Hampstead is a suburb of North West London, with a distinct village air.
It has hilly streets, charming lanes and beautiful old houses, and is on the edge of the vast Hampstead Heath, which extends to 800 acres.
The village acquired a reputation as a spa in the 17th century, and from then on has attracted intellectuals and persons of literary note.
Kenwood House, on Hampstead Heath, has rooms by Robert Adam and a collection of notable pictures.
Keats House, built in 1816, was the home of the poet John Keats. He wrote "Ode to a Nightingale" in the garden.
St. John`s Church, built in the 18th century, has John Constable buried in the churchyard.
Jack Straw`s Castle is a famous old pub on Hampstead Heath, whose regulars included Dickens and Thackeray.
Residents of Hampstead have included Enid Blyton; Lord Byron; John Constable; Michael Foot; Sigmund Freud; John Galsworthy; Kate Greenaway; Leigh Hunt; Glenda Jackson; John Keats; Henry Moore; Anna Pavlova; William Pitt the Elder; J. B. Priestley; Giles Gilbert Scott; Ridley Scott; Robert Louis Stevenson; Mary Webb; and H. G. Wells.
People born at Hampstead include Damon Hill, racing driver; John Mortimer, barrister and novelist; Alec Waugh, novelist; and Evelyn Waugh, novelist.
Hampstead Heath finds its way into rhyming slang as "teeth", usually shortened to Hampsteads.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Hampstead for groups.