A walk in two sections
The Parkland Walk is split into two sections. Parkland Walk North extends approximately 750m from Cranley Gardens to Muswell Hill and the southern section at just over 3km runs between Holmesdale Road in Highgate and Finsbury Park. Below, you will find instructions and a map to guide you from one section to the other. The distance between the two sections is 1.3–1.8km depending on which route you take, making a total distance for both sections in the region of 5km.
Step free access
There is almost level access to Parkland Walk South at the Oxford Road entrance (at the Finsbury Park end). Access at Blythwood Road is steep with uneven, loose gravel. A short distance further along is Crouch Hill where there are two sloped access points. One is a smooth tarmac but has a camber leaning towards the slope with no safety barrier. The second comes up by the CAPE play centre. Most of the incline is reasonable but there is a short section towards the top that is steep. There is a steep slope at Holmesdale Road in Highgate with a poor surface. Other entrances are via steep steps up embankments or down the sides of cuttings. After prolonged bouts of wet weather some parts of the path can get muddy with pools of water collecting.
A wheelchair user's perspective
Parkland walk is relatively flat, with a steep exit onto Highgate at the end. I write this as a confident powered wheelchair user who managed the walk fine in April, which was relatively dry. There are various roots (and routes) which could well make for a very bumpy ride and there are various steep inclines near the bridges. At present, the first mile of the walk starting at Finsbury Park has no level access exit with more towards the Highgate end. - Josh Hepple
Click on the map above for a map you can follow on a mobile device. The leaf locations indicate areas of interest. Click on the leaf for information.
Three options for getting between the two sections
The most scenic route (going from the southern section to the northern one) is via Queens Wood and then Highgate Wood. The easier route to follow and the shorter is by joining Archway road and turning right onto Muswell Hill Road:
1 Pavement route: Walk from Holmesdale Road uphill along Archway Road to the Woodman pub. This is the first part of the blue route. Turn right and follow Muswell Hill Road to Cranley Gardens.
2 Highgate Woods route (Blue route with red route option): As above, but after turning right at The Woodman, cross over into Highgate Woods. Keep to the left to walk the perimeter that runs parallel to the route of the old railway or bear right and keep Muswell Hill Road in sight on your right. Exit at Cranley Gate and turn left. There is an underpass under Muswell Hill Road that puts you on the start of the Walk. (This is the flattest of all the routes)
3 Queens Wood and Highgate Wood (Gold route): Follow signs for the Capital Ring. Turn onto Shepherds Hill from Archway Road and after a minute turn left down a narrow path by the library which drops you down onto Priory Gardens. Turn right and cross over and walk up the road. Look out for a small alley on your left down a steep path leading into Queen's Wood. Follow the path, crossing over Queen's Wood Road. Head straight. The path drops and then climbs bearing off to the left. With any luck you find yourself at the Queen's Wood cafe where you might treat yourself to a light lunch. Past the cafe cross over into Highgate Wood using the pedestrian crossing. Bear right to follow the path along the edge of the wood until you come to Cranley Gate as above.
What's to see along the way
The leaflet above is an old one but is still largely relevant and useful to have in your hands. Click on the image to download a pdf and print on A3 paper. The numbers on the map correspond to numbered marker posts along the path. Some posts have been vandalised and at the time of writing have yet to be replaced.
Refreshments and facilities
There are a number of places to stop en route for light meals and refreshments. There are cafes in Highgate, Queens woods Highgate Wood and Finsbury Park. There are a few cafes and eateries on Archway Road between the Boogaloo pub and The Woodman Pub. The Grove Cafe (closed Monday and Tuesday) is a short distance further along in 'The Grove', Alexandra Park and there are facilities at Alexandra Palace.
Tubes and Buses
Southern section (Highgate to Finsbury Park)
This runs from Holmesdale Road (by the Boogaloo pub on Archway Road) to Finsbury Park.
Buses - Highgate: 43, 134 and 263
Tube - Highgate: Northern Line
Buses - Finsbury Park: 210, 236, 253, 254, 259, W3, W7
Tube - Finsbury Park: Victoria and Piccadilly Lines
Northern section (Muswell Hill)
This runs from the top of Cranley Gardens on Muswell Hill Road near the Cranley Gardens Gate of Highgate Wood to Muswell Hill. To reach Alexandra Palace just continue through the underpass in Muswell Hill.
Buses - Muswell Hill Village via Muswell Hill: 144, W7
Buses - Muswell Hill Road (Highgate - Cranley Gardens): 43, 134
Tube - Highgate: Northern Line
The 102 bus also stops in Muswell Hill Village