Parkland Walk - Take 2
Fifteen of us turned up at Finsbury Park station on a cold but dry Saturday in January 2019. Led by Lynne, we were going to do the Parkland Walk from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace.
The route is an old train track and the gradient was therefore gentle, just a gradual rise as we climbed towards Highgate. Skirting the edge of Finsbury Park we then headed Northwest along the rail track. The first impression was that we were on a running track, joggers coming past every few seconds. We were a big group and so filled the path but everyone was considerate on both sides until we stopped at a disused railway station where a woman with her dog aggressively carved her way through. Ah, well. A bit further on was a high retaining wall and we would have walked past but a local suggested we look up and there was a larger than lifesize gargoyle - a Spriggan - coming out of the brickwork.
We stopped at a café on the Walk which Kathy informed us was, and may still be, a cricket pavilion (there was a door marked "Visitors dressing room") for a cuppa and something to eat. Very pleasant and we could imagine it would be full in Summer.
Moving on, we neared Highgate and Kathy suddenly realised that she was looking at the back of the flats where she lived as a girl. The Walk was not there at that time, nor the trains. A hundred yards or so up the A1 Archway Road and we plunged into Highgate Wood. It claims to be an ancient woodland but it did not feel like it to me. Epping Forest by comparison feels much more ancient. Heading towards Muswell Hill we came out of Highgate Wood, passed by Cranley Gardens where the murderer Nilsen clogged up his drains with the remains of his victims, under the Muswell Hill road and into Alexandra Park and its palace. The exhibition hall was empty (we sneaked a peep) but the BBC signs were up. The building still looks unloved but no doubt Haringey Council has higher priorities for their money.
Descending towards Wood Green we stopped at The Starting Gate for a pint and, in some cases, a bit more to eat (chips, cheese and gravy - it didn't entice me). A very nice pub. We more than doubled the number of people in it but I suppose Saturday afternoon is a quiet time.
Suitably refreshed and with a visit to the loo, we departed for Wood Green and home. An enjoyable day.
Brian Unwin, 5th January 2019