Saturday, 7 June 2014

Lost railway walk in North London

This 4.5 mile walk has a rather boring and misleading official title.

It is virtually all off-road but doesn't go through any parks. Instead it follows the routes of two abandoned railways connected by a section through two woods.  It forms London's longest Local Nature Reserve complete with bats, squirrels, wildflowers, butterflies and even the occasional munjac deer.

Uncowed by the forecast of rain, rain, and yet more rain, we set off last Wednesday in glorious evening sunlight.  We encountered overgrown platforms, colourful road bridges, disused stations, abandoned tunnels, dreamy woods, panoramic views and a spooky green man.

Any guesses which walk this is?


  1. The building in your last photo is Alexandra Palace, north London.

    Reasoning that abandoned railway lines tend to be attached to ones that aren't, and vaguely remembering that some proposed extensions to the Underground had been abandoned around there, I clicked on the nearest underground station to Alexandra Palace in Google maps. It didn't take long to notice "Parkland Walk" running between Finsbury Park on the Piccadilly Line and Highgate on the Northern. I guess that last step was cheating!

    Did you go inside Alexandra Palace? I knew the building because I'd seen some photos of the disused parts of the interior in very poor condition. Google tells me a restoration is planned.

    One thing that surprises me is the graffiti on the underpass. The trains here get plastered with it, and there are designated walls in the city, but there seems to be an unwritten rule that they don't do it on anything in parkland in "nice" suburbs like I assume that part of London to be.

  2. Exemplary reasoning!

    Yes, we went into the bar at Ally Pally and looked out at the rain (which held off until we were inside).

    I believe there was a fire a few years ago, but it much of it has been restored now.

    We don't get graffiti on or in trains or tubes in London (probably due to CTV or the fact they are always full of people), but there is a reasonable amount of graffiti on external structures (often artistic).