In short: easy walk, plenty of free on street parking, lovely cafe, clean functional public toilets. 1 hr 45 mins walking + 30 min pitstop.
This week I needed to stick to a local route as I had an early afternoon appointment. Hence we walked our old favourite – the Parkland Walk from Muswell Hill to Finsbury Park and back. After such a wet winter the path was wet and muddy in places but as it is an established and well maintained path it was by no means impassable – sturdy, preferably waterproof, walking trainers were sufficient.
We start from Cranley Gardens/ Wood Vale where there is plenty of on street parking (postcode N10 3DJ) and head away from Cranley Gardens on the left hand side of the road, towards Queens Woods which are located further up Wood Vale.
After a couple of hundred metres, and about 20 metres after the start of the woods take the well made path on the left. After a couple of minutes this path meets up with the Capital Ring and we bear left heading towards the steep slope and steps with a railing in the centre up towards Priory Gardens. Turn right at the top of the slope and follow the Capital Ring signs along this road, turning left up a path between houses (this is easily missed although there is a sign on the right hand side of the road).
At the top of this next slope the path passes through an area of trees and leads onto Shepherds Hill. Cross the road here and turn right and then immediately left onto Archway Road. Passing the Boogaloo pub, turn left onto Holmesdale Road; the entrance to the Parkland Walk is just here on the left.
This walk then continues more or less straight for a couple of miles. It passes the backs of houses, over and under roads following a long disused railway line but with plenty of trees, bushes and undergrowth making it a pleasant urban oasis. In our experience it is never busy, but also reassuringly for the lone walker, rarely empty as it’s popular with joggers and dog walkers.
The path finishes at the entrance to Finsbury Park; turning left at the path which crosses the railway track we enter the park itself. Finsbury Park is a (surprisingly?) attractive open public space. Passing tennis courts at a distance on the right, the path continues straight up towards the boating lake, the cafe and public toilets.
The toilets have always been clean and fully functioning in my experience, albeit in a busy public park so a bit scruffy.
The cafe is an absolute delight: light, airy and comfortable – the hot chocolate is amazing. The lunch menu is interesting, good quality and very reasonably priced.
After a lovely pitstop on comfy leather sofas looking out on the boating lake we retraced our steps.