As far as tube stations go, they don’t get more Underground than Hampstead. The platforms are located 192 feet below ground level, the deepest on the entire network. It probably comes as no surprise the station is served by lifts, rather than escalators. The staircase has 320 steps – that’s more than the Monument! I’ve never attempted this and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone try it either.

The station first opened on 22nd June 1907 on the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway. The station was originally to be called Heath Street – this name remains on the tiling of the southbound platform. The heritage features of the station are well preserved with the green ticket booths still in situ inside and the Leslie Green station frontage in fine condition.

The Pub: The Holly Bush, 22 Hollymount, NW3 6SG

The Hollybush is slightly hidden away from the main stretch in Hampstead  – if you head North up Heath Street until you reach the Holly Mount steps on the left side of the road(the one without shops on). Take these up to a narrow and quintessentially Hampstead street where you’ll find the Holly Bush.

The pub is over 200 years old and you get a real feeling for the history of the place in the wood panelled front room with its impressive etched glass windows. The lighting, coming in the form of suitably traditional lamps,  adds to this. The Holly Bush is divided into a series of rooms with names like the Lady Hamilton and Romney, named after the painter George Romney whose house once stood in that spot! I rather liked the comfy red-coloured leather backed seating which felt strangely reminiscent of the House of Lords for some reason. Then again, I’m sure plenty of Lords live round here!  Maps of old Hampstead adorn the walls.

It’s a Fullers pub so their standard range of ales were on offer – Pride, ESB, Seafarers and the like.  The pub’s back room is primarily for those eating here – the menu is made up for hearty traditional English dishes like beef pie and rump of lamp. They have a different menu for lunch and dinner. If you do pop in during the day,  I thoroughly recommend their sausage roll. It’s very filling and the perfect snack for a cold day!

The Holly Bush feels like a cosy country pub. Overall, it’s a charming pub and well worth the trip to Hampstead. If this place is ever my local, then I’ll know I’ve made it. A guy can dream…

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