95 – Muswell Hill loop including Alexandra Park 6.1 miles – 10th January

In short: a walk from home to meet friends for coffee in Crouch End, including Highgate Woods, a stretch of the Parkland Walk and Alexandra Park. 2 hrs walking + 1 hr pitstop (lots to catch up on over coffee!)

Starting from close to home – the junction of Creighton Avenue and Pages Lane in Muswell Hill, I set off to make a detouring walk down to Crouch End. Firstly I walk along Pages Lane to the junction with Tetherdown, turning left at the mini roundabout and right at the traffic lights. I take the first left off Fortis Green, Fortismere Avenue, and turn right at the end onto Grand Avenue. I carry on along this road to Tetherdown school where I take a path to the right of the school building, turning left to walk between the allotments and Tree House school.

At the end of this path I turn right onto Woodside Avenue, cross at the roundabout and turn onto Lanchester Road. Almost immediately on the left there is a footpath through to Highgate Woods and I take this, entering the woods at the gate at the top of the slope.

Here I continue straight on – this is by far the least muddy option! – till I come to a junction of paths where I turn right and then shortly after left, on a path which leads between the trees with a view of the playing field type open space over to the left.

The path bends left in front of the children’s playground and public toilets and I turn left just after these buildings on a path that gradually bears right in the general direction of the road. Eventually this path joins another path arriving from the right and I continue straight on, eventually coming out at a gate in the far corner of the woods onto Muswell Hill Road, just before the roundabout at the top of Cranley Gardens.

Here I keep left on the pavement and descend a slope which marks an entrance point onto the Parkland Walk, passing under the road and then continuing along parallel(ish) with the main road and eventually affording amazing views over to the right – the slightly misty London skyline is always a fabulous sight!

I walk along this path to the end, passing under Muswell Hill to emerge beside Muswell Hill Primary School. I continue on the path up a slight slope and across a covered walkway into Alexandra Park where I immediately bear right. I walk between the play centre and playgroup heading downhill and past a car park on my left. I cross at the traffic island and bear left at the fork in the road.

I then take a path off right which runs parallel to the road – albeit very muddy in places and follow this to the bottom of the hill and out of the park. I cross at the lights and turn left onto Priory Road to meet my friends at the delightful Nati’s café along here.

After a fab coffee and cinnamon bun pitstop and an enjoyable catch up chat, I head back to Alexandra Park along Priory Road and re-cross at the traffic lights.

This time I take the wide straight lane beyond the large wrought iron gates and continue straight on along a footpath once I reach the end of this lane. I have a wide expanse of grassy meadow and playing fields on my right and views uphill to Alexandra Palace on my left.

At the end of this path, after passing through light woodland, I contemplate a walk around the marked nature reserve but decide this looks far too muddy and so, shortly after exiting the park I cross the road and re-enter on the far side of the road taking the path that rises fairly sharply uphill here. On reaching a path that runs from left to right I turn right and follow it as it curves left past the old deer enclosure and the brand new Go Ape climbing centre. As I reach the gate into the area around the boating pond I enter and head right to walk around the pond.

On reaching the far side of the pond I exit the park onto The Avenue where I turn left and then immediately right onto Dukes Avenue to return to Muswell Hill town centre.

I turn right at the roundabout onto Muswell Hill Broadway, cross at the pedestrian crossing and turn left onto Meadow Drive. Just after passing the back of the Catholic Church on my right I enter at a gate beside the tennis club, pass the courts and walk through the charming Methodist Church gardens.

I exit the gardens into the car park and then out onto Pages Lane where I turn left to return to my start point.

A great local walk – 6 miles and all in the vicinity of home!

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