The Pergola

21-Jul-15 • Sean O'Neill

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The Pergola

21-Jul-15 • Sean O'Neill

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Kenwood House

21-Jul-15 • Sean O'Neill

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The Archer, East Finchley station

02-Aug-15 • Sean O'Neill

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Hill Garden

20-Sep-15 • Sean O'Neill

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Parkland Walk

21-Jul-15 • Sean O'Neill

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Crouch End station platforms

21-Jul-15 • Sean O'Neill

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Highgate to Hampstead walk

A varied walk through the green spaces of London's ‘Northern Heights’, with some panoramic views of the city


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Updated: Fri, 07-Dec-18

Date # Post
Sun, 10-Sep-17 8

Exploring the London Heights

SWC Walk 257 Highgate to Hampstead

Distance 15.3km (9.5m); toughness 3/10

Trains: Highgate and Hampstead are on branches of the Northern underground line so this is one for your travel card. Meet up at Highgate tube at 10.45am

This is an interesting and varied walk for those who don't wish to travel too far from London this Sunday. You will enjoy some fine views of London's green spaces mainly comprising woods and parkland. The final part of the walk takes you round Hampstead Heath with the opportunity to visit Kenwood House.

See here for more information about the walk including lunch and refreshment options and click on the download walk pdf tab for full walk instructions.


Kenwood House is free, even if you are not an English heritage member, and well worth a look.
Half a dozen walkers had assembled outside Highgate station by 10:45. A few others with rucksacks managed to slip through our grasp but we did sweep up a couple enjoying a quiet cup of coffee so eventually 8 set off. Early morning sunshine had long disappeared and it was cloudy with rain later. We stopped to inhale the incense at St Jude's church (moderately High Anglican, the vicar agreed) before pressing on to Golders Hill Park café for a simple lunch. The revised directions include a longer tour of the park and after staring at Golders Hill Girl for a while we particularly enjoyed the Butterfly House as well as its small zoo (but failed to find any over fed squirrels in the Stumpery). One had already ducked out at lunchtime and I slipped away at Whitestone Pond; I hope the remaining six didn't get too wet as they did the final loop around Hampstead Heath and Kenwood House.
Sat, 21-Jan-17

Saturday Walk – An urban stroll through London's Northern Heights

Extra Walk 257 – Highgate to Hampstead
Length: 13½ km (8.4 miles), with many ways to shorten. Toughness: 3/10

Take a Northern line tube (High Barnet branch) to arrive at Highgate by 10:45. Turn left past the ticket barriers to meet by the Priory Gardens exit.

Extended Walk option: 17¼ km (10.7 miles): Make your way to Finsbury Park station and set off from there no later than 10:00. The route takes you through Highgate station where you'll be able to join the main group if you don't dawdle.

As a respite from muddy fields I thought I'd offer this urban stroll through the leafy suburbs of London's ‘Northern Heights’, taking in the distinctive architecture of Hampstead Garden Suburb and the wide expanse of Hampstead Heath. You can get a pub lunch halfway round at the Old Bull & Bush in North End and could visit Kenwood House in the afternoon (free entry).

You'll need to print the walk directions and maps from the Extra Walk 257 page. There are many places where you can shorten the walk if you want to finish early. T=swc.257
Sun, 03-Jan-16

London's Northern Heights

Book 3 Walk 257
Highgate to Hampstead
Length 13.5km (8.4m); toughness 3/10.
Trains: You use London Underground for this walk. Meet outside Highgate tube at 10.45am
For those who want a walk within the city and not involving a train journey this is a varied walk through the green spaces of “ London’s Northern Heights” with some panoramic views of the “great wen”.

Extensive walk notes and maps can be found here. Click on M – (13½ km) so you can print off just the main walk instructions.
Sun, 20-Sep-15 10

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. T=swc.257.a
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
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!
10 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.
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.
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.