Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

Andrew Marr will be speaking about his new novel. Picture: Doug Peters

Andrew Marr will be speaking about his new novel. Picture: Doug Peters - Credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

An evening with broadcaster and journalist Andrew Marr, a tour giving a history of London Zoo’s architecture and the Belsize Festival are just some of the things featured in our top five this week.

1. Thursday - Andrew Marr

Broadcaster, writer and journalist Andrew Marr comes to Primrose Hill to chat about his new novel, Head of State.

The former editor of The Independent and ex-political editor of BBC News released his debut novel last month – a story about the death of an investigative reporter and a “shocking and dangerous secret at the heart of government”.

His work is described as providing a “gleefully twisted spin through the corridors of power” and makes use of his inside knowledge of the British political scene.

His acclaimed television documentary series include History of Modern Britain and The Making of Modern Britain.

He is also the current host of The Andrew Marr Show.

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Hosted by Primrose Hill Books at St Mary’s Church Elsworthy Road, Primrose Hill.

Starts 7.30pm. Tickets £8.

Visit for more information.

2. Saturday - London Zoo Architecture and History Tour

London Zoo in Regent’s Park hosts a History and Architect Day giving a guided tour of the zoo and how it came to be.

In 1826, Stamford Raffles, together with Humphrey Davy, brought together a group of scientists, collectors, gentry and gentlemen and founded the Zoological Society of London.

Over 200 years, many leading architects have contributed to the built environment of the zoo.

After the tour, those attending look around the zoo.

From 11am to 1.45pm. Tickets £30. Visit to book.

3. Tuesday - HS2 Meeting

Find out how HS2 might impact you and your home at a public meeting in Swiss Cottage. The talk is one of a series of meetings hosted by Camden Council across the borough with residents and businesses to discuss how to get better compensation and protection for those affected by the high speed railway project.

Held at Swiss Cottage Library, Avenue Road, from 7pm to 9pm. A similar meeting will take place today (Thursday) at the London Irish Centre in Camden Square, Camden Town. For more information, visit

4. Thursday - John Tusa

Journalist and broadcaster Piers Plowright chats with John Tusa, former managing director of the BBC World Service and the Barbican Arts Centre and long-term Hampstead resident.

Mr Tusa is now chairman of the Clore Leadership Programme and his latest book, Pain in the Arts, is described as a “fearless and passionate defence of the performing and visual arts”.

The talk is part of the Lifeline series at Burgh House in New End Square, Hampstead. Starts 7.30pm.

Tickets £12 (£10 for Friends of Burgh House). Dinner and wine in the café available after the talk for £20. Call 020 7431 0144 or visit to book.

5. Saturday and Sunday - The Belsize Festival

The Belsize Festival opens on Saturday and Sunday, featuring classical and jazz music.

Held at St Peter’s Church in Belsize Square, evening performances featuring violins, piano, violas and cellos will include works by Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms and more.

Performances at 7.30pm (Saturday) and 4pm (Sunday). A free open-air jazz concert on Sunday evening (7.30pm) will also be held in Belsize Terrace opposite the Village Vet. Tickets for the classical concerts cost £10 on the door (under-18s £5).

Visit for more information.