Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London



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25 February 2011

Wander in Highgate Wood

The 70 acre ancient woodland between Highgate Village, East Finchley and Muswell Hill predates the human habitations that surround it, and is part of the original landscape which made up the London seen by prehistoric tribes and Romano-Britons, whose own presence is evidenced by the discovery of flints and pottery production in the Northern half of the wood.

Whilst some may consider it a little early in the year for a woodland walk, your author has it on good authority that now is an excellent time, with the first buds and catkins emerging, some plants starting to emerge on the woodland floor, and the lack of leaves affording good bird and squirrel spotting in the branches above.

In medieval times the wood was part of the Bishop of London’s hunting estate, and between the 16th and 18th centuries it was leased in parcels to private tenants for coppicing. By the 1880s, with the last tenant having given up his lease and with the local community fearing the sale of the wood for development as the railways arrived, the chuch made the decision to pass it into the care of the City of London, who maintain it to this day.

For more on Highgate Wood, click here. If you are looking to work Highgate Wood into a longer walk, you could try this one.

^Picture © snappybex used under Creative Commons^


  1. I love the beautiful morning light you captured there! And it is never too early in the year to take a nice long walk in London.