It was a super long week filled with team meetings, a project meeting for a new social business I am hoping to get funding for, and my son’s 8th birthday after-school party. So, what better way to relax than to go walking with my son and daughter for 5 hours. Recently, my wife and I have been talking about possible locations within England to live in the future to enjoy a more open and peaceful lifestyle, but this weekend I reminded myself yet again at how green, spacious, and beautiful London really is. We took a bus and then the tube (underground/subway) to Highgate station, and then crossed the road to Highgate Wood to let our imaginations (my daughter, the fire in our house sheltered under many beautiful leafy umbrellas, and even drank soup from a fallen log) run wild and forget that we live in a city by getting lost in the woods. Some photos below…
After taking a short rest and eating our packed lunch, we decided that we would follow the Capital Ring route (also has a map), and take the additional 5.5 mile walk home from Highgate station to Stoke Newington, which is where we are based. The walk follows through the lovely Parkland Walk, which is actually used to be a railway line.
Though the walk was slightly tough on the children especially after shaving off all their energy and imaginations in the woods of Highgate, there were some lovely surprises along the way like the abandoned platforms as shown above and the Spriggan Sculpture in one the many alcoves along the way. This sculpture was thought to be a tribute to a ghostly ‘goat-man’ who haunted that particular area in the mid 1980s. Local children playing out in the evenings would ‘dare’ each other to walk the Parkland Walk from the Crouch End Hill bridge to the Crouch Hill bridge in the darkness. The sculpture, and Parkland Walk generally, provided the inspiration for Stephen King‘s short story “Crouch End“.
The children were shattered when they got home, but delighted they made the journey. They even collected some stones and conkers along the way. We look forward to taking another long stroll next weekend also.
Photography and text by B. L. Crisp