Introduction and contents.
This project has been designed both for people who are newly arrived in the area and may not know what is on offer or for people who have lived here for a long time but overlooked some of the great places there are in the area.
In particular we have thought about people with children who may want to know about playgrounds, particularly ones with cafés and loos.
To make it manageable we have created four sections:
1.1 A brief list of very small parks and playgrounds
1.2 Larger open areas, parks some of which also have playgrounds.
2. A series of more detailed guides to the major parks. So far we have only done The Heath
3. Some street walks. Suggestions very welcome. So far Mary has contributed one of Hampstead village plus a separate one of her own = an introductory one.
4. The canal.
In due course each suggestion will have a more comprehensive entry.
1. Open areas, parks
1.1 Very small parks and playgrounds:
Quite a good place to look is https://www.camden.gov.uk/parks-in-camden
The closest to us is probably Talacre open space which is 336 metres away. Go down to Prince of Wales Road and head west, it’s just past Kentish Town West station. It has some open space with bushes which are okay for hide and seek and quite a reasonable playground. It is next to the sports centre which, when it is open, has a good variety of activities for all ages starting with a baby bounce. https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/london/camden/talacre-community-sports-centre
Going eastwards, 440 metres away, there is Rochester Terrace Gardens, with open space and quite an okay playground. South down the High Street, then left into Rochester Road’
If you went further east, 640 metres away, there is Cantelowes Gardens. This is best approached by going up Anglers Lane, across the High St and down Gaisford St opposite and coming in on the western edge. There is a rather good playground, some adult gym equipment, football pitch and a skate park.
For very small children there is a very small playground very well hidden called Falkland Place Playground. If you go up the High Street, past the station and that crossroads and look carefully you will see a a narrow street off to the right called Leverton Place and first turning on the left is a lane that leads up to two very small playgrounds. All very very.
1.2 Larger Parks
So – there now follows a rushed list of various places. We will give more details of each of them later, like we have so far only done for The Heath.
So please treat this as a contents page:
An obvious step is Google Maps where the various parks show up easily and you may find new ones even if you are a confirmed old Londoner.
Starting by going north and then going round the compass dial, east, south and west:
Starting with Hampstead Heath. This is the first separate article we have done. See below.
Round the compass dial you can then track north-east to Waterlow Park and Highgate Cemetery. Then, further to Highgate Woods. Then, stretching the definition of parkland a bit, including Caledonian Park and with a mention of Finsbury Park. This picks up the Parkland Walk which takes you back up to Highgate.
Just southeast of Waterlow Park there is the Dartmouth Park reservoir which isn’t green on the map but actually has a small park around it and there is a amazing view across London from benches up beside the reservoir itself.
And if you are more energetic you could get across to Clissold Park and Newington Cemetery.
Coming round the dial to the East there is Highbury Fields. Then it’s all a bit urban but with many squares and gardens. We swing round to due south when we have two big jewels: Primrose Hill and Regents Park. [They will be our next separate articles]
If you are feeling a bit energetic, you can go across Regents Park, through Marylebone and pick up Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. A return route is highly recommended going east through Hyde Park Park Corner, Green Park, St James before coming home up through the centre of town.
2. Our first more detailed guide to a park or open area. Although it’s not very detailed at this stage, given how much could be written about The Heath.
3. Street walks. There are of course an infinite number of street walks you can do and we would strongly recommend getting copies of the various Camden History Society books and maybe following the walks they recommend. They are “The streets of…“ i.e. Kentish Town, Camden, Hampstead,, Saint Pancras, Primrose Hill” etc. Reading them in advance makes every walk even more rewarding. These and all other books mentioned can be bought from the Owl Bookshop in the High Street. https://owlbookshop.co.uk/ 020 7485 7793 firstname.lastname@example.org
But we will be creating a section on this website which will give you a few slightly random suggestions. We really welcome suggestions. Just email us.
One that we have had in from Mary was this:
4. The Canal. The joker in the pack is perhaps the canal – The Regent‘s Canal – which going east takes you into Islington via Kings Cross and Kings Place and Camley St Natural Park (which is currently closed but for years has been a great place to take children with genuine scientific information and projects.) For the seriously energetic, you can follow the canal right across to Victoria Park and the Olympic Park 5 miles.
Going west, the canal takes you through Little Venice and into Kensal Town. Pressing on as we once did trying to reach the country, it zigzags rather a lot and we found the country is a really long way away! (And it was raining.)