A brief guide to the sights, smells, sounds and textures of Finsbury Park
Our local park
One of the things that people who stay with us are often unaware of is just how much there is to do in the park across the road. Rooms at the front of the hotel have a view across busy Seven Sisters Road to a place where you can play, chill, dine and stroll or just get away from the business of London for a while if you need 10 minutes peace to yourself. So to encourage visitors to follow in my footsteps I walked through the park and took a few pictures along the way. Here's what I saw ...
Manor House gate
This is your gateway to the park from the hotel. Cross Seven Sisters Road and stroll on through to the verdant acres.
The Park Café
Breakfast is included in the price of all rooms at the hotel and runs from 7-9.30 a.m. But if you slept in, or you're looking for somewhere to chill and prepare for your day why not sit in the garden of the Park Café? It's a very civilised spot and the smell of freshly cooked food is quite tempting when I'm walking home from work.
The Carriage Drive
The Carriage Drive in Finsbury Park runs around the park and dates back to when it was first opened in the nineteenth century. This section runs down to the Finsbury Park gate and the grass along the left hand side is popular for casual soccer matches and sports training of all kinds. Often at weekends there'll be a charity 10k providing some colour and music and when there's not organised races there are always plenty of joggers going rahnd and rahnd and rahnd. You might even see some dirty pigeons.
Sunbathers like to stretch out on the grassy slopes at the centre of the park but for those of us who like to be more demure in the sun a bench by the flower beds is a quiet spot for a good ten minutes of getting some vital Vitamin D.
Those seeking a bit of leisurely exercise could do worse than hiring a boat and rowing around the lake for a while. You'll be accompanied by a variety of feathery friends but watch out for pirates. Right next door there's a big children's play area with water fountains and climbing frames plus another friendly café.
Past the lake you come to a series of sports areas with a little something for everyone. There's a skateboarding track next to the tennis courts. Just rock up and play if you can find a free court.
Further north there are volleyball and basketball courts that get really buzzy at the weekends.
From time to time film crews take over sections of the park for film and television production. Who knows which star you might stumble across as you stroll around? Nearby Crouch End is well-known for being the home of many London-based stars and of course the park is famous for its music festivals like the now sadly defunct Fleadh and the very much still going Wireless Festival. Did you know that Pharrell Williams once stayed in room G6 at the hotel?!
The Parkland Walk
If you have the time and the energy why not continue your stroll up the Parkland Walk? This footpath picks a traffic-free way through the city via Crouch End to Highgate and Hampstead beyond. You'll be in the company of joggers, dog-walkers and cyclists in an easy-going, nature-loving ramble.
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