This semi-sunny, on the cusp of Spring day compels me to recommend a lovely spot in Northern London where you might fancy living if you’re moving here, or to at least visit: Hampstead. Maintaining a village atmosphere, this area experienced population growth during the Victorian age, to which many of its quaint buildings date back. It is known as an artistic and literary haven, and no doubt Hampstead Heath has provided much of such inspiration over the centuries. Nearly 800 acres in size, the Heath is an immense bounty of green space to be had in London. With its wooded trails, open, rolling meadows and ponds, it’s a tranquil retreat from urban life that is easily accessible from the city center. Even just strolling through the pristine, postcard-perfect residential streets is a calming treat that takes you back to another era. One particular home of interest in Hampstead is Keats House, where the poet lived from 1818 to 1820 and wrote some his most notable poems, including “Ode to a Nightingale.” The Spaniards Inn, which Keats himself liked to frequent (as did Lord Byron) alleges that this poem was written in its gardens; whether true or not, I highly recommend this pub as a stop for food and libations. It has a charming beer garden, and whilst sitting there you can revel in its history–it dates back to the 16th-century and is even mentioned in classic literature like Dickens’s first novel, The Pickwick Papers, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
It’s true that this is a very expensive neighborhood to live in, so if it’s a bit outside of your budget, you can content yourself that London Relocation Ltd. will place you in a lovely locale that meets all your needs and will be close enough to public transport so you can catch the Tube to visit Hampstead whenever you want–take the Northern Line to either Belsize Park or Hampstead stations and step right onto the high street to delight in its cute boutiques and cafes.