Four Days Avoiding the Royal Wedding in Hampstead, London


Hampstead travel guide

Friends, Boyfriend & I made a boo-boo. We looked at the calendar, randomly selected dates, booked flights and a non-refundable hotel in London. Honestly, we never thought anything more about it until shortly before our departure day, when a well-meaning parent uttered the words that had us screaming internally: “Isn’t that the weekend of the royal wedding?” Images of the city jam packed with overly excited tourists flashed before our eyes, and we truly thought about cancelling our trip. How on earth did we manage to accidentally book a trip to London during one of the busiest weekends of the year?

Hampstead travel guide

Eventually, we talked ourselves into believing it would work out okay. Neither of us relished the thought of being amongst the extra 33% of tourists in London that weekend, but we hatched a plan that would make it work. We decided, unequivocally, to avoid central London at all costs. The hotel we’d booked was in Hampstead anyway, so we adjusted what plans we had made to focus there instead. It worked a dream! Friends we’d planned to visit were happy to escape out to Hampstead for a catch-up, leaving the crowded streets of the city centre behind. 

I decided to try out a new format for this post, kind of journal style, and I really like the way it worked out! If you’re just looking for a quick list of everywhere we visited, I’ve also compiled a handy cheat sheet at the bottom of the post. Happy travelling, friends!

Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide

quick links

1. day one

2. day two

Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide

day one

For the first time ever, we flew into Stansted rather than Gatwick (the Victoria Express is handy, but it’s bloody expensive). Our spirits were high as we boarded the National Express bus to Liverpool Street Station, knowing there’d be a Krispy Kreme doughnut waiting for us. We feasted on a hearty brunch at the nearby Hotbox – pork belly eggs Benedict & a smoked meat hash – before taking to the streets for a carefully planned photography walk. My route took us through the Spitalfield Markets, along Princelet Street and its surrounds, & onto Elder Street. Satisfied, we took the tube to Warren Street & headed towards Daunt Books for a spot of shopping.

Shopped out, we paid a visit to the insta-famous Warren Mews, had coffee at Fitzroy Dairy, & tracked down the beautiful house on Fitzroy Square that was used in Phantom Thread. After a brief stop on the bench outside the house for a doughnut break & an imaginary life discussion, we headed to our hotel for a nap: Premier Inn on Haverstock Hill.
*2024 UPDATE: Fitzroy Dairy is now closed, sadly.

The rest of the evening was spent enjoying a couple of beers in The Horseshoe – Camden Lager, always – and dining in a restaurant near our hotel, Chez Bob
*2022 UPDATE: Chez Bob is sadly now closed.

Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide

day two

D-Day. The day that we unequivocally decided to stay the heck away from all tube stations & central London in general. We started our day with a classic bacon sarnie amidst the garden café at The Buttery, which was harboring some of the longest lasting wisteria of the season.

After breakfast we met a friend at possibly the best coffee spot in the village, Ginger & White. It’s a very trendy spot, so be prepared to elbow some locals out of the way at the communal table, but it’s worth it. This was quickly followed by coffee number two at Le Pain Quotidien & a leisurely stroll around the village. For lunch, we opted for some of the best sausage rolls known to man from The Hampstead Butcher, before heading to the welcoming arms of The Holly Bush for a sneaky pint. A further wander brought us past the insta-famous crooked house and into the grounds of the lovely cemetery where John Constable is buried.

The afternoon that followed was an extremely pleasant one. We enjoyed drinks with another lovely friend at The Horseshoe (we are weak when it comes to Camden Lager), and crispy sourdough pizza at the local Franco Manca. Before returning to our hotel for the night, we stopped to buy some hazelnut Marine Ices gelato, which was the perfect end to a wonderful day. 

Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide

day three

After all the socializing & drinking of the day before, we decided a slower paced day was on the cards for us. All the best Sundays begin with a blueberry muffin, so we stopped into Le Pain Quotidien to sample their vegan variety & enjoy a small bowl of coffee (quirky, but weird).

Fed and caffeinated, we ambled hand & hand up Hampstead Heath, where we sat people watching, admiring the view, & reading. When the sun began to be too much, we took to the shade of the trees. We tried to head in the direction of Kenwood House, but mostly just took a lot of wrong turns. Once located, everything went swimmingly! Kenwood House is home to some beautiful works of art & is also just a stunning house to walk around.

Our grumbling stomachs led us a different way off the Heath to The Spaniards Inn. It was easily one of the busiest pubs I’ve ever seen, we were lucky to snag a table! We had a perfect cozy corner with two large armchairs, where we whiled away a couple of hours over the best Sunday roast ever, literally. Afterwards, we rolled back to our hotel for a much needed nap.

As it was our last night in London, we ventured out to – surprise! – The Horseshoe for a final farewell. Still stuffed from lunch, our dinner was two late night crepes from La Creperie.

Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide

day four

We always get so sad when we have to leave London. It’s one of those cities that we both feel we could actually live in full-time. Which basically means, we walked around all day with sad faces on, lingering until the absolute last second. We had a farewell breakfast in the Ginger & White at Belsize Park, which is potentially nicer than the one in Hampstead village. We opted for a second coffee & a pastry to share before reluctantly heading back to the hotel to check out.
* 2024 UPDATE: Ginger & White have closed their Belsize Park location, sadly.

A quick tube ride into Bloomsbury later, we visited an old favourite of ours: Museum Tavern. It’s a cozy pub right across from the British Museum, located conveniently close to another fave – The London Review Bookshop. A trip to London simply wouldn’t be complete without a visit to either. 

Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide

cheat sheet


The Old Dairy // seriously good. Address: 35 Conway St, London W1T 6BW
*2024 UPDATE: sadly, now closed.

• Ginger & White // delicious, hipster-made coffee in a lovely space. Address: 4a, 5a Perrin’s Ct, London NW3 1QS

• Le Pain Quotidien // Address: 46 Hampstead High St, London NW3 1QG


Hotbox // Address: 46-48 Commercial St, London E1 6LT

The Buttery. // Address: New End Square, London NW3 1LT

Ginger & White Belsize Park // the scrambled eggs and homemade beans on toast were both great! Address: 2 England’s Ln, Belsize Park, London NW3 4TG.
*2022 UPDATE: sadly, now closed.


The Hampstead Butcher // pro tip: get the sausage rolls inside instead of from the grill out front; they’re cheaper! Address: 56 Rosslyn Hill, London NW3 1ND

• The Spaniards Inn // the most delicious Sunday roast ever. Address: Spaniards Rd, London NW3 7JJ

Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide


Chez Bob // Address: 205-207 Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, London NW3 4QG.
*2022 UPDATE: sadly, now closed.

• Franco Manca // sourdough pizza. Address: 216 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 2AE


• La Creperie // delish. Address: 77 Hampstead High St, London NW3 1RE

• Marine Ices // hazelnut gelato 😉


• The Horseshoe // home of Camden Lager, one of our very favourites. Address: 28 Heath St, London NW3 6TE

• The Holly Bush // one of the coziest pubs in London. Address: 22 Holly Mount, London NW3 6SG

Museum Tavern // our favourite pub in central London! Address: 49 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3BA

Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide


• Hampstead Heath

• Kenwood House // Address: Hampstead Ln, London NW3 7JR

Hampstead Cemetery // Address: Church Row, London NW3 6UU

• Daunt Books in Marylebone // Address: 84 Marylebone High St, London W1U 4QW

The London Review Bookshop // Address: 14-16 Bury Pl, London WC1A 2JL

• photo-walk along Princelet Street, Elder Street, onto Warren Mews

• Phantom Thread location spotting at Fitzroy Square (the house of Reynolds Woodcock)

Hampstead travel guide
Hampstead travel guide

PS, I’ve compiled a printable version of our itinerary here!

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