The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

[There once used to be a neat little website for the North London Walkers describing some interesting walks in this great city. It no longer exists. Luckily the time machine that is has snapshots of it from before it went kaput. I’m reposting the (slightly) re-edited versions here, with added pics.]

This 12 kilometre long Trail starts at Wood Green and follows the high ground to the North of London. The first point of call is Alexandra Palace. It was from here that the world's first television broadcasts were made

From here you follow a disused Railway line to Highgate village. Highgate Cemetery is the final resting place of the famous Socialist Karl Marx.

You then walk up Parliament Hill Fields to Kenwood House, from both here and Alexandra Palace you are rewarded for your uphill climb by spectacular panoramic views of London.

You afterwards walk around Hampstead Heath, once the haunt of Highwayman such as Dick Turpin, past Keats House and the Royal Free Hospital, to the finish at Belsize Park Tube Station.

Wood Green Tube Station (Piccadilly Line)

Upon emerging from the station cross over High Road into Station Road.

Q1 - 100 Yards along Station Road there is a public house called the Jolly Anglers. What year was it built?

Continue along to the mini roundabout and bear right, still on Station Road. At the next mini roundabout continue up the hill to Alexandra Palace Station. Cross over the road at this point and use the footbridge to the right of the station. On the far side of the footbridge turn left and follow the road round into Alexandra Park, continue following the road uphill until you come to Alexandra Palace. Cross over the road by the pedestrian crossings in front of the palace and at the top of the steps turn left and follow the path around the front of Alexandra Palace to the West entrance.

Alexandra Palace 1

Q2 - By the West entrance to Alexandra Palace there is a sign showing a fictitious bird. What is is?

Follow the access road down the hill. Near the bottom there is a sign for the 'laboratory'; follow the footpath to the left of this. After about 100 yards this path is crossed by a concrete one, go straight across and up the path on the opposite embankment. Continue following this path, passing a tea hut, until you come to a covered walkway leading out of the park. Go through the covered walkway and past Muswell Hill Primary School. Just beyond this you will find a subway leading under the road. Go through this and follow the path directly ahead into the woods. Follow this path (disused railway) for approximately 2 Kilometres until after passing under another road bridge the path bears left and comes out in Muswell Hill Road. Continue along the road for another 10 yards where you will come across a gate leading into Highgate Wood.

Q3 - What is the name of the gate leading into Highgate Wood?

Go through this gate and follow the path to the left skirting along the edge of the wood. Continue along this path until it goes no further and exit the wood by the Gypsy Gate and then turn right. At the crossroads go straight over into Southwood Lane, continuing up past the mini roundabout and then on for another kilometre until you reach Highgate Village.

Avalon, Highgate

Q4 - At No22 Southwood Lane there is a house called Avalon with a blue plaque on the side. Who does it commemorate?

At the end of Southwood Lane cross over Highgate High Street and turn left and then take the next right leading into Pond Square. Leave Pond Square along Swains Lane, Situated at the right side of the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution. Walk down the hill passing Waterlow Park and then Highgate Cemetery West (the Old Cemetery), Highgate Cemetery East (site of Karl Marx's tomb) and Holly Village, Highgate (photo by Jacqueline Banerjee)Holly Village Almshouses. At the bottom of the hill Swains Lane bears right, continue to follow it until you reach Highgate Road. Cross over Highgate Road and enter Hampstead Heath. Take the right hand path leading up the hill past the ponds, after the second pond the path splits, keep to the right. After the third pond the path splits again, go left here and then take the centre path where the path splits into three at the end of the fourth pond. Follow this path up the hill and on into Kenwood. In Kenwood keep to the right-hand path until you come out of the trees to Kenwood House. Pass in front of Kenwood House and keep on the path until it forks. Take the right fork and keep to the right after passing through the gate, at the top of this path you come to the Kenwood Car Park. Leave the car park by the vehicle exit and turn left on the main road (Hampstead Lane). Just beyond Spaniards Inn the road becomes Spaniards Road.

Q5 - Just past Spaniards Inn there is a blue plaque on the wall. Who does it commemorate?

Jack Straw's Castle, Hampstead (George P. Landow, 1965) Continue along this road until you reach Jack Straw's Castle. Keep to the left at this mini roundabout, go past the pond and then turn left down Eastheath Road. Continue along Eastheath Road until you come to Well Walk, turn right here. At the junction with Willow Road turn left. At the bottom of Willow Road turn right into Downshire Hill. Then take the next left turning, Keats Grove, which is at the side of St. John's Church.

Q6 - On the front of Keats House there is a plaque. What two dates are shown on it and what do they represent?

Keats House (rear entrance)

At the end of Keats Grove turn right into South End Road and at the cinema turn right into Pond Street. Walk up the hill, past the Royal Free Hospital, and at the top turn left into Haverstock Hill. Continue along for another 1/2 Kilometre until you come to finish at

Belsize Park Station (Northern Line)


Veena said...

What?! You were in the neighborhood? When?

Q4. Ha. I get lost here all the time. Mary Kingsley.

Q5. Whoever used to live in Heath End House which is the one next to Spaniards Inn (Did you know the house is for sale? Not as expensive as the Nash terraces one is told. You should consider buying)

Q6. Probably year of birth / death. Or possibly the year it was converted to our local library.

Fëanor said...

No, no, do not panic. We were not in the neighbourhood. This is one of the walks in this series that we've not done. You should do it and post pics!

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