On the edge of Hampstead Heath you can find Kenwood House, a vast neoclassical villa re-designed in 1764 by the famous architect Robert Adams. Kenwood House is home to an impressive collection of paintings collected by the first Earl of Iveagh, Edward Cecil Guinness, and open to the public. In the beautifully and authentically decorated rooms you can see masterpieces by, amongst others, Vermeer, Turner, Rembrandt, Reynolds and Gainsborough. The House also has guided curator tours available, as a way to get to know the artworks’ history through the expertise of a professional. The library, music room and even the service area’s are places in which time appears to have stopped, as they have been renovated to reflect their original state.
The park surrounding Kenwood was designed by Sir Humphrey Repton and is a great place to stroll, whatever the weather. The Brew House Café offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and the Steward’s Room serves a great take-away menu with cakes and hot and cold drinks. Keep an eye out for sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Eugène Dodeigne!
Fun fact: Kenwood also features in the film Belle, which describes the life of the enslaved African Dido Belle, who grew up at Kenwood House.
For the little ones there are a million things to see and do, too. The House offers little backpacks for families with children under the age of five, which come with discovery tools to explore Kenwood together. For the slightly older kids (5-11) the House invites families to join them on Mac’s Kenwood trails as a way to discover the old Kenwood stories and property.