Before the arrival of rail in 1852, Hampstead was a popular suburb on the outskirts of the city. But when Hampstead Heath station opened, the area became a hugely popular tourist destination, with some 100,000 people alighting here at weekends and on bank holidays. Today the station building is relatively modern, having been rebuilt after significant damage during WW2. It serves trains on the North London Line, and is in Travelcard Zone 2.
As for the heath, in the 21st century this 791-acre expanse of woodland, playing fields and swimming ponds remains the capital's most popular green space. Nearby attractions include the 17th century Fenton House, with its charming walled garden, and Wentworth Place, the home of the Romantic poet John Keats. It's a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, and reflects the area's cultural history - other writers and artists to have lived in the area include D.H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield and John Constable.