As Hampstead is on the Jubilee line, we can get to it in under an hour from our patch of SE London. It seems a shame not to go, but I cannot visualise what my boys would find to do there, especially in the winter.
They will not enjoy walking on the heath for hours and hours. The oldest might like the book shops, but the youngest would be bored stiff. I do not want to spend shed loads of money up in this posh north london corner, entertaining and feeding them.
So can someone tell me if a cheapish, child friendly Hampstead exists or should I forget it?
I hope I don't sound picky but it is West Hampstead that is on the Jubilee Line. There you will find West End Lane which has a good selection of local shops and places to eat. It also has one of those paint-your-own-plates places.
Hampstead is on the Northern Line and the tube station is at the top of the High Street. I would say that the Heath is the main attraction but I understand that doesn't appeal to everyone.
Both places will have lots of kids activities as they are nice middle class areas but I'm not convinced it would be worth travelling to the other side of London for. I could be completely wrong though and I am not trying to put you off exploring a bit!
Just read this back - I'm not being v helpful!! Sorry, hope someone who knows more than me comes along in a bit!
Thanks for the feedback. I will do a bit of digging around on the internet, and if you can look in your book, Batters, that would be excellent.
As it stands, I am amazed I don't know more about this area from a kids point of view. Those big houses must be home to many families - what do they all get up to? where do they meet? In many ways, Blackheath and Greenwich are the southern equivalent and there's lots for kids to do around here (several museums, performance spaces, markets, playgrounds, etc) we're not just limited to bracing walks on the heath.
Good point, beansprout, about the Jubliee and Northern lines.
Hate to sound like a party pooper but Hampstead ain't on the jubilee line and if they don't like walking and if you aren't in to shopping then why not go somewhere else, like DLR which you can reach from the jubilee line, what about Borough markets? Lots to see and taste and Drake's Golden Hind replica moored right next door then a walk on to Southwark bridge to watch the boats and Thames .... making me homesick just writing about it
I know, I know, suzywong, but we've done all that. I remember going to Hampstead (and Hampstead West) for long saturdays before I knew dh or had children, but unless some mumsnetter tells me differently, I really can't see any reason for dragging my two sons all that way just for a walk on the heath. I simply cannot believe there isn't more going on up there - I haven't been that way for years.
I think your boys are just the wrong age for that area (taking the heath out of the equation). I used to live in Highgate and there was loads to do for my little boys around the heath, but not for 5 and 10.
Do you just fancy getting out of your neck of the woods then?
It just seems a shame not to go 'up north' when we can get there pretty easily. I do like to take my sons out and about at weekends but I do want an incentive to go to hampstead - an interesting exhibition, event, an extra special playground - anything really! Perhaps the area just caters more for adults.
Hi tigermoth! I agree with suzywong --- if your boys don't really enjoy shopping or walks on the heath, I don't know that I'd drag them all the way to Hampstead. There is Keats House and Kenwood House, and a few other historic houses, but otherwise not much else. My dd loves it, but she is just a toddler, so ducks and kites suit her just fine....
I don't live in Hampstead, but during the warm months dd loves to ride the bus there so we can take a picnic to the Parliament Hill playground and paddling pool (it's HUGE!). After running around, we always finish off with an ice cream before we board the bus back to our part of London, Your boys might enjoy that, but obviously it's a summertime jaunt. Also, might be a bit juvenile for a 10 year old.....
oh, thanks everyone. I hope you had a good night's sleep suzywong and if you dreamed of Hampstead, hope the dream was a pleasant one
Link queen, Janh, to the rescue indeed. A day out idea is now forming in my mind - a trip to the Tricycle followed by short train ride to Hampstead for a walk around and food. Will keep checking the Tricycle listings. As it happens, the Lauderdale house listings look more appealing (really fancy seeing a family cabaret) but Highgate is too long a trek from Hampstead heath, looking at the tube map.
The paddling pool and huge playground at Parliament Hill Fields sound good for the summer. When I have my youngest alone for a day, we might well do this. Thanks again.