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Hampstead Heath - One of London's Best Gratis Attractions
One of London’s free tourist spots, Hampstead Heath are not only a great getaway into the green parklands, but also offer something to do for all ages and for the entire day
Running from east to west, the SE part of the Heath is set atop the Parliament Hill, offering stunning view over London. Due to its peaceful and serene nature and aura despite almost 7 million people coming here each year, the Heath has remained a popular hangout for Londoners for a long time now, most of them seeking to walk across the greenery and soak in the fresh air. The Heath has a chain of ponds running along the eastern boundary, including three open-air public swimming pools.
People are also seen visiting the Heath to enjoy the lakeside concerts held there in summer. Not only does it offer plenty of natural splendour, the area also offers lots to see and do. There are quite a lot of playgrounds for children to enjoy, including one close to the Parliament Hill with a large padding pool. A nearby cafe serves excellent and reasonably-priced Italian food. For those who like to indulge into sports activities can enjoy the tennis courts or swim in any of the three unique bathing ponds and one superb outdoor lido. You can feel safe while swimming at the Highgate Men's Pond and the Kenwood Ladies' Pond as these two are the UK's only life-guarded, open-water swimming spots open all round the year. The men's pond is also popular as a training ground for boxers John Conteh and Frank Bruno, while the women's pond is known to have attracted Channel swimmers and movie star Katharine Hepburn. The Parliament Hill lido created in 1938 is known to endure a Second World War bombing raid and is now one of only two outdoor unheated pools in London.
There's a Saturday farmers' market where you could buy something of your interest. Since all the entertainment is free of charge, you can also enjoy a free zoo in Golders Hill Park. And if you still want more, you can head towards Hampstead markets for outstanding entertainment and superb culinary delights enough to treat your taste buds in the patisseries, cafes and restaurants in Hampstead. If you wish to wrap up your day with an exciting nightlife and a wide range of bars and gastropubs, then you could move ahead to West Hampstead.
All in all, Hampstead Heath does not only serve as a great getaway for some relaxation and fun amidst lush greenery away from the city’s hustle bustle, but also offers plenty of entertainment for an action-packed day throughout. To reach there, you can take the Northern Line from either of Kentish Town, Hampstead or Golders Green underground stations. Overground stations at Gospel Oak or Hampstead Heath are also nearby.
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