Capital Ring 12

Once more unto the walk dear friends, this time a more familiar one for us, Highgate Station to The Castle Climbing Centre in Stoke Newington, we cut this route a little short to end here, but more on that later.

It was a lovely sunny day back in June and we started off the walk back at Highgate Station having got coffee from the Deli across the road, (review here) and walked down the Archway Rd briefly, then turned off into Holmesdale Rd for the entrance to the Parkland Walk. This is a familiar walk for us, although we usually would cycle the route, but this day we were walking.

The Parkland Walk was opened in the 1960’s but became more popular in the 90’s/2000’s, the former railway track had been built to link Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace in the 1860’s but was abandoned since the 1950’s but the rails weren’t fully removed until the 70’s when it opened as a walk. It was threatened with closure in the late 80’s but residents and friends of the walk fought the campaign to make it a dual carriage-way road and the park remained.

The station platforms remain along the cuttings and so do the bridges over Northwood Rd, Stanhope Rd, Ferme Park Rd, Tollington Rd and tunnels under Crouch End Hill & Crouch End & Mountview Rd, making the route a lovely combination of greenery and Urban structures.

The walk winds down the Highgate Hill under mature trees and passes through tunnels filled with some amazing grafitti.

At Crouch Hill the walk passes under the road and after it there are a series of bricked up arches, remnants of the stockyard and a once popular Rock Climbing destination for London Based Climbers – before the plethora of Climbing Walls that now cover the capital. These days the gravel path is only occupied by runners, cyclists, wanderers and dog walkers and their charges.

The walk probably takes about an hour (more if you stop to take photos, etc) and finally ends at the back of Finsbury Park, crossing the Oxford Road Rail Bridge and into the park itself.

From here it’s a little vague as to where to go, but generally it’s east, past the cafe and playground, past the formal gardens and the Athletics Track, before turning down towards Green Lanes and joining the New River Path.

The New River is not a river at all, but an artificial waterway, that was man made to bring water in to the city from Hertfordshire and was designed by Sir Hugh Myddleton.

Today sections of the waterway are varied, some are popular others almost abandoned and this section of the walk takes in both sides, first off the almost abandoned, overrun, weed infested, waters, that pass industrial estates and council estates. This could be lovely except for the dead animals and abandoned mopeds and of course shopping trolleys!

One section ends at Seven Sister’s Road and continues on the other side running alongside the Woodbury Downs Wetland, this is a maintained and popular section, with new apartments and playgrounds, seating areas and views of the reservoirs opposite, the water is strangely very green in places, as if dyed, but overall it’s a nice walk. At the end of this section you cross a little bridge and find yourself in the car park of The Castle Climbing Centre and a natural end to this section.

The reason being, there is a large sign-post marking the the Capital Ring here, whereas the route is meant to finish at the exit of Abney Park Cemetery, but it leaves us and many people with less options for travel home, plus the next section is only 3.4miles long and this is nearer 6. So we curtailed the section to add it to the next, thus making both sections more equal, (Section 12 = 5miles, Section 13 = 4.7miles) and finally there are facilities at The Castle, as well as really expensive climbing, should you feel the need!


So there you go another section and we are getting close to the end, join us again for Section 13 and before that more reviews and findings on Climbing-Moss.


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