Hampstead Pergola Serene Haven

Hampstead Pergola London  - Serene Haven | timelesstravelsteps.com

Hampstead Pergola – The Grandeur of Run-down Terraces | London’s Secret Serene Haven

The Hampstead Pergola, a beautiful faded splendour hidden away in the north west corner of Hampstead Heath is one of London’s secret serene havens. This hidden treasure is a breathtaking wonder and perfect for all seasons to wander. You can’t but fall in love with the grandeur of these run-down terraces that radiate a sense of serenity at every step you take. Set on raised walkways, the endless corridors of Edwardian pillars are overgrown with vines, roses and exotic flowers. The subtle fragrance of roses fills the air, and views at every turn. This serene haven looks like a magical secret garden.

The Hampstead Pergola and Hill Gardens is a perfect destination in London (just 30 minutes from London Euston) to getaway to for a picnic with friends and family, or to enjoy some peace and quiet reflection. The Hampstead Pergola is a photographer’s paradise and a destination sought out for weddings and celebratory events.

In this guide, we take a look at how the story of these really pretty run-down terraces began, what happened along the way and who cares for them now. I have included several photos here, taken a few days ago, in the beautiful summer sun to give you an idea of how beautiful this place is but nothing beats the ‘here and now’ experience which are truly rich. Therefore, I give you all the practical information you need on how to get to Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola, opening times and where to park if you are not taking public transportation.

Walk with me … click to watch a preview of the magical serenity of the Hill Garden and Pergola

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The History of Hampstead Pergola

London’s secret serene haven in Hampstead Heath is the legacy of Lord Leverhulme and dates back to 1905.

Lord William Leverhulme ( 1851 — 1925)

William Leverhulme was born in Bolton to a grocer in 1851. Along with his brother, he established Lever Brothers in 1885, a soap manufacturing company. The business was immensely successful.

In 1904, Lord Leverhulme purchased an Edwardian mansion, ‘The Hill’ overlooking Hampstead Heath. He rebuilt his house to incorporate a wing to each side of the house, a ballroom and an art gallery. Over the course of the following year, he expanded his estate to include the land surrounding The Hill.

Lord Leverhulme loved landscape gardening. With this additional space and his love for landscape gardening, he decided to build a legacy, The Pergola. He wanted a spectacular garden to host extravagant Edwardian garden parties and at the same time a space where his family and friends could spend long summer evenings privately. To make his dream come true, he employed Thomas Mawson, a landscape architect and garden designer.

Navigate to learn more about Lord Leverhulme and the Leverhulme Trust.


Read: 12 Famous Parks in London


When was Hampstead Pergola built?

Construction of the Pergola began in 1905 and was completed in 1906. Over the following years, Lord Leverhulme extended his estate further, thereby also allowing for further extension to the Pergola in 1911 and 1925.

Decline, Restoration and Present Caretakers of Hampstead Pergola

Lord Leverhulme resided at The Hill until his death in 1925. He died of pneumonia at the age of 73. After his death, The Hill and gardens were bought by Baron Inverforth. ‘The Hill’ was renamed as Inverforth House and retains as such till today. Baron Inverforth died in 1955, and left the property to Manor House Hospital.

Unfortunately, by 1960, the hill garden and the pergola were in a poor state of dilapidation. London County Council stepped in to take over and carried out some restoration. The gardens were restored and opened to the public in 1963. Further restoration work was carried when the Corporation of London took over in the late 1980s, in whose care the Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola rests today.


Read: Why Regent’s Park is the #1 Garden with a toal Zen in London


Inverforth House today

Inverforth House was sold to developers in the 1990s. The property was converted into two houses and several flats which are now privately owned.


Recommended read: St Dunstan in the East – 8 Reasons to Visit this Serenity amongst Ruins

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Practical Information for Hampstead Pergola

1 | Where is Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola?

Address: Inverforth Close, North End Way, London, NW3 7EX

Tel: 020 7332 3322

2 | Getting to Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola

2.1 | By London Tube/Underground

The nearest station to Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola is Golders Green on the Northern Line. You can access the Northern line at Euston Station. The journey between Euston Station and Golders Green is 15 minutes.

Use London’s TFL Planner to plan your journey.

From Golders Green Station, Hampstead Pergola is a 20-minute walk.

2.2 | By Bus

You could catch bus 210 and 268 from Golders Green Station and these take you to Inverforth House (Stop L), close to Hampstead Pergola. It takes about 2 minutes to walk from the bus stop to the Pergola.

Bus 210 from Golders Green Station headed towards Finsbury Park. Journey time is 9 minutes.

Bus 268 from Golders Green Station headed towards South Hampstead. Journey time is 10 minutes.

2.3 | Parking

The nearest car park to Hampstead Pergola is Jack Straw’s, offering 60 spaces and it is an uncovered car park. It takes 8 minutes to walk from the car park to Hampstead Pergola.

Address: City of London
Jack Straw’s
12 North End Way
London
NW3 7ES

Charges

  • 0-2 hours: £5
  • 2-4 hours: 10
  • each additional hour: £9

Parking with a valid Blue Badge is free.

**Prices correct at time of writing: June 2022

Pay with RingGo

Pay with RingGo (external link) or call 020 7110 0000 and quote location number 79453.

3 | Is Hampstead Pergola free?

Admission to this hidden splendour is free throughout the year.

4 | Opening times:

Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 hour before dusk, or 8:00 p.m. (whichever is earlier).


finally …

Although the Hampstead Heath Hill Garden and Pergola is under the care of the Corporation of London today, the Pergola was not fully restored to its former opulence. It went into slow decline since the death of Lord Leverhulme and remains a shell of its former sparkle. Nonetheless, the Hampstead Pergola offers history, nature views, beautiful fairytale settings in the summer sunshine and at any time of the year. Moreover, this faded splendour is unique in characterdistinctive, moody, eerie and absolutely amazing at the same time.

So, if you haven’t visited the Hill Garden and Pergola yet, pack your picnic basket, with sandwiches, a red, white or rosé, and head over for a mid-morning stroll while we have perfect weather. It is worth the time and the trip.


Travel resources at a Glance

Planning your dream vacation? Excellent! Here are all the Resources and Practical information you need for your self-guided or guided vacation.

Legal entry/Tourist travel Visa

Check Visa requirements with iVisa, a leading independent company in the travel documentation industry.

Flights

I have a few choices. Search Google flights because they offer very competitive prices. You could also try Opodo for cheap airfares. For special experiences, go to On the Beach and Jet2Holidays. My all time favourite has been Qatar Airways for long-haul flights for the comfort and their first-class service. I use British Airways as well. For all other global deals >> kiwi.com

Accommodations

My favourite website for booking hotels is booking.com – I love their flexible cancellation policy which means I’m covered till the last minute. I also like that the totals show up for the whole stay so it helps me budget better. Other favourites of mine are Millennium & Copthorne Group of Hotels and Resorts for their consistent high quality accommodations and service. You could also take a look at the Radisson Hotels chain that caters for all budget. For accommodations in UK that has a personal touch and affordable luxury, stay at Hotel du Vin.

Unique experiences & tours

My all time go to resource for unique experiences and tours is Get your Guide. I am also a fan of Viator for their special deals. You shall find suggestions on recommended tours sprinkled throughout TTS on each experience I write about.

Travel insurance

Never travel without travel insurance and never overpay for travel insurance! I use and recommend World Nomads for your travel insurance needs. They even insure on the go. Before purchasing any any travel policy, read through the terms to ensure that the plan is right for you and your trip.

Travel essentials

Never travel without these! I use and fully endorse all the products on this page but especially: High powered wireless power bank, Universal travel adapter and unlimited portable pocket wifi.


I sincerely hope that this article about the Hampstead Pergola in London is helpful to you in discovering more of the charming city London. If so, please use the links to book your train tickets, activities and related visits. We earn a commission from qualified purchases and accommodation stays at zero cost to you. As always, we appreciate your continued support.

Have a splendid time at Hampstead Pergola.

xx


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Leadenhall Market — London’s Best Kept Secret

Leadenhall Market – A Victorian Gem & One of London’s Best kept Secret

Explore another side of London — the city’s best kept secret! Tucked away from the busy streets and the high-rises of the financial district of London, with a rich heritage and incredible architecture dating back 700 years is Leadenhall Market, a Victorian gem easily missed and less visited by occasional visitors to the city. This remarkable building is also Grade II listed, denoting its significant historic interest.

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Whilst we work hard to provide accurate and the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.


What to expect in this article on Leadenhall Market

In this article, you shall find top reasons that makes Leadenhall Market a notable place to visit in London, beginning with its rich history to the incredible things to do such as shopping, dining and getting your shoes shined at this Victorian marketplace. Practical tips are included on how to locate this marvellous destination as well as landmarks to visit which are located close by. You could skip ahead to a particular section by using the navigation below, if you prefer.

Leadenhall Market London's best kept secret

1 | The origins and history of Leadenhall Market, London

The stunning Leadenhall Market has a rich history dating back to 1321, at the heart of what we now know to be Roman London. Underneath the arches and cobblestones of Leadenhall Market today are the remains of the Roman Forum and Basilica. As well, Bishopsgate, Cheapside and Leadenhall Street follow the Roman roads that once existed.

History tells us that the Romans loved their markets! It is thought that a market existed at this location since their settlement but not much is known about the market place after they left. Thereafter, the Anglo-Saxons returned and used the same location to set up a marketplace to boost the economy.

1.1 | Medieval history of Leadenhall Market

Eventually, the Leadenhall manor fell into the ownership of Lord Whittington, the Lord Mayor of the City of London. In 1411, he gifted the manor to the City of London.

1.2 | Leadenhall Market through the centuries

In 1440, Simon Eyre, the then Lord Mayor commissioned the skills of John Croxton, a master mason to redesign the manor house. The manor house was converted to two levels, and housed a large public granary along with lots of storage spaces. Trade was brought into the building, away from the streets nearby. The marketplace became the focal of medieval economy. By 1600s, trading involved cheese, milk, butter and eggs alongside poultry, meats, grains, leather and metal ware.

Following the Great Fire of London, Sir Horace Jones was commissioned to redesign the stone building. He designed and built Leadenhall Market in 1881 that continues to exist today. The nearby markets of Billingsgate and Smithfield were designed by Sir Jones also. The architecture embodies space, and light with wrought iron and glass. More recently, in 1991, Leadenhall Market underwent extensive renovations but the eye-catching Victorian architecture of brightly painted wrought iron beams of the main roof was preserved.


Recommended: 7 Key benefits of the London Pass that you need to know.


2 | Leadenhall Market today

This large covered area of what was once a marketplace has evolved to be a modern retail hub. Set amidst a Victorian roof, cobbles and preserved buildings and architecture, Leadenhall Market provides a wide range of shopping and a variety of dining options. Located in the centre of the financial district of London also means that it is a busy hub for the men and women in smart suits and the savvy financier.

The many entrances are decorated with stone carvings of dragons, swags and shields of varying sizes. The larger stone pediments reflect the main entrances to the market. Some have the market’s name and date inscribed upon them.

2.1 | Fashionable boutiques and Fine dining at Leadenhall Market, London

Housed within the Victorian architecture are upscale shops such as Barbour, Reiss, Hobbs, Waterstones and many more.

In addition, there is a selection of restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs offering unique dining experiences from fine dining, mid-range dining or to take-aways and sandwiches. There is Cheese of Leadenhall for cheese lovers and for wine lovers, the Brokers Wine Bar is an excellent choice.

The Lamb Tavern is highly recommended. It is a traditional pub, a restaurant and lately, popular as a wedding venue. Occupying three-floors of impressive decor, this grand old pub serves traditional British food and ales. The Lamb Tavern has been a public house since the Market buildings were completed in 1881.

Visiting this beautifully clean and vibrant Victorian setting ordinarily on a working day or at Christmas is highly encouraged. Truth be told that it is extraordinarily special at Christmas. It is lit-up bright with Christmas lights and a 20-foot high Christmas tree takes the centre-stage of this Victorian market setting. Shoppers with Christmas shopping bags, the vibrancy of modern dining, the bars and pubs overflowing with beer drinkers in smart attire amidst chatter and laughter. Added to this are the Christmas crafts, music and the aroma of mulled wine. It is hard to imagine the smell of meat and poultry that this Victorian market once was!

Christmas Lights 2021 switching-on ceremony is scheduled for November 19. December 8 signals the beginning of Christmas workshops, music and late-night shopping

2.2 | The Shoe-shiners of Leadenhall Market

When I visited Leadenhall Market a couple of years ago, I was fascinated to discover that it was home to talented actors who run the London City Shoe Shine Co. in between their engagements at West End.

These actors have been shining shoes in this Victorian setting since 1991, come rain or shine! Although, if the leather shoes are wet on a rainy day, you will probably not find the shoe-shiners sitting at their station.

The actors work in pairs and this beautiful advent afternoon was no different to any other. There was a steady flow of customers, mostly regulars, I suspect. As Leadenhall Market is situated in the centre of the banking industry and bankers were traditionally their most regular customers.

I saw a window of opportunity to steal a quick chat with them, with an assurance that they remain anonymous. It was an interesting chat, one of them have an upcoming role in a movie while the other is involved mainly in theatre performances. Soon, two customers arrived, and I stayed to watch briefly.

The shine-box method

I was captivated with the use of the old-fashioned shine-box method – where the customer raises one foot onto the footplate for it to be shined and then the other shoe gets done afterwards. These modest shoe shiners exuded a relaxed sense of style and their buoyant energy in a carefully crafted skill of vigorous hand-movement, first brush, then focusing on the toe for extra shine – a pair of shiny shoes will always set a man apart as a man that knows how to take care of himself – appearance matters! Definitely! Don’t you think so?

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London Eye | Harry Potter Studios

For the ardent Harry Potter fans, you will be delighted to know that there were several scenes which were filmed at Leadenhall Market. One of the most memorable scene is when Hagrid and Harry Potter go shopping for wands. This scene was filmed outside of Leadenhall Market.

You may also recall the area of London which led to the wizarding pub, the magical shopping street of Diagon Alley (in the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) and the Leaky Couldron (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). The highly recognisable blue door entrance to the Leaky Couldron at 42 Bull’s Head Passage is actually an opticians office at Leadenhall Market.

Recommended: An interactive Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour

Leadenhall Market has also been used as a filming location in other movies for example:

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy;

The Imaginarium of Doctor Pernassus;

Hearafter;

Love Aaj Kal


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3 | The Story of Old Tom at Leadenhall Market

As we know, Leadenhall Market was once a place for the sale of poultry, and this required for chickens and geese to be slaughtered in the market. However, Old Tom, the little goose had a different tale to tell.

One day, in early 1800s, thousands of geese were brought to the Market to be slaughtered but one little gander from Belgium managed to escape. The story goes that he was not only clever to escape his fate on one occasion but he did so over several occasions on a number of days. Eventually, he was allowed to live happily and was named “Old Tom”. Old Tom became a beloved resident of Leadenhall Market. He was fed by the market workers with scraps of food and lived to the age of 37. Old Tom passed of natural causes in 1835 and was given a proper burial. He is buried inside the Market.

Old Tom was much loved and his Obituary appeared in the Times Newspaper, on April 16, 1835:

In memory of Old Tom the Gander

Obit 19th March, 1835, aetat, 37 years, 9 months and 6 days

This famous gander, while in stubble,

Fed freely, without care or trouble;

Grew fat eating corn and sitting still,

And scarce could cross the barn-door sill;

And seldom waddle forth to cool,

His belly in the neighbouring pool;

Transplanted to another scene,

He stalk’d in state o’er Calais-green,

With full five hundred geese behind;

To his superior care consign’d;

Whom readily he would engage,

To lead in march ten miles a-stage,

Thus a decoy he lived and died,

The chief of geese, the poulterer’s pride.

You could always raise a glass to Old Tom when you visit Leadenhall Market. His burial spot is marked by the Old Tom’s Bar at 10-12 Leadenhall Market.

Old Tom’s Bar serves traditional British dishes and craft beers.


Recommended: Secrets of London Walking Tour


4 | Best London attractions nearby to Leadenhall Market

While visiting Leadenhall Market, you may also wish to make a day of it by visiting other attractions in the financial district and nearby. The following attractions are located within a few minutes of each other and easily reached by foot. Click on the links to learn more.


5 | Practical tips and Useful information

If you plan to visit this part of London, you will note two entirely differing cultures depending on when you elect to sightsee. During the week, The City is abuzz with white collar workers hurrying along to get on with their business and at weekends, it becomes a quiet haven for visitors to explore.

5.1 | Where is Leadenhall Market located?

This prominent destination is located at the triangle that is made up of Gracechurch Street, Fenchurch Street and Leadenhall Street.

Address:  Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 1LT

5.2 | Opening hours

Public areas are open 24/7 for 7-days a week.

For shops and restaurants, opening hours varies, please check individual      stores.

5.3 | Transport:

Trains 

London Fenchurch Street Station    (8-minute walk)

London Cannon Street Station         (8-minute walk)

Liverpool Street Station      (13-minute walk)

Moorgate Station     (13-minute walk)

Underground

Monument Station    (4-minute walk)

Bank Station     (6-minute walk)

Aldgate Station   (8-minute walk)

Moorgate Station  (13-minute walk)


6 | Planning a trip to London?

You may find the following resources helpful. I use them in my travel plan and happily share them with you to save time and money.

Travel resources at a Glance

Planning your dream vacation? Excellent! Here are all the Resources and Practical information you need for your self-guided or guided vacation.

Legal entry/Tourist travel Visa

Check Visa requirements with iVisa, a leading independent company in the travel documentation industry.

Flights

I have a few choices. Search Google flights because they offer very competitive prices. You could also try Opodo for cheap airfares. For special experiences, go to On the Beach and Jet2Holidays. My all time favourite has been Qatar Airways for long-haul flights for the comfort and their first-class service. I use British Airways as well. For all other global deals >> kiwi.com

Accommodations

My favourite website for booking hotels is booking.com – I love their flexible cancellation policy which means I’m covered till the last minute. I also like that the totals show up for the whole stay so it helps me budget better. Other favourites of mine are Millennium & Copthorne Group of Hotels and Resorts for their consistent high quality accommodations and service. You could also take a look at the Radisson Hotels chain that caters for all budget. For accommodations in UK that has a personal touch and affordable luxury, stay at Hotel du Vin.

Unique experiences & tours

My all time go to resource for unique experiences and tours is Get your Guide. I am also a fan of Viator for their special deals. You shall find suggestions on recommended tours sprinkled throughout TTS on each experience I write about.

Travel insurance

Never travel without travel insurance and never overpay for travel insurance! I use and recommend World Nomads for your travel insurance needs. They even insure on the go. Before purchasing any any travel policy, read through the terms to ensure that the plan is right for you and your trip.

Travel essentials

Never travel without these! I use and fully endorse all the products on this page but especially: High powered wireless power bank, Universal travel adapter and unlimited portable pocket wifi.


7 | Finally

Leadenhall Market is a little gem, covered and tucked away in the middle of bustling London financial district. It always seems busy during the week but you can get a quiet place in a pub or a restaurant after the busy lunch hour 😊

Have a great time discovering, and exploring Leadenhall Market, London’s best kept secret!

Georgina xx


FAQ’s on Leadenhall Market

Here are some frequently asked questions about Leadenhall Market which you may have thought about as well:

1 | Is Leadenhall Market worth visiting?

Absolutely! Without a doubt, Leadenhall Market is worth visiting. It’s historic significance, unique architecture, the many food scenes, the vibrant, bright and airy atmosphere along with the cobbled floors all add to the feel of being “elsewhere” in London. A destination that must be experienced.

2 | What is special about Leadenhall Market?

While its rich heritage and stunning architecture dates back 700 years, it is a ‘marketplace’ with all the clinks and clanks, the noise of chatter and the buzz. Added to this unusual atmosphere in the City of London are modern high-end shops, bars and eateries. Absolutely a special place to visit.

3 | Who designed Leadenhall Market?

The architect behind the design of Leadenhall Market that we see today was Horace Jones.

4 | What borough is Leadenhall Market?

Leadenhall Market is located in the prominent City of London financial district. It is one of the oldest markets in London since early 1400s.


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