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Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath is the greatest countryside escape in London.

This ancient expanse of common land straddling a high ridge between Hampstead and Highgate is, perhaps, London's most beloved open space. Its rolling hills and meadows, copses and glades, glittering ponds and views conjure a deep sense of the rural that simply doesn't exist elsewhere. A summer's picnic in the long-grass, kite-flying on Parliament Hill or tobogganing down it in the snow, a splash in the bathing ponds, a Sunday ramble to emerge muddy-booted at a village pub or Kenwood these are sacred institutions for many, many Londoners, who would probably lay down their lives for the Heath if they had to.

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