Highgate to Baker Street Section 2
Distance 6.5 miles / 10.5 km
Hampstead Heath I Kenwood House I Parliament Hill I Regents Canal I Primrose Hill I London Zoo I Regent’s Park I London Planetarium
SECTION 1 Introduction
This section of our North South Trail takes some of North London’s most iconic green green spaces. You’ll head from Highgate across Hampstead Heath, passing the doors of Kenwood House and then continue down Parliament Hill with its sweeping views and walk through Gospel Oak and Chalk Farm to Primrose Hill and Regent’s Canal. From here, it’s a lovely stroll through Regent’s Park to Baker Street, where you can finish for the day or tag on the next section which will take you all the way through to Battersea.
Heading initially through opulent residential streets, the route then crosses Hampstead Lane and enters Hampstead Heath by a secluded entrance, found at the end of the long hedge just before a brick wall and house. The route follows wide tracks through the Heath with an ascent to the top of Parliament Hill and then a steep descent to Gospel Oak. It’s then fairly urban until reaching steps down to the Regents’ Canal, through Primrose Hill and across the full length of Regent’s Park. There are a few busy roads after exiting the park to reach Baker Street.
Start Highgate tube – Northern Line
End Baker St tube – Circle, Hammersmith & City, Bakerloo, Jubilee & Metropolitan
OS Route NST Walking Post Highgate to Baker St
Length 6.5 miles (10.5km)
Average time 2.5-3.5 hours
Total ascent 293ft
WHY NOT TRY
At the canal, turn left instead of right and you will arrive at Camden Lock in about 5 minutes. You can carry on down the towpath for approximately 6 miles all the way to Limehouse where the canal meets the Thames.
Take a detour via Hampstead, a scenic affluent residential area long favoured by academics, artists, and media figures. Previous and current residents include Boy George, Harry Styles, Jonathan Ross, Jamie Oliver, Emma Thomson, Judy Dench, Ricky Gervais and many more.
Highgate station is in Zone 3 on the Northern Line (High Barnet branch) and Baker Street is in Zone 1 and very well connected with the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan & Jubilee lines and many bus routes.
There are toilets on Hampstead Heath at Kenwood House, Parliament Hill Staff Yard and the athletics track. There are also public toilet options (payable) in Regent’s Park and the cafés there all have toilets for customers. All of the food & drink options listed will also have toilets for customers.
ALONG THE WAY
This ancient heathland covers 790 acres at one of the highest points in London, with panoramic views over the city, most famously from Parliament Hill, where Guy Fawkes allegedly stood waiting for Parliament to burn. If you fancy a dip, you can take a swim in one of the famous ponds (mens, ladies and mixed) or the lovely Kenwood House is free to visit.
This famous market is slightly off the route but easy to incorporate if you fancy shopping for a tie-dyed t-shirt, Doc Martens or a new shisha pipe.
Opened in 1828, this is the oldest scientific zoo in the world. If you want to spot some hyenas (and the occasional giraffe) for free, you can skip Primrose Hill and join the Regent’s Canal earlier, opposite St Mark’s Church.
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Located at 221b Baker Street (of course), the Sherlock Holmes Museum is dedicated to the world-famous fictional detective with his deer-stalker hat. It’s a privately run museum so tickets are quite pricey (£16 at time of writing) but the route takes you past the door so if you’re a fan, it’s probably worth a look!
FOOD AND DRINK
Brew House Café (in Kenwood House)
Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane, London, NW3 7JR
English Heritage café offering sandwiches, baguettes and drinks or a roast lunch on Sundays.
Spaniards Rd, London NW3 7JJ
Not on the route but only a short detour, this is a landmark London pub with a full menu and lovely outdoor area in the summer.
155-157 Queens Crescent, London NW5 4EA
This quirky café offers teas, coffees, soft and alcoholic drinks along with a menu of tapas and another menu of board games if you fancy an extended break!
245-247 Baker Street, London, NW1 6XE
Traditional pub with a standard pub food menu and full bar. A short walk from Baker Street station.