Even an impoverished Romantic poet like John Keats could afford Hampstead. In 1818 he moved to what is now Keats House, a pretty Regency residence where he spent two years and wrote several of his most famous works. Hampstead’s bohemian days are long gone, although a few distinguished artists and musicians, plus television stars, still live here. Artisanal food shops and boutiques for the skinny of frame and fat of wallet cluster along Rosslyn Hill, while high-street chains start to proliferate the closer you get to Hampstead Tube station. Be sure to leave the beaten path to explore the numerous narrow charming roads, like Flask Walk, Well Walk, and New End Road. Also hidden among Hampstead’s winding streets are Fenton House, a Georgian townhouse with a lovely walled garden, and Burgh House, the oldest house (1704) in the village and a repository of local history. On the way to Highgate you’ll find Kenwood House, an 18th-century mansion that was designed by Robert Adam and is noted for its remarkable art collection and grounds.
Hampstead’s crowning glory, however, is Hampstead Heath (known locally as "The Heath"), 791 acres of parkland, swimming ponds, and some of Europe’s oldest oaks. It’s also home to one of London’s highest vantage points (321 feet), Parliament Hill.