Best parks and green spaces in leafy North London for kids
Insider guide exclusively created for guests at Green Rooms art hotel by Sylvia Dietz, member of the Green Rooms team and a North London local and mum
London is home to a surprising amount of green areas, from tiny woodlands to vast swathes of greenery. Why not get your boots on and have a day of exploring to find your favourites. Read on to find the best spots for sunbathing, picnics, playgrounds and boating - all within easy reach of Green Rooms hotel.
Sandwiched between East Finchley and Highgate Village, Highgate Wood is a charming little haven. At 28 acres this ancient woodland is perfect for a gentle stroll in the afternoon with plenty of accessible woodland trails to be enjoyed by all the family. Children will love the adventure playground complete with sand pits, climbing structures and even a zip wire.
Food and drink: Stop at the well stocked cafe and enjoy a refreshing ice cream, homemade salad or scrumptious sandwich.
Priory Park offers an impressive number of family friendly attractions, highlights include a croquet lawn, tennis courts, and even a football pitch. There is also a formal garden and a well-designed playground to keep your little ones entertained for hours.
Food and drink: Open daily, Priory Park Pavilion is home to the Parks café which services a range of light refreshments.
Insider tip: Come for the outdoor film screenings across the summer and enjoy a truly intimate cinema under the stars.
One of London’s most beautiful parks, ‘Ally Pally’ is home to the ‘People’s Palace’, built 150 years ago as a Victorian Pleasure Ground. Among its attractions is the grand boating lake, where you can choose from a pedalo or a classic rowing boat to while away the afternoon.
In December 2018 the historic Alexandra Palace Theatre, first opened in 1875, will re-open following a major refurbishment. The opening programme will offer something for everyone from a performance by Gareth Malone, to an evening with Gilbert and George in conversation, via jazz musicians from the world famous Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in Soho. Ahead of its December opening, the theatre will host a BBC proms performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury.
Food and drink: Ally Pally has two refreshment points at Grove Café, open Tuesday to Sunday, and Lakeside Café, situated alongside the Palace.
Insider tip: In the wintertime, the ice rink inside Alexandra Palace offers the perfect way to keep the whole family entertained.
A serious contender for the best playground in London, Finsbury Park is a haven for families on a sunny day. You can easily spend the whole day exploring the slides, sandpits, climbing frames and arial walkways, all against the beautiful backdrop of the boating lake.
Food and drink: In the middle of the park, you will find a brand new café serving tasty snacks all day long. Just outside the southern edge of the park, you will find North London’s best bagel shop, The Happening Bagel Bakery - definitely a must try if you’re in the area.
Lee Valley Country Park
A little further afield, but well worth the journey, Lee Valley is a giant park, at 1000 acres. Perfect for a long cycle or to experience the River Lee by boat, there are plenty of things to do throughout the summer.
Food and drink: Stop off for lunch at The Bumblebee Cafe with locally sourced sausages and chips or for little ones, choose from the specially designed kids menu.