We’re working people at Way Out Far, so we have to plan our travel carefully and are all too aware that we cannot provide exciting adventures to readers all the time. This is why we hope that you find past stories, such as the Mongol Rally and The Rickshaw Run fun and interesting to read while you wait for our next road trip. Right now, we are counting down the days until The Edinburgh Festival and we’ll be doing that journey by train. In the meantime, we thought that we would hit our local area for a London road trip to show you that you can take great trips close to home – especially in the UK.
We booked our car for the day through ZipCar – which is a London car club that has vehicles parked all over London in convenient locations (such as the bottom of our road!) You access using a card that you touch to a sensor on the windscreen and pay by the hour which suits us as Londoners as we don’t always need to have a car.
The first stop on our journey was to one of our favourite buildings and views up at Alexandra Palace in Haringey. It holds a lot of fond memoires as Josh and I used to go up there quite a lot when we first met and Josh leant to drive going round and round the 20 mph roads. Alexandra Palace was built as a centre of recreation in 1873 and these days plays host to an ice rink, exhibitions and music events. During the 1930s it had a transmission tower built on the grounds (as it’s so high up) and the BBC leased an area of the grounds to transmit programs from and transmit to the British people. There’s a great newsreel showing these early transmissions here. There’s a view to rival anything you can see from Hampstead Heath or Primrose Hill and there’s so much to see on the grounds.
The day we went, it was beautiful sunshine, so we walked around the boating lake that is within the ground, visited the funfair that was on-site and took a long walk down the south slope. There used to be a horse racecourse at the bottom of this area up until the 1970s. London’s only racecourse! How times have changed…
The next leg of the journey took us over to Highgate Wood which is a 28 hectare (70 acre) area of ancient woodland in North London just to the east of Highgate Village. During the Medieval period, the wood was part of the Bishop of London’s hunting estate and over the years has changed names several times (Gravel Pit Wood being one of them) and in 1886 the area fell into the control of The Corporation of London where it was deemed to be a recreation area to be enjoyed by all Londoners. These days it’s full of dog walkers, people playing games, young children running around and exploring and nature enthusiasts, who are very well catered for with various walk and chance to see the local species of bat.
It had started raining, so we ducked out under a tree and watched the world go by, making a few new doggie friends and lamented about how peaceful and quite it was. We could have driven ten or one hundred miles today to the countryside to have got the same experience. The sound of the wind rustling the leaves of tress and the gentle noise of the birds singing and chirping is a universal one, but not one we hear that much living just off the A1. Just heading a mile or so up the road led us to this paradise where you can pretend for just one second that you are in the Lake District, New Forest or The Cotswolds (but without the farm smell I suppose…)
Our final stop was to revisit one of our favourite sights that we see on our way back into London after returning from a longer journey: Archway Bridge. I really love this bridge, so much so that I have spent quite a while over the past year collecting pictures and researching it’s history (see my Pinterest board here). It has another impressive view of the City, although it can get quite hazy some days.
This mini London Road Trip was made possible because of www.moneysupermarket.com, who paid bloggers to fill up their tank (or equivalent) and get on the road to show their readers that you can do a great road trip for £50.
We hoped that you enjoyed the video that we made and would love it if you subscribed to our YouTube Channel as we’ll be posting up more regular content to their very soon and it’ll be the quickest way to see them. You’re comments, as always, are welcome below!