Please help. If I book a concert at Kenwood house this summer where do you suggest I stay for convenience Also please tell me do you take your own chairs. Thanks.
It's been busy on the forum today and I saw this languishing on page three and worthy of a bump. Can't help you with chairs and I suspect your accommodation options in the immediate area are quite limited although there are a couple of small hotels in nearby Hampstead.
Are you visiting just for the concert or will you do other things while in london? If it’s just for the concert a night in a Hampstead hotel or b&b would be lovely it’s a gorgeous neighbourhood with lots of bars and restaurants (possible celeb spotting if you’re into that kind of thing) and a nice walk up to kenwood (or Uber ride if you’re not walkers). West Hampstead is adjacent and a bit less posh and more casual than Hampstead proper and has some air bnb type accommodation. If you plan to do other things then being somewhere more central along the northern line would be good for getting to Hampstead for your concert.
There is literally nowhere to stay within easy walking distance, however grand your budget. There are no tube stations nearby either. Wherever you stay, if you want to use public transport you will end up taking a bus to your accommodation or to a transport interchange. There is a free shuttle bus between Hampstead and Highgate tubes. The 210 takes you to Golders Green tube (alternatively you can walk there in 30 mins or so), or Finsbury Park. Hampstead is also a 30 minute walk.
There is no dedicated car park. Taxi is an alternative - I would suggest Uber or prebooked as I suspect black cabs will be in high demand.
There is very little accommodation in either Hampstead or Highgate. I would suggest staying wherever is convenient for whatever else you're doing in London, and accepting that you will have an hour or so's travel at either end.
You can hire chairs once you get there. Note that bringing your own food and drink is no longer allowed - no doubt they will sell the usual festival fare on site.
On a more positive note, depends what your budget and other plans are. You could stay at the Premier Inn Archway and get the 210 bus from practically outside the door to Hampstead Heath (Kenwood House stop). Or a ton of central hotels and then tube to Archway or Finsbury Park and same bus. Quite a few options.
Last time I went the food was by Waitrose. I imagine there'll be quite a bit more choice this year as they're not allowing you to take in any food or drink - or anything bulky so forget the chair.
I have been to 4 concerts in the past but after tonight’s experience I will not be going again. Whoever is running the concerts now have one thing in mind - how to make as much money as they can. For the first time we were not allowed to take a picnic or any drink for security reasons!!!! The concert gate opened at 5 pm and according to the ticket the concert was due to start at 6 pm but it was about 8 pm before the supporting act came on. Therefore we had waited for 3 hours for the evening to begin. The supporting act was excellent but after his performance the orchestra took at least another 30 minutes before they appeared. The orchestra did not disappoint but was surprised when they thought it necessary to have an interval. The price of the food and drink made it too expensive for my family of 9. The evening was a great disappointment.
"There is literally nowhere to stay within easy walking distance, however grand your budget."
Not even an AirBnB? Surely there must be.
We like to stay at the Premier Inn Hampstead (which is actually in Belsize Park). It's a nice area and very close to the Heath - too much of a trek across it to and from Kenwood though for a concert - doable for a day's exploration. Archway PI is cheaper and we often stay there but prefer the BP one for the surroundings and proximity to the Heath.
We were also at the concert last night, we had an experience that means we will not be going to Kenwood Concerts again. When we bought tickets we checked the FQA on English Heritage site where it advised
‘small camping chairs and picnic rugs are permitted as long as they are not carried inside large bags, chairs will also be available to hire on site' So we didn’t take our folding chairs as they are carried inside a bag.
When we got to the gate of the concert area there were lots of these larger folding chairs inside larger bags being taken in by others, with no objection from security. I requested to speak with a senior member of staff and was advised she could give me an email address to make a complain to. I explained that this would mean I would be out of pocket by paying £10 each for two chairs, just for following THEIR rules, I suggested she provide us with two chairs for free, which she did.
We didn’t find the food too expensive, but then there were only two of us (not a family group). The drinks were pricey.
Our tickets stated that the doors open at 5pm, event to start at 6pm. We arrived at 5pm and for the next 2 ½ hours we listened to music on a loop (at least three loops), while a man tuned the piano. There were no announcements to explain the delay, so I asked a member of security, who advised the concert was due to start at 6pm, he didn’t know why there was a delay, but he was being told it would start at 7.15. Then at 7.30 with no announcement or introduction Alexis Ffrench came on and was fabulous, he played for about 30 minutes. For the next half hour more looped music and people in the crowd were getting restless and making comments about the delayed start. I spoke to a senior member of Heritage Live staff to ask what the delay was about and showed him our tickets showing the start time, he advised that there hadn’t been any delay , that we should have checked their website which gives the actual times. When I explained that I’d read on-line and what was showing on my ticket he said the problems was that Kenwood House take a long time to update their site, so I should discuss any issues with them. The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra were also fabulous and sitting out in the open air listening to them was a treat, shame Kenwood let them and us down.Edited: 24 June 2018, 14:49