Highgate Wood

Attractions, Parks and gardens Highgate
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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Highgate Wood has an excellent and well-equipped playground, complete with sandpits, climbing equipment of various levels of difficulty and a zip wire that gets very busy at peak times. Great thought has gone into providing fun and challenges for the various age groups, and there’s a separate area for the under-fives to call their own. The playground is pleasantly shady in summer – cooler for all concerned, as well as making hats and sun cream less of a repetitive chore.


Venue name: Highgate Wood
Address: Muswell Hill Rd
N6 5UG
Transport: Tube: Highgate
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When your weekdays are made up of being underground, behind a desk or in a queue at Pret, you need to treat your weekend to something a bit more green. Or hues of orange; as autumn casts its spell over London’s most beautiful open spaces. Cue Highgate Wood.

It’s a registered charity, full of environmental preserves, historical features, a café and information centre. They even have trails for those wanting to pretend they’ve gone to the country for the weekend – allowing the authentic use of hashtags like #hike #trail and #woodland. Using those in London? Who’d have thought it…

It may seem as though you need a Cockapoo or an over-hyped six-year-old to gain entry to Highgate Wood. But that’s just the local’s Sunday-ing, dah-ling. Once you’ve given up counting how many you see, you’ll find nature being a real show off.

Located a stone’s throw away from Highgate tube station (although throwing of stones isn’t encouraged in the woodland – health and safety, obvs) you can’t miss the treetops that overlook Muswell Hill Road. The opening times vary throughout the year, but don’t worry about getting locked in. You’ll see the closing times displayed on signs when you get there.

There are several entrances to one of North London’s prettiest open spaces, so pay attention when you’re getting your Dora on. Rather than leaving a trail of sweets – need I remind you about Hansel and Gretel – perhaps take in unusual natural observations of what’s around you. Or go old school and head to the woods via Shoreditch, where you can pick up an over-priced vintage compass. Failing that, you’ve always got this generation’s answer to directions in your back pocket.

You’ll discover many areas have been fenced off, in order to encourage nature to kick back and do its thing without any human interference. If only such a thing were invented for us on a hangover, right? Highgate Wood is home to over 50 self-seeded trees and shrubs. Team that with 71 types of bird, plus foxes, grey squirrels, moths and butterflies – it really is the place to be if you’re at one with nature.

Whilst I can’t promise you the Teddy Bear’s picnics our parents had us believe were the happening thing in woods, if you’re lucky there could sure still be a big surprise. Did you know that seven bat species have been known to hang out in this green space? After dark, of course. But fear not, you can still catch a glimpse of these high-flying beauties on special walks, occurring throughout the year. You’ll discover when, and a whole load of other cool happenings on the noticeboards that are next to each of the entrances. If that wasn’t enough, lookout for the Wild Service Tree, a rare deciduous tree with brown berries, lurking in the depths of Highgate Wood. Showing that London really does have a wilder side than Soho on a Saturday night.