9 Fun Things to Do in North London
Make the most of your visit with our curated guide to North London.
From beautiful and expansive Hampstead Heath to magical Harry Potter Studios, the world-famous Abbey Road zebra crossing and bustling Camden Market, there are so many things to do in North London that everyone in your family will enjoy. So jump out of bed at your dream Plum Guide home away from home, which you will have chosen from our extensive list of vetted properties, and enjoy our guide to the very best things to do in North London.
Abbey Road Crossing
Help, you need somebody help, not just anybody… to help you recreate the famous Beatles’ album cover at the Abbey Road crossing. Located just outside Abbey Road Studios in St. John’s Wood, this is a must when it comes to things to do in North London if you spent your school years jamming in your room to Beatles records. Enlist the kids to help you get the perfect shot, or just watch other people embarrass themselves with the photo opp while you admire the view from a safe distance. Abbey Road Studios is still a working recording centre so while you can’t tour the inside, rest assured the gift shop stocks all the memorabilia you need.
Camden Arts Centre
This contemporary art gallery in the heart of North London offers a compelling programme of exhibitions and residencies so make sure not to go home without some new cultural knowledge to impress your in-laws at the next family dinner. The building itself is Grade II listed and the centre was founded by artists for artists in 1965. With a focus on diversity of artistic practices and ideas, Camden Arts Centre also strives to support creatives at key points in their careers. Expect to see everything from stained glass, to painting, digital art to monumental sculpture.
One of the most marvelous things to do on a sunny day in London is take a walk on Hampstead Heath. This ancient heath covers 320 hectares and offers majestic views of the capital from the park’s highest point, Parliament Hill. Buy a selection of delicious baked goods from nearby Karma Bread and enjoy a picnic on the grass. There are bathing ponds for those brave enough to take a dip and the Keats House museum, former home of poet John Keats, is around the corner for those looking for an extra dose of history and culture. We've also included Hampstead in our list of London's safest areas, so you can definitely bring the family here.
On the edge of the heath sits Kenwood House, a neoclassical villa boasting lush landscaped gardens, exquisite interiors and a cafe where you can share the joy of tea and scones with your little ones (thus keeping them from running around for at least 15 minutes - you’re welcome). Former master of the house Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh left the estate, including his collection of 63 Old Master paintings, to the nation. Don’t worry if you’re jealous of how beautiful it is in there because your London Plum Guide pad ain’t half bad either.
A jewel in the crown of London’s outdoor spaces, Regents Park is certainly not to be missed when it comes to things to do in North London. Among London’s royal parks, it combines large open spaces with elegant tree-lined paths, formal gardens and multiple playgrounds your kids will swoon over. The park also offers pedalos and row boats to hire on the boating lake and is home to ZSL London zoo. For those of you who may feel your trousers are a tad ill-fitting since your holiday started, it’s also home to central London’s largest outdoor sports area. A fun fact to share with your mother in law: Queen Mary’s Gardens here boast more than 12,000 roses.
A hop, skip and a jump from Regent’s Park is Primrose Hill. The park itself offers picturesque views of the London skyline and Primrose Hill high street is a charmer too. You’ll find tasty sushi at Oka, page-turners for all ages at Primrose Hill Books and stellar coffee at The Little One Coffee Shop. On a warm day, do like the locals do and grab a pitcher of Pimms from the pub to enjoy on the hill. Time your visit for sunset for a London experience you won’t soon forget, then turn in at your lovely Plum Guide pad in the heart of the neighbourood.
Harken back to your younger years with a few hours spent shopping at Camden Market, located in Camden Town along the Regent’s Canal. Here counterculture reigns supreme, and it’s more than likely you’ll encounter a few real life punks mixing with the tourists and teenagers that hang out around here. The market itself is made up of a diverse mix of artists, independent shops and tasty street food vendors. It’s open every day and offers over 1000 spots to shop, eat and drink. This is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs for your work colleagues and trinkets for the mini-yous.
For those of you who find cemeteries mysterious and romantic - we know you’re out there and yes it is a bit weird - make sure to check out Highgate Cemetery when planning things to do in North London. This gloriously gothic and invitingly overgrown cemetery is the final resting place for 170,000 people. One of London’s seven great Victorian cemeteries, it may have fallen into a certain state of disrepair but that somehow makes it all the more quirky and pleasant to visit. Poet Christina Rossetti is buried here, as is artist Henry Moore and perhaps most notably Karl Marx (no explanation needed).
Warner Bros. Studios Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
But seriously though, are you a Slytherin? Well, whichever house the sorting hat would’ve placed you in, you and your baby muggles will love getting up close and personal with props and sets from all eight HP films on this mind boggling tour. Make sure to hold your partner’s hand as you amble through the forbidden forest though because it can get a little scary (your kids will be fine, we both know they’re the brave ones). Just remember there is butterbeer waiting for you on the other side.