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Top Things to do in Parliament Hill Fields

Home > London > Family | Outdoor | Parks | Playgrounds
by Serena Reidy (subscribe)
Freelance writer and avid reader living in the North of London. Check out my blog at
Published September 2nd 2020

Situated in the heart of Highgate, Parliament Hill is a beautiful park that is overshadowed by the larger parks in London, such as Regent's Park, Hyde Park and Richmond. However, this park has been featured in a number of films, for example The Wedding Date (2005) and Run Fatboy Run (2007), and has plenty of activities and amenities that the whole family can enjoy, including climbing up the iconic hill and swimming in the lido. So here are 4 of the top things you can do in Parliament Hill:

1. Have fun in the playground

Source: Unsplash / Bambi Corro @bambicorro

If you have kids, don't miss the playground! It's aimed at under 12s and has different sections depending on the child's age. Features of the playground include climbing structures and forts, as well as slides and swings. There is also a sandpit for imaginative play, so bring a bucket and spade! As the playground has a paddling pool, younger kids can have a splash around when the weather is nice. The lido is only a few minutes away, so older children and teenagers won't miss out. If they don't fancy swimming, they can always play in the adventure playground instead (unfortunately, the adventure playground is closed at the time of publishing this article, but it should be open again soon).

2. Climb up the hill

You can't visit Parliament Hill and not walk up the hill! If you climb up all 322ft of Parliament Hill, you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the city's skyline. You'll be able to spot numerous famous landmarks, such as the Shard, Walkie-Talkie and the Gherkin. The hill is an ideal spot for enjoying a picnic, taking some photos, or flying a kite – especially on a windy day when there's guaranteed to be a good breeze. It's also one of the best places in London for watching a sunset.

3. Go for a swim

Photo: Unsplash / Marcus Ng @marcusxsnapz

Thanks to Coronavirus, it has been difficult to go swimming for much of the year. Luckily, Parliament Hill Lido is now open again – with a few weeks left to get an outdoor swim in before it starts to get really cold again. The lido is located near Gospel Oak overground station and is unheated, but a sauna and hot showers will be available once it's deemed safe. You can book an hour-long a swimming session at the lido online, on Eventbrite.

4. Browse the Farmer's Market

Photo: Unsplash / Bodie Pyndus @bpyndus

Visitors to Parliament Hill on the weekend can enjoy the market, which is open from 10am to 2pm every Saturday and Sunday. The market is based in the playground of William Ellis School, and you can choose from fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes, fish and more. Head to the market if you want some fresh produce for your kitchen or a picnic on Parliament Hill and are keen to support independent businesses.

5. Get fit

Parliament Hill isn't just popular for swimmers. It's also a great place for walking, running and playing tennis. There are 10 hard-surface tennis courts, which can be used by amateurs and professionals, as well as a 400m synthetic surface running track and a table tennis table. Being a park, there are also plenty of open spaces in Parliament Hill suitable for kicking around a football or throwing a frisbee.

6. Grab a bite to eat

Source: Unsplash / Nathan Dumlao @nate_dumlao

If you want a coffee or something to eat, you can choose between Parliament Hill Café and Hoxton Beach Parliament Hill Lido Café. The latter is situated right next to the lido and offers a range of Lebanese, Moroccan and Indian dishes, as well as coffee, tea and cakes. Parliament Hill Café can be found between the tennis courts and running tracks and serves a range of ice cream, hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and pasta.
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Why? Discover somewhere new with your family and see London’s breathtaking skyline
When: Open 24 hours, but best enjoyed when it’s light outside
Where: Parliament Hill Fields, Highgate Road, Highgate, London NW5 1QR
Cost: Free to enter the park and walk around, but activities such as running, tennis and swimming cost extra
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