New River - Palmers Green to Stamford Hill

4 November 2007

After yesterday's longer Thames Path walk, today Stephen and Henry continued their walk along the New River, picking up where the route was left off at the end of their walk to Palmers Green.

Safely across Green Lanes from our start point, we dive down steps to reach the New River once more.

Henry pleased to be continuing his progress towards Islington.

Here we are on the banks of the New River, on an aqueduct over Pymme's Brook, itself coming underneath the East Coast Mainline railway.

A tediously circuitous route then followed to cross the four lanes of the North Circular Road, walking under the railway to the bridge in the distance and then tramping its extraordinarily long ramps to get to the top and then the ramps on the other side, then the walk back along the road. Only about 500 metres in total, but for a net gain of 20 metres it was a long way round.

Safely away from the traffic again for a while, we return to a more tranquil bit of the New River Path

After another short road diversion along Palmerstone Road, we returned to the banks of the New River, and here are approaching Wood Green Tunnel. The embanked section we have just left and this cutting and then tunnel were built in 1859 and made loops of the New River through New Southgate redundant and reduced the length of the New River by nearly 1.5 km.

Above the tunnel is a series of parks and green spaces

The River eventually emerges near Alexandra Palace station

Looking south from near the tunnel exit towards Station Road.

Wood Green Common. This was to become rather more familiar than intended. The map I have of the route (from the Thames Water booklet) is good as an overview but not good for detail, and so it is well that the signing had been very good up to this point. However, as a result when the sign pointed north-east back towards Station Road, we followed it (albeit with a degree of anxiety), and when there was no sign when we reached Station Road, we completed the circle back to the tunnel exit and re-examined the map on the information board in case it was any clearer than the booklet, but it was not. So, having done one and a half circuits of Wood Green Common, I ignored the sign and went south along Western Road, which proved to be the right decision (although totally unconfirmed by additional signing).


Once underneath the railway, we emerged on the banks of the New River, and gaze across the old reservoirs and filter beds, with Alexandra Palace on the hill behind.

With a continued lack of signing, we pressed on through these new housing developments (named New River Village), built on Hornsey water treatment works. When we got to the far end, it transpired that the New River Path was closed, but with echoes of the closure on our previous walk, there were no helpful signs, maps or descriptions of alternative routes.

The redundant Hornsey Pumping Station, now a bar and restaurant.

Across Hornsey High Street, the New River dives under the railway once more, but we must follow Turnpike Lane and Wightman Road for a little while.

We then escape the noisy traffic for the banks of the New River once more, with the East Coast Mainline behind the wall to the right.

However, not for too long, as the New River again dives underground for a little while

And we take to Wightman Road again

After a roadside plod, it is good to reach Finsbury Park, where the New River cuts across the pleasant greens and browns.

Here we join the route of the Capital Ring for a while

Across Green Lanes, we continue along the New River Path and Capital Ring. Soon afterwards, we leave both to walk to Stamford Hill station and the train home.

Total 9.6km (including circular confusion and link to station) - 8.4km of the New River Path, 75 metres of ascent, in 2 hours 7 mins.

The New River Path continues towards its conclusion in Islington...


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson