TOP 4 'Let's-Do-One' North London Parks

Written by: Harry Corton

1. Highbury Fields

There’s a nice local, communal feel about this place. A much warmer atmosphere than the parks in Central, that are often filled to the brim with out-of-towners *shakes stick*. Set slap-bang in the middle of North London, this wonderful green space is a worthy locational compromise for you and your crowd. Particularly with its proximity to Highbury & Islington station (a two-minute walk), which will tempt your set of Hackney based pals to this delectable area via the fast and easy Overground line.

On hot days, expect vast gatherings of affable sunbathers, ball game players and plumes of smoke and great smells emanating from multiple BBQ’s, which the council welcome. The field is big enough to not feel cramped, but small enough to make for a sociable, chilled out vibes.

BEST FOR: Grilling meat and halloumi with your best pals on the weekend. Don’t forget the boombox!

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2. Clissold Park

An absolute gem of a discovery. The park’s centrepiece is the old 18th century manor house (which has just undergone a multi-million pound makeover), now home to a wonderful café with seating on the well-kept lawn outside. There’s surely no better spot in North London to enjoy afternoon tea after a stroll.

Gawp at the animals who call the park home (you’re never too old) such as deer, goats, exotic birds and chickens. In 2006 the park was awarded a Green Flag Award, which recognises the best green spaces in the UK.

A vast offering of fun means that everybody’s leisurely desires are well catered for. Equally, the vastness means you could always find a quiet spot to get some work done when it’s just too sunny to be cooped up inside.

BEST FOR: Showing your visiting folks you do actually know some nice cultural spots to take afternoon tea and discuss the referendum.

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3. Hampstead Heath

Spread across 800 acres, this is one for the intrepid fun forager inside all of us (often only escaping when the mercury rises). The real novelty of this space is that, when city living is trying your patience and you need a reminder of the countryside you used to inhabit before you upped sticks and moved to the big smoke, this place is your sanctuary… quite literally, as it’s a hub of biodiversity.

It will change your perception of what an adequate amount of activity to fit into Sunday fun-day is. There’s a zoo, a lido, three swimming ponds if you want to go full Bear Grylls (minus the danger as they’re monitored daily by lifeguards), as well as a tonne of organised sporting activities like tennis and cycling.

BEST FOR: Replacing lolling about at home on  a Sunday nursing your hangover (to no avail). Get out, get walking, get fit and clear your head. Earn that roast dinner. Thank us later.

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4. Gas Holder Park

It’s impossible to forget the urban industrial heritage of the area here, but it’s more of a polite reminder than an overbearing dictation. The gas holder itself has been restored and shiny new columns now line the perimeter making this small space seem ten times bigger. George Clarke eat your heart out!

It’s happily tucked away on the north bank of Regents Canal, with the train tracks on the other bank, providing colourful views and thankfully well away from any dusty roads and stress-inducing traffic noise.

Unfortunately, it currently feels (in fact, is) like it’s in the middle of a building site, with flats being finished (this Xmas) around it. Don’t let that put you off though, as on Bank Holidays and Sundays there’s no work being done, allowing you to enjoy the sacred bliss of the canal-side in peace.

BEST FOR: Impressing that architecture student from Tinder with a bottle of wine one evening, perhaps after a cycle along the canal from Camden Town, under the low bridges.

Highbury Fields Photo: David Holt
Gas Holder Park Photo: Robin Webster

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Theatre of Choice: Stick and Twisted by Hivemind

Hivemind are coming to the Hen and Chickens Theatre this Summer with a cracker of an innovative show. Three directors try to win over the audience with improvised stories acted out by the rest of the Hivemind cast on the spur of the moment. As each scene ends you decide whether to “stick” and see where the story goes or “twist” and let the next director take over. The director who ends up with the least scenes acted out has to pay a ‘terrible forfeit’. Told you it was harsh.

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Eat & Drink

Hidden Culinary Gem: The Lacy Nook

We have been wondering whether or not to share this secret gem with you for a while now. Having walked past Cazenove Road on many a drunken occasion, we’d spotted The Lacy Nook A Board luring us inwards with a siren’s call of cocktails and beer garden. But unfortunately we’d get the timing all wrong and they’d rarely be open. “Closed at 4am! How ludicrous?” we’d holler, slurring and swaying up the road. Until now. Opening last year, The Lacy Nook is a collaboration between two friends who turned to Kickstarter to help them achieve this culinary dream . Think small and large plates of fusion Balkan BBQ, salads and carpaccio alongside

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Playing Up: New NYT Show, Three

This year, Playing Up have commissioned a new play by Sophie Ellerby (HighTide First Commissions Writer and NYT REP Company 2013), Three, which will be staged at the Arcola Theatre from 20th to 22nd July. The urban and domestic drama, directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland follows three sisters who fight to keep track of reality as their world is turned upside down.

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Laughable Acts at Backyard Comedy Club

Tonight, on this dull yet sweaty Monday, what you may well need is to show your confectionary based fillings to the ceiling and let it all out with a huge bellowing guffaw about nothing in particular. Let the likes of quick witted Josie Long, surreal twosome Max and Ivan and the downright uproarious Tom Parry help you escape the chocolate lacking reality of 2017.

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Fur Dates: Lottie is Looking for Love

Registered charity, All Dogs Matter are a dog rehoming centre based in Archway. They use a mixture of foster homes and kennel spaces to house their dogs, who are each looking to be fostered or adopted. Occasionally we look through their profiles of beautiful singletons looking for love and feature one at random. We interviewed one newly single lady in particular called Lottie. A fun spirited character with smooth hair and a huge grin, Lottie was a right laugh.

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Get Involved: Cally Road Jumble Trail

Next Sunday it’s the Cally Road Jumble Trail, run by the community. Think a car boot sale but on the street with vintage clothing, accessories, toys, original creations and cakes if you’re lucky. The whole of the trail is set up online over at where visitors get a colour coded map to explore and discover all the hidden treasures on offer from your neighbourhood.

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Lifestyle List

Top Four ‘What the Deuce!’ Wimbledon Screening Spots

You’ve got your socks pulled up but no Cliff Richard in sight. You’re all white shorted up with nowhere to go. It’s time to find out where your white headbanded self will fit in. Here's our top four Wimbledon screening hang outs to try this Summer.

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Eat & Drink Events

Midsummer Fizz Masterclass at Yield N16

Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.

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Eat & Drink

World Foods Market, Abney Hall

Abney Public Hall is hosting a market of world food delicacies next weekend, having gathered together the creme de la creme of planet Earth’s cuisine. Prepare for a mass fusion of cultures, great food, drink and music just off Stoke Newington Church Street.

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Quiz: How Gentrified Are You?

Otherwise known as the shoredification of London, there are four stages of denial when it comes to dealing with the inevitability of gentrification. Are you a dilapidated ol’ boozer clinging on to the same threads since 1989, or more of a craft beer-swilling/moustache-bearing pop up type propping up the bar at a cookie dough cafe? Let’s find out before your bedroom’s transformed in to a pop up belfie gallery.

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Eat & Drink Events

Poop poop! Supper Club Banquet at Toad Hall

Poop poop! Get your driving gloves on and tweed jackets ready, for Toady has invited us down to Toad Hall for a banquet on the riverbank. Join The Literary Hour for their all new immersive supper club experience this Summer. It’s the eighth in their series of book themed events with multi-sensory five course meals featuring additional surprises… Ooh ratty!

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Comedians, Rappers, Actors: Open Mic Night in Stokey

Every last Thursday of the month a motley crew of performing acts shuffle off to the skinny little Moustache Bar on Stoke Newington Road for a night of microphone hogging. It’s Open Mic night and the stage isn’t just available to acoustic guitar yielding crooners. The floor is open for all you comedians, rappers, poets, hell even actors are welcome to come tread the boards at Moustache Bar this Thursday 27th July.

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Events Lifestyle

Walking Tour of Stokey's Rebel History

Ah Stokey. You chilled out little rebel of North London. The seemingly easy breezy, laissez-faire attitude that appears to exude from every award winning eatery and baby clothes shop of Church Street is all but an organic hessian veil over it’s anarchic and rebellious history. Nonconformists, anti fascists and dissenters built the area as we know it.

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Eat & Drink

Eating North London: Punjabi Supperclub Recipe

Trying our luck, we decided to ask the wonderful Raina and Saira of Joginder Supper Club to give us some unseen insight in to their centuries old Punjabi recipes. Amazingly they agreed to shed some light on one of their most tasty dishes: the Bhoolghobi Tamatar (cauliflower with tomato and potato). Over to the experts...

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Culture Eat & Drink Lifestyle

North London Bike Tour: Tour De North Four

So this July 198 cyclists head over to Germany to start the Tour de France. If you think that is weird, wait till I tell you it started in Yorkshire a few years ago. Anyway after the three days of the Grand Depart the spectacle of the world's biggest sporting event heads back to France and the action really begins.

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Glastonbury Comes to North London

Did you take one look at the ticket prices for Glastonbury, vomit in your mouth and close your laptop slowly? Did you get a debilitating case of FOMO scrolling through your friends Glastonbury pics and “oops lost my phone at Radiohead” status updates? Or did you actually go to Glastonbury, witness Jon Snow drop the f bomb and now know that life will never get any better