Smack bang in the middle of North London, the huge oasis of green that is Hampstead Heath is undoubtedly one of the best parts of the capital.

It’s 320 hectares but feels bigger.

It’s large enough to take a wander through meadows, woods and open fields and get the feeling you’re way out in the countryside.

There are plenty of walking trails (cyclists are limited to a couple of routes), and even outdoor ponds where you can go for a swim.

Many of the fields are not mowed, giving it a rustic feel – lying in the long grass, beer in hand, is a great way to spend a sunny day.

Make sure you take a wander up Parliament Hill – the view over London is spectacular, with a panorama stretching far over South and East London. DANIEL LANDON

» Off East Heath Rd, NW3 1BN Hampstead (

Verdict: get a taste of London’s parklife