On Saturday, I strolled along the southern section of the Parkland Walk, which starts just south of Highgate tube station and takes you along the route of a disused railway line. It leads all the way to Finsbury Park. There's a bewitching section where you walk through an abandoned commuter station. So the path, as you can see, sticks to the tracks, but if you prefer you can walk along the old station platforms on either side.
This was Crouch End Station - the map below will help you work out where it was. It opened in the 1860s, closed in 1954, and the track was last used in 1970.
There must be people still around who travelled to and from work through this now deserted station. For them, I wonder what memories walking along these platforms must evoke.
I have taken to the Parkland Walk, along the line of north London's lost railway, with the enthusiast of a convert. On a Sunday morning, I get up early and cycle. And on the northern stretch - on a bridge over St James's Lane in Muswell Hill - there is one of those views which hits you in the stomach. Looking east - with the Gherkin the most southerly spot in views, stretching to the bounds of London and beyond. You can get a sense of it here. Worth a glance!
If you head west into Alexandra Park, there's a another hidden gem - a cafe, the Grove, on a cycle path. On summer weekends, it opens at nine. I popped in this morning for a sausage sandwich breakfast to sustain me on the resy of my cycle ride, after which I cook a breakfast for the family. Sausages, of course.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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