Kenwood House (Iveagh Bequest)

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Stately jewel with a masterful art collection and a view
Perched at the northern most tip of Hampstead Heath — the most northern part of London you need (and should) concern yourself with — is this predominantly 18th-century country house (Robert Adam) whose relatively compact but formidable collection of paintings perfectly complements an afternoon's walk on the sublimely urban-bucolic Heath (and neighbouring picture-perfect Hampstead Village). At Kenwood you'll find one of the world's 31 Vermeer paintings alongside works by Rembrandt, Turner Hals, Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Landseer, among others. A very civilised excursion to north London indeed, but be warned that Sundays draw the crowds. Also, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant were here for a scene in Roger Michel's 1999 film NOTTING HILL. Restaurant/café the Brew House on site for lunch and tea. In November 2013 Kenwood reopened following a £5.9m makeover. One might consider combining a visit here with a tour of nearby-ish Highgate Cemetery [see entry]. Tube station: Hampstead. Overground stations: Hampstead Heath and Gospel Oak.