5 great places in north London to get away from the summer crowds

The City viewed from the top of Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath

The City viewed from the top of Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath - Credit: Polly Hancock

With summer finally upon us here in north London, everyone is out to enjoy the warm weather.

But whether you want to exercise some Covid caution or just enjoy some peace and quiet, there are still spots in north London where you can appreciate the sun without fighting for a picnic spot.

Here are five places to bask in the warm weather, away from the bustle of city life.

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath - Credit: PA

Obviously! This list would not be complete without a mention of north London’s greatest asset. The Heath is no secret, but it is vast with quieter areas to reflect and enjoy the delightful weather.


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The calmest parts tend to be in the north west, away from the hubbub of the beautiful Kenwood House and the magnificent views of Parliament Hill.

Parkland Walk

Parkland Walk

Parkland Walk - Credit: Polly Hancock

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A rogue first choice perhaps but Parkland Walk is simply so long that you are bound to find your own solace somewhere on this three-mile stretch of converted train track.

The route runs from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace and the views on the highest part of the walk facing towards central London are glorious, especially in the summer sunshine.

Highgate Wood and Queen’s Wood

Highgate Wood

Highgate Wood (in the autumn) - Credit: Michael Hammerson

Some more well-known favourites of the North London scene here. Highgate and Queen's Woods are not places that sun-worshippers would head straight for but those seeking the cool shade of the trees will be thankful they made the trip.

These expanses of ancient woodland are oases in the city. With Highgate station only metres away, these woods are a calming break from the sun.

Darland’s Lake Nature Reserve

Darland's Lake Nature Reserve

Darland's Lake Nature Reserve - Credit: Geograph/Terry Burgess

Anonymous even to locals, this small nature reserve is surrounded by rolling hills between Totteridge and Mill Hill. The sanctuary features a pond with waterfowl and migrating birds. For the human explorer, it is serenely quiet.

Despite being well within Greater London, the adjacent fields could be in Hertfordshire with pleasant pastures and empty footpaths. The reserve is close to Woodside Park Station

Trent Country Park

Trent Country Park, Barnet

Trent Country Park - Credit: Geograph/Des Blenkinsopp

Right at the end of the Piccadilly Line beyond Cockfosters Station is a glorious expanse of open parkland, set in the grounds of a former country estate.

Trent Park offers a chance to leave behind the stuffiness of our wonderful city for a brief spell of peace. The park was supposedly designed by England’s finest landscaper Capability Brown.

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