Winter in London: A Walk Through Hampstead Heath

After a month of working with no free weekends, I finally found myself with nothing to do this Sunday. Keen to explore a few unknown places, I set off with my camera to capture the winter scenery in Hampstead Heath, a park in the North of London.

After having lived in London for 4 years, I realised I had never paid Hampstead Heath a visit in all those years. On the map, the park looks massive, and I decided to take the tube to Golders Green and start making my way from Hampstead Heath extension through Sandy Heath into Hampstead Heath.

Hampstead Heath trees
Hampstead Heath Clearing
Hampstead Heath tree close-up
Hampstead Heath Pond

The weather was great for this time of the year. Blue sky with a few wisps of clouds, no icy wind blowing in my face, and the sun was leaving a warm feeling behind. The air was cold, so a winter coat was necessary, but it was comfortable to walk around outside.

Hampstead Heath fallen tree
Hampstead Heath tree bark
Hampstead Heath Leaves close up
Hampstead Heath hill

I regretted my choice of footwear almost immediately. My experience with parks in London is that they all have tar pathways. Thinking Hampstead Heath would be the same, I put on my flat brown leather boots, which are not waterproof and are impossible to properly clean (read=wiping mud off the boot leaves dark marks behind). Almost all areas I found myself in, had dirt paths, which were turned into mud pools in some places after recent rain.

Hampstead Heath girl
Hampstead Heath woman walking dog

Even though I had to carefully dance around mud piles, I was able to enjoy my walk through the forest. Unlike the other London parks, I really felt like I was in the woods, away from London’s hustle and bustle. The bare trees with their sinuous branches, empty ponds and the brown leaves scattered around the ground gave the park an abandoned feel.

Hampstead Heath detail
Hampstead Heath another detail
Hampstead bench

I wouldn’t have liked to walk in this park on my own, if it wasn’t for the numerous runners and couples walking their dogs. The forest felt static and dead, no trees gently swaying on the rhythm of the wind, but there was still plenty of life around. A lonely squirrel refusing to stay in its den, a few chirping birds singing their songs, and the occasional dog splashing around in the ponds.

How To Get To Hampstead Heath

There are several ways to get to Hampstead Heath.

By Tube
The closest tube stations are Golders Green and Hampstead, both on the Northern Line.

By Overground
The closest stations are Gospel Oak and Hampstead Heath




Hi! I'm a Belgian travel blogger currently living in Vancouver, Canada after living in the UK for 7 years. I have a keen interest in responsible travel, volunteering and archaeology and I'm always on the lookout for new adventures around the world!

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23 Responses

  1. Wow that looks so beautiful and doesn’t even look like London at all! I lived in London for three years and embarrassingly never made it to Hampstead Heath!

    1. Haha, same here! It took me 4 years before I decided to pay Hampstead Heath a visit. I will have to go back though, for a summer photo essay 🙂

  2. I visited London in the winter as well and loved it! I found it relly peaceful and most of the tourist attractions were far less busy than they are during the summer. Never walked around this park though, looks serene.

    1. London can be really pretty during Winter. I do love London during Spring and Summer, I usually head to areas not yet discovered by tourists 🙂

  3. Hampstead Heath looks like a great place to visit – particularly to get away from the hustle and bustle of London. In winter it looks a bit stark and it woudl be interesting to see some contrasting photos from other seasons.

  4. Love this gallery! I love the photo of the park bench, great angle, and also because you can see a classic London red telephone booth on the outskirts 🙂

    1. I was trying to frame it so you would see the phone booth in the distance 🙂 However, I was crouched down in an awkward position, with lots of people walking passed me, probably thinking ‘Why on earth is she taking a photo of a bench???’ To be honest, I was wondering that myself 🙂

  5. People often underestimate just how peaceful Hampstead Heath is. One of the best things is to visit once a month, and see how the change of seasons affects the trees and feel of the place.

    1. I wish I had visited Hampstead Heath years ago. If only I had known it was such a beautiful park. I’m looking forward to see the park in Spring and Summer!

  6. I haven’t been to London yet, unfortunately. I’m hoping to get there in 2016. Will definitely keep Hampstead Heath in mind. It reminds me of our Central Park here in NYC, a calm oasis within and urban jungle. Great photos.

  7. We have never visited Hampstead Heath but what I do love about your pictures is that it highlights that just moments away from the chaos that is London peace can be found! 🙂

  8. Gorgeous photos and seems like a very nice and relaxing walk! I love your pictures and will definitely be subscribing! Thanks for bringing such beauty to this rainy day.

    Also, after taking some walks in London parks, I’ve figured that I need good boots so I asked my husband to get me Hunter boots for Christmas 🙂 Now I don’t mind going in the mud!

  9. Loving these photos! You make this part look so artsy 🙂 It makes me want to go out and find my own park near me since unfortunately I’m not in London to visit this one!

  10. I love Hampstead Heath – it’s the perfect escape from the craziness of central London. You could spend all day just wandering around it.

    I need to go back soon!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos!

  11. Beautiful photos and description of your experience! Your photos inspire a love for nature and the park, though dark and brown, looks mysterious and alive. Thanks for sharing! – Emme @ Green Global Travel

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