Access on Muswell Hill Road Highgate London N10 3JN
The traffic noise fades as soon as you’re through the gate. Having been coppiced by medieval serfs and hunted by bishops of London, this 70-acre remnant of an ancient woodland mentioned in the Domesday Book is a nature reserve ideal for lazy weekends. For the kids there are myriad creepy, furry, flitting things – wardens name over 70 species of birds alone – not to mention a huge playground. For everyone else there are lazy strolls through massive oaks and hornbeams; pick up nature/trail guides in the shelters by the playground or Pavilion Café. Queens Wood, on the other side of the road, is similar but quieter in high summer. A minor detour on a stroll up Parkland Walk, the wood is also one for all seasons. In spring, white wood anemone cover the ground in snow-like drifts, while in summer the wood is languid and lazy, perfect for picnics while watching a cricket match. You’d never guess that Highgate tube is just around the corner.