99 – Parkland Walk, Woodberry Wetlands and Stoke Newington reservoir 9.5 miles – 7th February

In short: a return to the gorgeous Woodberry Wetlands with the walk extended to include the second of the 2 reservoirs. Extremely muddy on the New River section but otherwise fine walking surfaces. Fabulous pitstop at the Wetlands. Public toilets in Finsbury Park and in the café at the Wetlands – both clean and well-equipped. 3 hrs 15 mins walking + 30 mins pitstop.

As usual we start from the junction of Cranley Gardens and Wood Vale, approx postcode N10 3DJ – free on street parking is plentiful here.

We walk along Wood Vale and enter Queens Woods at the Capital Ring sign following this path down a slope and bearing right to climb up to street level, Priory Gardens.

Turning right here we soon cross the road at another Capital Ring sign on a lamppost, pointing left to climb steps up and out past a small patch of woodland onto Shepherds Hill beside the Highgate library. Here we cross and turn right then immediately left at the traffic lights, then left again onto Holmesdale Road just after the Boogaloo pub.

We start the Parkland walk at its entrance on the left and follow this for a good couple of miles – over and under roads at tunnels and bridges as we go.

At the end of the path we turn left and cross the railway bridge into Finsbury Park. We continue ahead to the café building on our left – passing the playground as we walk around it to make use of the public toilet facilities – always remarkably well-maintained despite the popularity of the park. On leaving this building we walk around the boating lake – the lake on our left – and then pass the athletics track picking the path ahead which veers towards the New River as it crosses the park. We exit the park onto Green Lanes, more or less beside the river.

We cross here at a pedestrian crossing and join the New River path on the opposite side of the road. This path is extremely muddy and we really have to watch our footing as we go.

On reaching the end of this stretch we emerge onto Seven Sisters Road where we turn left to cross at the pedestrian crossing and then cross Amhurst Road at the zebra. Back on Seven Sisters Road we rejoin the New River Path walk on a prettier and better surfaced section.

We continue straight on, past the first and then a second entrance to Woodberry Wetlands.

We cross a road, Woodberry Grove, to continue on beside the New River which now runs beside the Stoke Newington West Reservoir which has a sailing club at the far end.

We continue along this path as far as we can – it isn’t possible to walk all the way around this reservoir – and just as the path bends right to head away from the lake we turn and retrace our steps.

After re-crossing Woodberry Grove we take the entrance into Woodberry Wetlands, here on our right, and follow the path around the water – the lake on our left – to the lovely café. We enjoy a fabulous carrot cake muffin and coffee, make use of the facilities and continue on around the lake.

There is a real wow factor here – even more so with the sun out and a beautiful blue sky making the water sparkle – and at the top end of the lake we reluctantly leave to rejoin the New River path and retrace our steps.

We return exactly the way we came – along the New River, through Finsbury Park and along the Parkland Walk to Queens Woods and back to our start point. Really wonderful!!

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