While away weekends sipping lattés, window-shopping and taking long walks in village-like Hampstead
More laid back than its neighbours, Hampstead is all about café culture. Take a break from your studies and join the locals for a perfect latté at Wired Co, just one of the many speciality coffee shops springing up in the area. The neighbourhood is friendly and community-spirited. Follow @WHampstead on Twitter, it’s a great source of up-to-the-minute local knowledge.
No need to head into central London to get your shopping fix, just wander down West End Lane. Take your time browsing the many independent boutique shops, such as the famous West End Lane Books. Or if you’re peckish and have a sweet tooth, there’s award-winning gourmet bakery and tearoom Bake-a-boo (you can’t miss it, it’s bright pink). Make your student home here and you won’t lack places to eat. Book ahead for a table at the popular Wet Fish Café or try the unusual flavours on offer at The Petite Corée, which serves French cuisine with a Korean twist.
Best of all, the great outdoors is literally on your doorstep. Wild and woolly Hampstead Heath with its 790 acres, public bathing ponds and sports facilities is just a 15 minute walk away. Despite its village-like atmosphere, Hampstead is also very well served by public transport. A choice of three stations will have you in central London in 15 minutes. You can even get direct trains to two of London’s main airports.