Spring seems to be well and truly here in London*, so Jeff and I made the most of it this weekend and explored North London. From Camden Town to Upper Holloway, Archway to Highgate, Muswell Hill to Crouch End, we hit the pavement and saw as much as possible on foot, stopping to enjoy food and markets along the way.
*Ignore the hail, brisk winds, short showers, and freezing nights – we’ve got sunshine!
On Saturday we went out to Camden Town, and in the morning’s sunshine you’d never guess these houses were along Camden High Street and not along by the seaside! But the streets were just as crowded as ever with tourists exploring the markets and locals making the most of the good weather.
We were in Camden for the semi-final heat of the Musical Comedy Awards at The Black Heart. (If you haven’t heard of the Musical Comedy Awards, I promise you need it in your life!) Rob Deering headlined Saturday’s show, and I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed so hard for so long! My face still hurts. The 2014 MCA final is on 25th April, and it’s not too late to book a ticket if you feel so inclined. (You know I recommend it!)
On Sunday we walked from Crouch End towards Alexandra Palace, and stumbled upon the Parkland Walk, which is a part of the Capital Ring. The section we found was a disused railway station, which would have offered a steam service off the East Coast Main Line with suburban services for the Great Northern Railway, and would have been active around the 1870s.
In the 1930s there was a plan to expand the Underground to connect Archway (originally known as Highgate, where it then terminated) with Edgeware and Finsbury Park via Finchley Central and East Finchley. Unfortunately, much of the engineering work started as the war broke out and was never fully commissioned.
From there we marched on over to Alexandra Palace, where we found this fenced off tree. There was a sign nearby that estimated it was about 250 years old, but unfortunately I haven’t found anything online to link you to! I guess you’ll just have to head over and see for yourself.
Luckily, if you do head over to Alexandra Palace to check out that tree you’ll also get this view. Sooo I guess it’s not too bad a trade off after all 😉 From there we walked through Muswell Hill to Highgate Wood, where we felt as though we’d completely left the city and had been transported to the country side. If it wasn’t for the flash showers coming on we would have stayed for much, much longer than we did.
Also on Archway Road was this wonderful book shop, piled high with antique books. We had a good an proper poke about, though we didn’t see any titles we wanted to take home with us.
We saw a few of these phone booths with potted plants near Archway Station, and while I haven’t been able to find out who’s put the potted plants in them or why, I love it. As far as I’m concerned, phone booths are pretty outdated these days so filling them with greenery is an excellent idea in my book!
Before heading home we stopped at The Spoke on Holloway Road to fuel up with delicious sour dough BLTs with avocado and one of the best brews of tea I’ve had in a long time. While the menu was limited, it provided locally sourced foods and free range meats at an excellent price. Definitely worth the visit if you find yourself in the area – or want to see the area!
Have you been to any of these places, or do you have any suggestions of where to visit in North London?