Everyone thinks that their home patch is special. That's the way it should be. But excuse my parochialism, I am absolutely convinced that my local splash of green, Waterlow Park, is the loveliest in London.
It's been shown to best effect on recent sunny winter mornings. There's something bewitching about it. The park is just 26 acres, on the southern slope of Highgate Hill, looking out towards the City four miles or so away. It's gorgeous!
The park was given to the people of London as 'a garden for the gardenless' by Sir Sydney Waterlow in 1889. He was a business man and philanthropist, a Lord Mayor of London and the Liberal MP for Islington North (the seat now held by Jeremy Corbyn).
There's an imposing statue in the park of this public benefactor.
Adjoining the park is Lauderdale House, which dates back to 1580 and has a nice cafe and an outside seating area.
And the park has three ponds, all fed by natural springs. The photo below is of the middle pond where I have seen a kingfisher (just once, but how many Londoners have spotted a kingfisher in their local park!) and terrapins.
From the park you have an enticing view over high-rise Central London, which adds to the magic.
And fun fact: unlikely as it may seem, Mott the Hoople (remember those dudes?) wrote a song about the park entitled 'Waterlow'.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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