Hampstead Pergola: wonderful example of faded grandeur, and undeniably a London’s hidden treasure.


Hampstead Pergola is full of rundown splendour.

You may not have heard the news, but Hampstead is so lovely. With cute stores, fancy coffee shops, and Hampstead Heath next door, you’re spoiled for option on a visit there. However, the most beautiful part of Hampstead is also the most criminally underrated: the Hampstead Pergola. Besides offering spectacular views over the Gardens of Heath and Hampstead Hill, it also happens to be a splendid spot for a stroll.

If you think that place looks like someone with too much money’s frivolous construct, ya’d be spot on. It had been commissioned by Lord Leverhulme, who made a fortune selling soap. One summer eve in 1904, he decided that to host garden parties and lazy summer nights, his nearby mansion required a grand terrace.  As he was so rich, he decided to build it.

While lovely, in the aftermath of the death of Leverhulme and the start of World War 2, Hampstead Pergola did suffer. The place was almost falling apart by the time it was taken over by the City of London in 1989. Resurrection is still ongoing, but you will find a serenely beautiful place in the fading majesty of the pillars and arches, with great views.

Overgrown with vines and flowers, Hampstead Pergola is pretty magical, whether it be in the green of summer…

…or looking moody under grey skies.

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Sunday afternoon

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Hampstead Pergola is a place for all seasons, equally beautiful when it’s hidden under winter snow, or braving the summer sun. In spring, wisteria curls around the trellises, whilst a carpet of autumn leaves makes the place even more special.

All this beauty explains why Hampstead Pergola is an immensely popular spot for photoshoots. It also happens to be a licensed wedding venue, and if you stump up £2300, you can tie the knot in this magical spot.

That’s a big commitment to make to a place you just discovered, though. Maybe you’re better starting off with a peek around Hampstead Pergola some sunny day?

Location: The Pergola, Inverforth Close, Hampstead, NW3 7EX. Nearest stations are Hampstead and Golders Green. See it on Google Maps.

Opening hours: are ridiculously complex. The pergola opens at 8:30 am, but the closing time depends entirely on the seasons – find the full list of closing times here.

The Hampstead Pergola is free to enter (see more free things to do in London), but filming and photoshoots will require a permit.

More information: from the City of London website.