83 – Parkland Walk to Finsbury Park and on to Woodberry Wetlands 8.9 miles – 2nd October

In short: our usual local walk to Finsbury Park with a delightful extension – the stunning new Woodberry Wetlands. Mostly firm paths – apart from a boggy section along the New River – public toilets in Finsbury Park & also in the fabulous cafe at the Wetlands. 3 hrs 5 mins walking + 30 mins pitstop.

The start of this walk is as per usual – parking for free on either Cranley Gardens or Wood Vale – approx postcode N10 3DJ. Full details for this part of the walk can be found at walk no 1.

This initial part, through Queens Wood and along Parkland Walk to Finsbury Park is very straightforward with firm footpaths.

The trees are beautiful – just starting to change colour but without much leaf fall yet. Arriving at Finsbury Park we make use of the clean, well-maintained public toilets – unsure at this stage of what is available at Woodberry Wetlands. On leaving the toilet block beside the cafe, we turn left to walk around the outside of the boating pond – today alive with water birds.

We pass the running track on our left and take the path marked for the Capital Ring ahead – approaching the New River as we exit the park.

We leave the park at a gate, cross at a pedestrian crossing and take the New River path on the far side of Green Lanes.

This little section is a strange mixture of waterway, light industrial units and housing estate – plus a fair bit of rubbish in the water. It is also quite muddy in places.

After just a few minutes we arrive at a main road, Seven Sisters Road, which we need to cross – but not before seeing a couple of majestic swans swimming serenely past us, despite the surroundings!

We turn left onto the main road to cross at a pedestrian crossing, and then also cross Amhurst Park at a zebra crossing to re-enter the New River path more or less opposite where we exited.

This small section is a little prettier, running as it does behind the backs of houses.

And then we arrive at the entrance to Woodberry Wetlands – a quick glance at the map reveals that we can continue walking along the New River path to an entrance a bit further along and thus make a full circuit of the lake.

This section is all beautifully surfaced – making it accessible to buggies and wheelchairs – and we follow it to a bridge beside a filter building which we cross for a first proper look at the lake itself.

And wow – is this spot stunning or what?! Tucked away in the middle of a slew of housing estates in North London – this former reservoir has been transformed into a thing of real beauty.

There are birds galore and we are thoroughly engrossed trying to identify as many as we possibly can.

Keeping the water on our left we follow the path around to the gorgeous cafe set in an old pumping station. Here we enjoy delicious carrot cake muffins and very good coffee, sitting outside in this lovely Indian summer sunshine. What an absolute joy!

After a most delightful pitstop we continue our circuit of the reservoir – mistakenly trying to exit beside the educational building but realising the path actually runs to the right of it.

From here we retrace our steps along the New River path and back to Finsbury Park, this time taking the left hand path around the boating pond but otherwise returning exactly the way we came.

And so back along the Parkland Walk to our start – positively purring over our new discovery. What a super place! Highly recommended.



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