Hill becomes Hampstead Grove you should be able to see the ornate black and golden gilded gates of Fenton House begin to emerge on your left.
Holly Bush Pub
As you ascend the hill you will walk past the Holly Bush pub, this Grade II listed house has an illustrious history, once hosting art lectures by Constable and gas-lit debates on the uses of his invention by Michael Faraday.
Continue along Hampstead Grove for another 77 metres (253ft) when you will see another set of ornate gates on your left hand side. This is the visitor entrance to Fenton House and Gardens.
Fenton House and Garden
Why not stop by to enjoy the delightful garden or Lady Binning's wonderful porcelain collection inside this fantastic example of 17th century merchant house. For a real treat to a trip up to the open balcony and enjoy an unrivaled view of the city below you.
Head northwards along Hampstead Grove for another 147 meters (485ft), ahead of you is Hampstead Observatory. Take a right hand turn on to Upper Terrace and cross the road. Shortly after entering Upper Terrace the small entrance to Whitestone Garden will appear on your left, Whitestone the last formal garden of the village of Hampstead before the large wild expanse of the heathland. Exit on to Heath St. turning left and continuing north. Cross Heath St and turn left proceed north towards the roundabout at North End Way, following the road to the right hand as this becomes B519 / Spainards Road.
A tiny plot of just 750 square metres, this garden offers a small teaser of the natural delights that await you on Hampstead Heath. A bench shaped like hands at each ends can be found in the middle of the this woodland in a tribute to the Hands of Hampstead.
After 76 metres (250ft) you will see the entrance to Hampstead Heath on the right hand side. Take the entrance and continue down the wide path, on your right stunning vistas of London will emerge. At the first fork in the road take the right hand path. 197 metres further down this path you will find toilet facilities, first for ladies and then gentlemen.
Continue on the path over the bridge across the Viaduct Pond and after 152 metres (501ft) if you look to your right you will see Lime Avenue continue straight ahead in an easterly direction following the path as it bends round to the right.
Lime Avenue is an avenue of trees replanted in 1987 after the hurricane.
Cross the bridge intersecting the Mixed Bathing and No. 2 Ponds, look out for swimmers on your right and wildlife on your left. At the end of the bridge turn left and continue for another 170 metres as Hampstead No.1 Pond emerges on your left. Continue on the path until you exit the Heath on South End Road.
Continue on the path until you exit the Heath on South End Road. Cross South End Road, and proceed in a southern direction for 104 metres (343ft) before turning right on to Keats Grove.
After 111 metres (364ft) on your left hand side you will see Keats House and Library. Continue walking along Keats Grove and as the road joins Downshire Hill.
This Grade I listed building was once occupied by Romantic poet John Keats and it is claimed that it was under a plum tree in the garden here that Keats wrote ‘Ode to a Nightingale’.
At the junction of Keats Grove and Downshire Hill turn right and head in a north easterly direction for 220 metres before turning left into Willow Road.
After 70 metres Erno Goldfinger's modernist home 2 Willow Road will appear on the left. This remarkable building was home to Erno, Ursula and their children in the 1940s.
Continue along Willow Road for 400 metres, ahead of you will be Burgh House, a Grade I listed, Queen Anne building which houses the Hampstead Museum, turn left here on to Flask Walk. With its delightful independent shops and beautiful cottage-like homes, Flask Walk has the charm and character of a countryside village and what village would be complete without its pub. This can be found 230 metres along the walk in the form of The Flask, a Grade II listed public house mentioned in Samuel Richardson's eighteenth century novel 'Clarissa'.
Continue along Flask Walk as the street narrows before emerging back on to Hampstead High Street. Turn right and in 46 metres you will have return to Hampstead tube station where this circular walk concludes.
Hampstead Railway Station
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