Last Updated on 26 October, 2023
Hampstead High Street, nestled in the leafy suburb of Hampstead, North London, is a captivating blend of historical charm and contemporary elegance.
This picturesque high street has a rich history dating back to the 18th century when it was a popular destination for London’s elite seeking respite from the bustling city.
Today, it retains its timeless allure, offering a treasure trove of attractions, shops, cafes, and restaurants. Join me as I explore the history and vibrant present of Hampstead High Street.
A Little History of Hampstead High Street
To truly appreciate Hampstead High Street, one must delve into its storied past. Hampstead itself has a history that spans millennia, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Iron Age.
However, it was during the 18th century that Hampstead, and by extension Hampstead High Street, gained prominence as a fashionable retreat for London’s upper classes.
The area’s clean air, lush greenery, and proximity to the city made it an attractive destination for those seeking respite from London’s urban hustle and bustle.
The construction of grand Georgian and Victorian houses, many of which still grace the high street, contributed to its architectural heritage.
In the 19th century, Hampstead became a hub for the arts and literature. The area’s literary connections are particularly significant, with famous authors like John Keats, George Orwell, and Daphne du Maurier calling it home. Keats House, a museum dedicated to the Romantic poet John Keats, is a testament to the area’s literary heritage.
Notable Shops On Hampstead High Street
Hampstead High Street is a shopper’s paradise, offering a diverse range of boutiques and stores. From high-end fashion to unique homeware, you’ll find it all here.
Nicole Farhi: Nicole Farhi’s boutique is a haven of elegant, contemporary fashion. Known for its timeless designs and quality craftsmanship, it’s a must-visit for fashion enthusiasts.
Zadig & Voltaire: Zadig & Voltaire brings French chic to Hampstead. Their collection of clothing, accessories, and fragrances exudes effortless style.
Cochinechine: Cochinechine is a treasure trove of eclectic homeware and gifts. You’ll discover unique items that add character to your home or make thoughtful presents.
ba&sh: ba&sh offers a fusion of Parisian elegance and bohemian charm. Their clothing and accessories capture the essence of effortless chic.
Body Shop: The Body Shop, known for its ethical and sustainable beauty products, has a presence on the high street. Explore their range of skincare, cosmetics, and fragrances.
Whistles: Whistles is a British fashion brand celebrated for its contemporary designs. Their collection showcases modern, versatile pieces for every wardrobe.
Karen Millen: Karen Millen is synonymous with sophisticated women’s fashion. Explore their high-quality clothing, footwear, and accessories.
Gap and Gap Kids: Gap is a go-to destination for timeless, casual apparel for the whole family. Find classic denim, comfortable basics, and stylish outerwear.
Hobbs: Hobbs offers a range of elegant womenswear with a focus on craftsmanship and attention to detail. Their clothing is perfect for both work and leisure.
Space NK: Space NK offers a curated selection of beauty products from luxury brands. Explore their skincare, makeup, and fragrance collections.
Rosslyn Hill: Rosslyn Hill is home to a charming mix of independent boutiques and shops. You’ll find unique finds and hidden gems along this picturesque street.
Bang & Olufsen: For premium audio and visual technology, visit Bang & Olufsen. Their elegant and innovative products redefine the sensory experience.
Farrow & Ball: Farrow & Ball is renowned for its exquisite paint and wallpaper. Explore a stunning palette of colours and timeless designs for your home.
Jigsaw: Jigsaw offers contemporary fashion for men and women. Their clothing combines style, comfort, and versatility.
Cass Art: Cass Art is a haven for artists and creatives. Discover a wide range of art supplies, materials, and tools.
Happy Returns: Happy Returns is a delightful gift shop offering a variety of charming and quirky presents. Find something special for any occasion.
Reiss: Reiss is known for its modern, minimalistic designs. Their clothing and accessories have a sleek, contemporary aesthetic.
Bimba y Lola: Bimba y Lola is a Spanish brand that combines creativity and quality. Discover their distinctive fashion and accessories.
Waterstones: Waterstones on Hampstead High Street is a haven for book lovers. Browse through a vast selection of books, from bestsellers to hidden gems.
Things To Do Near Hampstead High Street
Hampstead Heath, a vast and enchanting green space, is a short stroll from the high street. With its rolling hills, woodlands, and bathing ponds, the heath offers a tranquil escape from the urban jungle.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a keen walker, or simply looking for a peaceful picnic spot, Hampstead Heath has something to offer.
Hampstead Bathing Ponds
For a unique outdoor experience, visit the Hampstead Bathing Ponds on the heath. These freshwater swimming ponds, including the famous Ladies’ Pond, are a refreshing retreat during the summer months. Surrounded by lush greenery, they provide a serene space to cool off and connect with nature.
A short walk from the high street takes you to Kenwood House, an elegant neoclassical mansion set amidst landscaped gardens. This is among the beautiful stately homes in London you need to visit.
Kenwood House boasts an impressive art collection, including works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Turner. Its stunning interiors and serene grounds make it a delightful cultural excursion.
Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden
Discover a hidden gem in Hampstead—the Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden. This enchanting, overgrown garden with its pergola adorned in climbing plants is a tranquil spot for a leisurely stroll or a moment of reflection.
Walking Tour around Hampstead
Exploring Hampstead on foot is a delightful experience. The area’s historic houses, quaint alleyways, and charming architecture are best appreciated up close. Consider joining a guided walking tour to gain insights into Hampstead’s rich history and cultural significance.
For panoramic views of the London skyline, head to Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. It’s a popular spot for photographers, picnickers, and those in search of breathtaking vistas.
The sight of London’s iconic landmarks against the backdrop of the heath is simply mesmerizing.
The Best Cafes & Restaurants In Hampstead High Street
Hampstead High Street boasts a vibrant culinary scene, with an array of cafes and restaurants catering to diverse tastes.
Whether you’re in the mood for international cuisine, traditional British fare, or a quick coffee break, you’ll find an enticing option.
Pizza Express: Pizza Express is a beloved chain known for its delicious pizzas and Italian-inspired dishes. It’s a family-friendly spot for a casual meal.
Hampstead Creperie: For sweet and savoury crepes that delight the taste buds, visit Hampstead Creperie. Their extensive menu caters to all preferences.
Goldfish (Chinese): Goldfish is renowned for its delectable Chinese cuisine. From traditional favourites to modern creations, there’s something for every palate.
Izakaya: Izakaya brings Japanese flavours to Hampstead. Their sushi, sashimi, and other dishes are prepared with precision and care.
Jin Kichi (Japanese): Jin Kichi is a Japanese restaurant celebrated for its grilled dishes, including yakitori and robata.
The Old White Bear (gastro pub): The Old White Bear is a traditional British pub with a gastropub twist. Their menu features classic pub fare with a modern twist.
Ginger & White’s (cafe): Ginger & White’s cafe is a local favourite known for its artisan coffee, fresh pastries, and wholesome breakfast options.
Melrose & Morgan (cafe-deli): Melrose & Morgan is a charming cafe and deli offering a selection of gourmet sandwiches, salads, and delectable pastries.
The Flask: The Flask is a historic pub with a cosy atmosphere. Enjoy a pint of ale or a hearty meal in this traditional English setting.
Holly Bush: The Holly Bush is another charming pub with a rich history. It’s oak-panelled interiors and open fireplaces create a welcoming ambience.
Best Hotels Near Hampstead High Street
Hampstead offers a range of accommodation options, making it an ideal base for exploring the area and its vibrant high street.
La Gaffe: La Gaffe is a charming boutique hotel with a Mediterranean-style restaurant. It’s cosy rooms and authentic Italian cuisine make it a hidden gem.
Mirabilis Apartments: Mirabilis Apartments provide comfortable and stylish serviced apartments for those seeking a home-away-from-home experience.
How To Get To Hampstead High Street
Hampstead High Street is easily accessible via public transport. The nearest tube station is Hampstead (Northern Line), which connects you to central London. Buses also serve the area, providing convenient transportation options.
As you explore Hampstead High Street, you’ll find a harmonious blend of history, culture, and modernity. Whether you’re strolling along the charming streets, indulging in delectable cuisine, or immersing yourself in the area’s rich heritage, this part of London offers a captivating experience that will leave a lasting impression.
So, step into the timeless allure of Hampstead High Street and discover its many treasures.