Encompassing nearly 800 acres of unspoilt woodlands, meadows and heathlands, Hampstead Heath is one of London's most endearing public spaces. Though it is a short tube ride away from the city center, its rambling, idyllic atmosphere is a world away from the density that characterizes London. And current generations are not the first to notice how magical the Heath is either - Karl Marx used to have weekly Sunday picnics here with his family, and C.S. Lewis was inspired to write "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" after walking on the Heath one day. Though there are many shaded paths you can follow, there are also several bathing ponds that are open to the public, as well as playgrounds and a running track.
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