London has been feeling good and showing it's beautiful blue sky lately. We recently had some friends in town and they barely got to see London's gloomy side—not something most people visiting can say especially in the winter months. It's still easy to convince yourself it's okay to stay inside away for the winter chill but on Sunday London had some slightly warmer temps leaving us with no excuses. Rico and I decided it would be fun to hop on the tube for a quick ride up to Hampstead. We love wandering around there. When you are strolling around it's residential streets, you feel removed from the city and in a small village instead of a bustling city. It's easy to get lost for hours exploring all the nooks and crannies. You would also be surprised at how green it stays even in the winter. We're definitely longing for spring to come soon now!
Hampstead is a go-to favorite for us. Each time we visit, there's something new to discover in the village or as we walk through the heath. We opted to not wander into the heath this time though and just remained focus on finding little gems in the village to get all heart eyes over. Before we left to make our way there, I quickly googled some ideas of places to see in hopes of finding some spots we hadn't yet been to before. Scrolling through Pinterest, I found Bleak House's January guide to Hampstead. While we didn't follow it exactly, it was a perfect backbone and took us to some really interesting spots to then wander from. It's always interesting seeing what other bloggers have to say about areas we love and their take on it.
The curved hilly roads are what make this area north of the city so charming. There's greens growing everywhere—around fences and up buildings. Everything is a bit quirky and it feels straight out of a fairytale at times. Hampstead's artistic, musical, literary past full of intellects and liberals has the village full of noteworthy houses to see. Bleak House did an excellent job marking some good ones to gawk at. I can't help but imagine what it would be like to live in some of these homes. London has a variety of different architecture styles and vibes throughout but Hampstead has my heart spinning around.
One of the spots that we never had crossed paths with was St. John-at-Hampstead and its old cemetery. Noted in the walking guide we followed, there's some famous names to look out for and even some links to what inspired JM Barrie to write Peter Pan. The cemetery was a nice break from street wandering and a perfect spot to wander through thinking about our own inspirations in life. From there we made our way back on the street and over to one of my favorite Hampstead spots...
The Holly Bush such a captivating spot. We stumbled upon in on one of our first times wandering around Hampstead and it has become a must every time we're up in the area. When my parents visited last year, we had a delicious Sunday roast here that is still talked about time and time again. While the food is delicious, the setting is what makes this spot so unique and loved. From the painted lettering on the building to the narrow curved street, it's easy to just stay outside and stare at how perfect it is but I'm sure it will pull you in quickly too.
Days like this are why I love when we have down time in London. From late fall through winter, we get our fair share of weekends to get ourselves out and reminding why London has a permanent spot in our hearts. With the beautiful weather and some free time time to enjoy it, Hampstead gave us a wonderfully refreshing time.