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Kenwood House London

I am planning my trip to London and found there there is a historic house to tour in London, Kenwood House. It is set on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Has anyone been there and if so, how did you get there? What did you see, how long did it take to tour and any other information and advice you can give will be most apprecaited.


Posted by
3336 posts

Yes! It's worth the tube ride. Highgate is the closest tube station but if you walk from the Hampstead tube station it's a much prettier walk across Hampstead Heath through the ancient oaks and grassy fields. The house is easily seen in an hour or so. I didn't take a tour. They have a lovely garden cafe to one side. Make time to view London from the top of one of the hills within the park - Parliament Hill is a nice vantage point. If you want a nice pub to stop for lunch or dinner on the way back into town, you can walk through the Highgate neighborhood to The Lord Palmerston and then catch the tube back at Tufnell Park tube station. Hampstead Village is worth spending a while in. Very pretty village feel and beautiful buildings and houses. Something else in the area that is WELL worth seeing is Highgate's the Pere Lachaise of London - tombs and graves in various states of repair, famous people, and very atmospheric - lots of little foxes running around.

Posted by
1175 posts

Thank you so much, that was very helpful and informative!

Posted by
6334 posts

There are many historic houses in London to tour.

Agree with Anita, visit the Heath and Highgate cemetary.

Kenwood is no where as interesting as the Leighton House Museum in Holland Park or the Ham House in Richmond. Third on my list would be the Apsley House.

Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
1175 posts

Thank you Claudia for the information, most appreciated. I already had the Leighton House Museum on my list as well as Highgate Cemetary. I have not heard of Ham House or Apsley House but will check into those too! Always nice to gather new information. Going to London to see things I have not seen on past visits, so your infor is good to know.

Posted by
8271 posts

Kenwood and Ham House look really good to me. I’ll be in London in a few weeks and would enjoy both. Thanks everyone!

Posted by
221 posts

If you get a chance, watch the film Belle. It’s inspired by a family that lived at Kenwood House and a painting that once hung there.

Posted by
27709 posts

Other houses with historical interest - among many - are:

An interesting juxtaposition between musical styles - a house near Bond Street that was the home, several hundred years apart, of Handel and Hendrix. That's George Frederick Handel and Jimmy Hendrix.

Carlyle's House in Chelsea, Victorian with of course the literary associations

2 Willow Road in Hampstead - 1939 Modernist

Fenton House and Garden, also in Hampstead, 17th Century, especially if, like me, you like old harpsichords and spinets which are often being played, and exquisite porcelain

Red House in Bexleyheath, Arts and Crafts home of William Morris, the centre of Pre-Raphaelite arts

Shaw's Corner, in suburbia, Welwyn, the home of George Bernard Shaw

and if you want to go big -

Osterley Park and House in Isleworth in West London, Georgian

All the above except for the Handel/Hendrix house are National Trust.

And maybe Ben Franklin's house near Charing Cross.

Or Ben Johnson's house just east of there - he of the dictionary.

Posted by
119 posts

A more convenient route to Kenwood House from central London ( I find) is take the Northern Line (High Barnet Branch) to Archway station, exit and take the 210 bus (towards Brent Cross) alight at the bus stop directly outside the driveway to Kenwood, the stop is announced on the bus.
Kenwood House is in zone 3, but TfL buses are zone free.

Archway station is also the tube station to reach Highgate Cemetery, the West cemetery is the original and more interesting one, on a steep wooded hill, you are taken into the catacombs, you see Egyptian avenue, also shown the grave of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB agent who died in London in 2006, entry is by booked tour only,

I agree with the poster that Kenwood House won't take long, but there are onsite cafes, you can take a look at Hampstead and Highgate village too, the 210 bus mentioned drives up Highgate Hill, sit on the top deck.

Posted by
13044 posts

We got to Kenwood House by taking the Overground to Hampstead Heath, followed by a nice walk through the park.

Posted by
4684 posts

Karl Marx is in the east side of the cemetery, which is the side that you don't need a guided tour to visit (although there's still an admission charge).

Posted by
21029 posts

Since Highgate Cemetery is being discussed, I want to mention that LondonWalks has a tour of Highgate village. The walk doesn't include the cemetery, but you can visit the latter before or after (check tour times if you want to see both sides). The Highgate walk is quite hilly. Some people in my group were not prepared for that and were struggling.

Posted by
759 posts

Kenwood House is simply stunning. The Robert Adams designed library, an architectural delight, has been restored to it’s original colors. The house contains a good deal of art work including a wonderful Rembrandt self portrait and a lovely Vermeer.

The backside of the house appears in the movie Notting Hill- end of the movie where Hugh Grant visits Julia Roberts on a film shoot.

Easy cheap access, if you have a 2 zone travel card, is the Tube to Hampstead Heath, exit the station to the right and follow the road up and over the Heath or walk through the Heath if the weather is good. A very nice 30 min walk.

Take a nice self guided tour of Hampstead on your return before grabbing the tube back to London. Or make a full day out of it: see Hampstead, the Heath, walk to Kenwood House, then head to Highgate Cemetary, and catch the tube at Highgate back to London.

Travel on,

One Fast Bob

Posted by
1175 posts

Thank you everyone for your advice and suggestions. This will be very helpful in planning my day out.