Pergola Hill Garden
Pergola Hill Garden is often referred to as the Secret Garden in the Hampstead area. I've been living in NW3 since 2008 and I only heard of it last year! My husband has been here since he was a teen and had never been either. So it was with great joy that we spent a crisp Autumn day walking up from Hampstead Village to Pergola Hill Garden.
Directions to Pergola Hill Garden from Hampstead Village:
Walk up Heath Street, past Jack Straws Castle via North End Way. Take the second turning on your left down a muddy track - it'll feel like you're going down through a tree tunnel.
Walk 200 or so metres and you will find a gate on your right. Go through it, and you can climb up the structure. It's a spiral staircase so it will be a struggle with a big pram. I think this place is ideal for older children, and toddlers that are unlikely to climb on railings (lots of things to climb on, with a big drop below). Babies in sling will also be fine, but that's a fair amount of walking (by my standards anyway). I would not have survived this trip with my Stokke.
The Garden is basically a large walkway, and a superb example of a faded past life. There are vines growing everywhere, and it has been restored with wood instead of stone (can only tell if you really look). My 2 year old was absolutely stunned by this place, and I could see her imagination running wild. We started quoting from "We're going on a Bear Hunt" as well, which added to the excitement of the day.
On the far side of the Garden is a beautiful pond. Next time we aim to pack a picnic (or buy one from Hampstead Providore if we're lazy) and eat there.
From here, it was an easy walk to Golders Hill Park (will write about that later, need to spend time with my daughter now) :)