According to the QS Ranking, London has held the Best Student City title for over three years, thanks to its outstanding cultural, economic and educational opportunities. So it makes sense that you might be seriously considering London as a destination on your ESCP journey.

With the bright city lights of central London just a short tube ride away, the ESCP campus is in West Hampstead in the north west of the city. It is a fashionable area offering a broad cultural experience away from the hustle and bustle of inner-city life. Combined with the extensive study and social activities schedule that ESCP provides, this makes it the perfect base from which to explore what London has to offer.

We asked our students for recommendations on some of the must-visit places within a 30-minute walking distance of the campus. We’ve compiled some of their best suggestions for getting the most out of after-lecture catch-ups with colleagues and solo wanderings in the afternoons or weekends. If the ESCP London campus is on your radar, our recommendations should help persuade you how much fun it is to study and live here.

Places to Eat

First we eat, then we do everything else, right?

West End Lane is a 10-minute walk from the campus, bustling with an abundance of restaurant and café choices that will suit all tastes. From Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, traditional British pub food, and burger places to bakeries and coffee shops – the choice is yours.

According to our students, these are the top five places you should definitely check out:

  1. Alice House
  2. Buns
  3. Took Took
  4. Colaba Indian Dining
  5. David’s Deli

Here’s what some of them said:

Kadambari, an MSc in Marketing & Creativity (MMK) student, talked about the great pubs close to campus, particularly Alice House. “It’s a quaint pub with friendly staff on West End Lane,” she said. “You can also tickle your funny bone every Wednesday at comedy night!” Her classmate Keerti agrees: “Alice House offers really YUM vegan-bar snacks that are great for a post-class catch up.”

Sarah, who is taking the  MSc in Digital Transformation Management & Leadership (MDT) course, said that there are too many good places to pick only one, and her personal recommendations are based on what mood she is in. She recommended Buns for burgers and wings, and Alice House, The Black Lion or Wolfpack for pub food. For pastries and light café food, she suggested Roni’s, Gail’s Bakery or Lola’s Bakery, the latter being the best for cakes. Agreeing with other students from MMK, MDT and the Master in Management (MiM), she identified Colaba Indian Dining as a great and inexpensive food option. 

Photo: MSc in Digital Transformation Management & Leadership Class of 2021 @ Buns West Hampstead

Lastly, if you’re in a hurry between classes and want to grab some food quickly, Theophile, an MSc in Energy Management (MEM) student, suggested heading to David’s Deli. “David’s Deli is a Lebanese restaurant five minutes from the campus – the guy is super nice and the food is very good,” he said.

Places to Go Out 

After a long week you might want to go out for some entertainment or social drinks with your classmates, and once again West Hampstead does not disappoint! Back on West End Lane, there are many pubs and bars with live music, comedy and game nights, and multiple cocktail places with happy hours.

ESCP postgrad students rank the top five places for going out as:

  1. The Railway 
  2. Wolfpack
  3. The Black Lion
  4. Buns
  5. Bobby Fitzpatrick

The Railway is an absolute VIBE on a Friday night – great music with the classics,” said Sarah. 

According to Joseph, an MMK student, pubs are dotted all around the campus so there’s a lot to choose from. Some of his particular favourites are The Black Lion and Wolfpack. However, he warns students to make sure they have their cards with them as not all places in London accept cash.  

If you’re up for a cocktail and bar scene, Bobby Fitzpatrick or Buns are the places to be. With happy hours and DJ nights, these are great places to chill after a long day or week of studies.

Places for sport

If, like many of our students, you need an outlet for your sporty endeavours, you’ll be pleased to hear that our London Student Experience team has been working tirelessly to secure many exciting deals around the campus – see the most recent list on our Student Societies website

The two gyms that students noted are:

  1. The Gym Group West Hampstead
  2. Studio Society

The first is a short two-minute walk from campus, and is part of the popular low-cost chain found all over the UK, which is open 24/7. The second is an alternative gym that focuses on classes using immersive technology targeting your senses of sight, sound and smell. “Studio Society is about five minutes from campus. There is a lot of variety in their classes, including Pilates, Body Pump, Skinning, etc. They have immersive studios where they have floor-to-ceiling visuals and surround sound,” said Alejandra, an MMK student.

For those who are avid runners, the beautiful Hampstead Heath is just around the corner with multiple running routes and even swimming ponds.

Photo: West Heath Running Path, Hampstead Heath Park

Places to see & explore

London has thousands of exciting places to explore – art and culture, parks, architecture – You name it. West Hampstead is no exception. ESCP students choices include:

  1. Hampstead area
  2. Primrose Hill
  3. Hampstead Heath, particularly Kenwood House and The Hill Garden and Pergola
  4. Camden Art Centre 
  5. Camden Market (although it is a little further to go)
Photo: View of the London City skyline from Primrose Hill

Here’s what our students had to say about these places:

Camden Art Centre is a great community centre on Finchley Road for some sight-seeing,” said Kadambari, MMK Class of 2023. Her classmate Keerti agreed: “This is a lovely spot to get a coffee and catch up on a few interesting cultural events. It is free to enter.

For Alejandra, the best place to explore is Hampstead Heath: “I live in Hampstead, by the station. It’s seven minutes away from Hampstead Heath, which is really nice to walk around. If you continue walking it’s about 30 minutes to a museum called Kenwood House, which was built in the 17th century.” The park is around 800 acres and has multiple little areas to explore. Keerti suggested alternative routes to see different sides of it: The Heath is a large, large park and the entrance you take decides your overall experience. The way in from Golders Hill is beautiful and has lovely picnic spots with beautiful flowers. There’s also a lovely pond to take a walk around.” And if you walk for five more minutes you can stumble into one of Hampstead Heath’s hidden treasures – The Hill Garden & Pergola, a truly beloved place for photographers which knocks you off your feet with beautiful gardens, architecture and views of the woodlands.

Photo: Pergola & Hills Gardens, West Heath extension of Hampstead Heath Park, London

And if you have no particular destination in mind, Joseph recommends just walking the streets of Hampstead to see what you can find. “The Hampstead area is filled with hidden gems and lovely, colourful streets. Some of the mansions on Heath Lane are breathtaking.”

These are just a few places that we thought we had to share with you. There are so many more to explore around beautiful West Hampstead and London in general.

In the words of Richard Branson: “When exploring London, you will come across lots of excitement by chance, so try to take everything in rather than just rushing around to all of the major tourist haunts.” We couldn’t have said it better! We hope that when life finally takes you to London, you get the chance to embrace it in all its beauty – in West Hampstead and beyond.