Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Photowalk: Highgate Wood to Alexandra Palace

Crow in Highgate Wood

On Sunday morning I was up bright and early to meet up with friends Melizza, Greg, Sara and Chris for a walk around Highgate, Muswell Hill and Alexandra Palace.  We all met up at Highgate tube station at noon and headed into Highgate Wood. 

Highgate Wood

It was a lovely warm day (which is pretty lucky as I had ventured out without a coat!) but as you can see from these photos, spring has no intention of making an appearance until we get some rain!

Waiting for Spring

After spending all of half an hour in Highgate Wood, we rushed off to The Quarters Cafe on Archway Road for some much needed refreshments and food.  We then walked up to Highgate Village and caught a bus to Muswell Hill where we visited Alexandra Palace.

Alexandra Palace

Known locally as Ally Pally, Alexandra Palace is a stunning example of Victorian architecture and it sits right at the top of a hill overlooking north and central London.

Palm Court Entrance

Blessed with beautiful blue skies and sunshine, we approached the famous Palm Court Entrance of the palace from the south.

The Shard from Alexandra Palace

The views from Alexandra Palace are amazing.  Above, you can see the view to the south and if you click on the photo, you will be able to make out the Shard just left of centre. 

View to south east from Alexandra Palace

This is the view to the south-east.  I think these three girls had the right idea to sit in the sun and gaze into the distance!

Rose Window and Antenna

This is the renowned rose window on the south east front of the palace and the world famous Marconi antenna to the right.  Alexandra Palace was never really a palace, it was built as a place of recreation and entertainment in 1873.  It rose to worldwide prominence in 1936 when it became the home of the BBC and the world’s first regular TV service was broadcast from here.  Wikipedia says that the iconic radio antenna is still in use today.

The Rose Window Alexandra Palace

No visit to Ally Pally is complete without view the splendid Palm Court.  This is a domed conservatory and is maintained at a rather humid temperature to benefit the collection of palms and exotic plants.

Inside the Palm Court Alexandra Palace

You can get a feel for the scale of this magnificent area if you contrast it with the tiny little boy in the photo above. 

Victorian Detail Palm Court Alexandra Palace

You can read all about the colourful history of palace and the shenanigans surrounding its construction over at Alexandra Palace London: a peoples' palace.  Hels, I couldn’t help thinking of you when I visited the Palm Court and I knew you’d appreciate these photos!

Highgate Wood
1 Shepherds Cottages/Muswell Hill Rd
London
N10 3JN
Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace Way
London
N22 7AY
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15 comments

  1. We must go on more photowalks! I haven't been to Little Venice (is it by Warwick Avenue?) and would love to walk around there.

    Great photos! I need to get around to uploading mine soon.

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  2. We are off to Alexandra Palace at the end of the month, to the International Festival of Railway Modelling! this has been an annual fixture in our calendar ever since S was two years old, in buggy and nappies. He has never wavered in his love for model railways.

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  3. Absolutely - Ally Pally must have been a great leisure centre when it opened in 1873 - the architecture was splendid, the view amazing and the entertainments were special. But all good things change, don't they?

    I will go back and create a link to this post because your photos are delightful.
    Thanks
    Hels
    http://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com.au/2009/10/alexandra-palace-london-peoples-palace.html

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  4. I also wonder when we will finally have spring...they say that the weekend is supposed to be warm and sunny +20:)


    Life and travelling
    Cooking

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  5. Those blue skies have disappeared on my return. Will try and get down to London Bridge later this week.

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  6. Some great shots there - I used to live at the bottom of the hill next to Ally Pally. I really miss going up there on a Saturday morning for some bracing clean air and the view over town... There used to be a lovely vegetarian restaurant in the park too, but I think that's been gone for many a year...

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  7. @ Melizza: it's a definite yes to Little Venice!!

    @ Jenny: ooooh, that sounds like a fantastic event!!

    @ Hels: thank you! I thought you would enjoy them.

    @ Ola: I don't want to speak too soon, but I really think spring is on the way here. I've seen crocuses and big and little daffodils!

    @ Mo: oh no! And we expect rain and clouds until at least Sunday.

    @ Pete: it must have been lovely to live right there! How charming!

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  8. ally pally looks like a great place to visit.
    thanks so much for this beautiful and interesting pictorial tour!

    i just want more:)

    big hugs!

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  9. What a great little trip! It has been so springy here last couple of weeks, that I'm worried about a bad freeze. I hope not! So enjoying the great weather :)

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  10. I'm so jealous. It seems to have been far too long since I found some time to go out with my camera, especially in some nice weather. Great pics Emm

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  11. What an elegant building and I really like the spacious interior! It looks like you are having better whether than us this weekend.

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  12. Your blog has a big following! Are all these commenters expats in London? And who is Sarah? Why hasn't she come to any of our meetups!?

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  13. @ Betty: It is definitely worth visiting for the views alone!

    @ Ivanhoe: I have the exact same concerns!! It is so lovely here but is the worst really over??

    @ Jono: I'm looking forward to a long, lovely summer of photography!

    @ AVCr8teur: me too. It was really warm in there, to maintain the tropical plants. This last weekend brought us some much needed rain but wasn't as pretty as last.

    @ Jen: Um, not really. I have bloggy friends in the US, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, UK, France, Belgium, Serbia, Italy, UK, Norway, Russia, and many other countries (I am sure I've left out some important countries). I'd get a bit bored if I only read blogs from London! Sara was at the bowling but left before you arrived.

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  14. The views from Alexandra Palace are maybe not quite as special as those from Primrose Hill, Parliament Hill or even Greenwich Park but they are definitely worth taking a trip over to North London to experience.

    There is great wee walk with some great views along the old railway line that would have taken you from beside Highgate Wood would to Alexandra Palace... much more fun than the bus.

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  15. What a fun place to do a photo walk. Such scenic views and the building is so gorgeous.

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