It was a grey but mild and dry morning when we set out from East Finchley tube station. We had a good turnout – there were 18 of us including late arrival Danny. Our gentle stroll started out through two pretty woods, Cherry Tree and Highgate woods and then proceeded along a disused railway line, the Parkland Walk Way, a very popular footpath with local families, dog walkers and joggers. The walkway finished at Finsbury Park where we stopped for a very pleasant lunch in a Turkish café, after a short delay, when we lost and found two of our group and did some celebrity spotting (choirmaster Gareth Malone). With full stomachs and a little reluctant to step out of a warm café, we made our way to the Woodberry Wetland Centre, where we did a circular walk around a small reservoir, covered with squawking ducks, geese, and seabirds, (but no interesting migrant birds that we could see) and fringed by a beautiful silvery reed bed. It is an area that was once neglected and occupied by a run down council estate but is now the site of a number of high rise class private apartment blocks, which in my view somewhat spoil the beauty of the wetlands. The walk finished at Manor House tube station, where part of the group decided to go back to the lunchtime café for tea and a cake, and the rest decided to continue their walk around an adjoining reservoir.
Extension to Clissold Park and Stoke Newington for tea and cake!
Eight of us carried on to the West Reservoir and made our way into the former Pumping Station, now a Better Leisure Centre for sailing and kayaking, with café. Cathy and Penny quickly bought tea or coffee and cake while the rest of us inspected the inside of the building, seasonal decorations and lone dinghy sailing on the reservoir. On leaving the building, Anna and Lois decided to go back to Manor House station by retracing their steps past the reservoirs. Dominique and Cathy took the shorter route back, while the rest of us carried on through Clissold Park to Stoke Newington. Spotting that the old parish church was open, we peeped in and were immediately entranced by a cheese stall amongst displays of Christmas gifts and cards. The cheesemongers let us sample their wares, cheeses similar to Brie and Camembert, lovingly made in Tottenham, and we were persuaded to buy! We carried on along Stoke Newington High Street, too late to hear Nick Clegg (amongst others) talking at the event in the Town Hall but still in time to stop in Caffeine ( C₈H₁₀N₄O₂ ) tea shop for a pot of tea, choice of amazing cakes or latte and flapjack. By now it was dark so we headed for the bus stop and ended up at Angel, Islington, and went our separate ways. An unexpectedly pleasant way to round off an interesting day!