In short: an easy local walk – shortened version of walk 26 – hard surfaced paths so no need for walking boots. Public toilets in Highgate Woods and a plethora of cafes to choose from in Muswell Hill. Plenty of free on street parking for those who don’t have to be right in the town centre! 1 hr 15 mins walking + 20 mins pitstop.
It’s the Christmas holidays and stir-craziness has set in! I really need to stretch my legs and using all my powers of persuasion I finally manage to lure my youngest out of the house for a short local walk – with the promise of lunch at a cafe of his choice.
Starting from the junction of Pages Lane and Creighton Avenue, approx postcode N10 1PU, where there is plenty of free on-street parking, we head right, past OLM school to the junction with Tetherdown where we turn left.
At the traffic lights at the end of this road we turn right and take the first left onto Fortismere Avenue. At the end of this road we turn right onto Grand Avenue and pick up the alleyway that runs in front of Tetherdown school.
We turn left at the end in front of the allotments and walk to the end where we turn right onto Woodside Avenue. We then turn left at the mini-roundabout onto Lanchester Road and almost immediately take the path off left into Highgate Woods – here picking up the Capital Ring signs.
At the gate into the woods at the top of this path we go straight ahead on one of the main paths through the woods. The light is beautiful through the trees today and it is worth taking the time to appreciate the beauty of these ancient woods – even on a day like today when there are lots of people and dogs around – there is a real tranquillity apparent in the landscape.
At the next junction we turn right onto the hard paved path and then left at the next path, shortly before the cafe. This brings us out almost to the path running parallel to the main road but just as we reach the next junction we veer off right and head in the direction of the children’s playground. We turn left just in front of the playground and then left again just before the gate leading out onto the road; now walking along the path parallel to Muswell Hill Road.
We follow this path to the end, ignoring all paths off left and slip-road type paths off right leading to the road, until we reach the exit gate from the woods and emerge onto Muswell Hill Road just by a pedestrian crossing. We turn left and walk down the slope to take the underpass under the road which is the start of this section of the Parkland Walk.
This straightforward path runs along a disused railway line across the Muswell Hill rooftops with views all the way to the London skyline.
We stop to admire the views on this clear frosty day…
…and then continue on to the end of this path as it again becomes an underpass and we come out the other side onto Muswell Hill itself which we climb to the top and have our choice of cafes. Inevitably we turn to Costa – second exit off the roundabout on Muswell Hill Broadway – and after a brief, tasty but fairly unexciting pitstop we continue on our way along the Broadway. At Meadow Drive on our left we try to cut through past the tennis courts through the Methodist Church gardens – a lovely spot, normally open to the public Monday – Friday until about 4pm – but today the gates are padlocked. And so we retrace our steps to the main road, now Colney Hatch Lane, and on turning left in front of the Shell garage we find ourselves back on Pages Lane.