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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sunday Walk 2 – London's Northern Heights

New Walk – Finsbury Park to Hampstead
Length: 17½ km (10.9 miles), with many ways to shorten. Toughness: up to 5/10

Take a Victoria or Piccadilly line tube to arrive at Finsbury Park by 10:15. Turn left outside the station and meet on the concourse by the bus station.

[Or take the 10:08 Peterborough train from Kings Cross for its 5-minute journey to Finsbury Park, but I doubt if anyone will find this more convenient.]

Late Start option, 13¾ km (8.5 miles): Take a Northern line tube to Highgate (on the High Barnet branch) and intercept the main group as they pass through the station shortly after 11:00.

As this weekend is the annual Open House London event I thought it would be a suitable time to try out this new walk in the capital. You might find there are buildings near the walk route which you'd like to visit, or perhaps you can manage to fit in part of the walk with visits further afield.

The walk itself starts with a long stretch on a disused railway line dressed up as a ‘linear park’, the bit which you can skip by starting from Highgate. It continues through woods, gardens and the distinctive architecture of Hampstead Garden Suburb with its two imposing Lutyens churches. The suggested lunch stop is more than halfway round at the Old Bull & Bush in North End, on the fringes of Hampstead Heath. Much of the afternoon's route explores this large open space and even those of you familiar with the area (perhaps from the SWC's evening walks there) might come across a few surprises. You can easily shorten the suggested route into Hampstead if you want to finish early.

You'll need to print the walk directions and maps from this temporary New Walk page.


Anonymous said...

There are two bus stations at Finsbury Park, Station Place and Wells Terrace (and three exits); the Station Place exit seems closest to the start of the walk. Hilary

Anonymous said...

kind of regretted going off to see the old Dairy @ Kenwood as never caught up with the rest again and so no ice-cream at Marine Ices !! what a let-down.. otherwise this walk was a revelation notably the Pergola & West Heath. Lovely time & nice sunny weather. Well done & thanks Sean for faultless navigation!

Walker said...

n=10 w=mainly-sunny I only did the central bit of this walk, but found it an ingenious route through many North London delights. Despite being a suburban walk it is almost entirely within green space. Revelations to me were Hampstead Garden Suburb, the northern extension of Hampstead Heath and the amazing Pergola, Hopefully the walk will be up on the site soon for others to enjoy.

Sean said...

Although seven started from Finsbury Park and more joined along the way, only two stalwarts managed to complete the full walk. The rest took the walk poster's advice to dip in and out along the way: going on Open House tours around Hampstead Garden Suburb, visiting Kenwood House, etc. On reflection it would have been better to save more energy for the Heath and Hampstead itself at the end of the walk, so I think the shorter Highgate start deserves to become the preferred option for this walk.

The Sunday roast at the Old Bull & Bush was good but the service was predictably slow; arriving at 1.45pm was about the worst possible time. There were long queues for tea at Kenwood House, too. A real bonus was finding the famed Louis Hungarian Patisserie still open as we passed it on the way to Hampstead tube station just before 6pm; one of its fabulous chocolate confections more than made up for missing out on cake at Kenwood House. Louis's tearoom will certainly get a mention in the published version of this walk.

Hilary said...

This walk had some real gems, especially as it was Open House weekend and we were able to visit some beautiful churches. Kenwood House was a revelation and well worth a look. Hampstead Garden Suburb was a delight and it was interesting to discover parts of Hampstead Heath that were new to me. This would be a perfect mid-week walk, with the potential bonus of avoiding the week-end queues.