The Ravishingly Run-Down Terrace In London You Need To Explore • Hampstead Pergola

Hampstead Pergola

Hampstead Pergola is full of rundown splendour.

You may not have heard the news, but Hampstead really is rather lovely. With cute shops, fancy coffee shops, and Hampstead Heath next door, you’re spoiled for choice on a visit here. However, the most beautiful part of Hampstead is also the most criminally underrated: the Hampstead Pergola. Aside from offering lovely views over the Heath and Hampstead Hill Gardens, it also happens to be a splendiferous spot for a wander.

Hampstead Pergola
Photo: @denimoise

If you think this place looks like the frivolous construct of someone with too much money, you’d be spot on. It was commissioned by Lord Leverhulme, who made his fortune selling soap. One summer’s eve in 1904, he decided that his nearby mansion needed an extravagant terrace, to host garden parties and lazy summer nights. So, being filthy rich, he decided to build it.

Hampstead Pergola
Viv Lynch

Though beautiful, Hampstead Pergola suffered in the aftermath of Leverhulme’s death and the onset of World War 2. By the time the City of London took it over in 1989, the place was almost falling apart. Resurrection is still underway, but in the faded glory of the pillars and arches, you’ll find a serenely beautiful spot with views aplenty.

Hampstead Pergola
Photo: @esmitaa

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

Hampstead Pergola
Viv Lynch

…or looking moody under grey skies.

Hampstead Pergola
Photo: @londonbota

Hampstead Pergola really 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.

Hampstead Pergola
Photo: @alexvangoethem

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.

Hampstead Pergola
Photo: @anne_a.h

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?

Hampstead Pergola
Photo: @krisrududu

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 8:30am, but closing time depends entirely on the seasons – find the full list of closing times here.
Entry: 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.

Featured image: @vexell

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