Health and history walks

People enjoyhing a Mencap walk for people with learning disabilities on Highbury Fields

Explore Islington’s parks and rich history with an official guide

In partnership with Islington Guided Walks, the council will be offering a series of free health and history walks in Islington parks throughout 2030. Stroll at a gentle pace and appreciate some of Islington’s finest green spaces, while hearing about fascinating and inspiring local history. All walks are free: no need to book, just turn up!

Cally Park

Friday 27 January, 11am
Market Road, N7 9PL (meet at the Tolpuddle Cafe, by the clock tower)

Caledonian Park and its surroundings hide many clues to the area’s fascinating history. The iconic clock tower in the centre of the park tells the story of the 19th century meat market, while the park’s gardens and pond echo the 18th century pleasure gardens, where Londoners escaped the city. However, there was more than pleasure – political rallies, radicals, wealthy Danes and sporting heroes have all featured in the park’s history over the past 300 years.

The walk lasts 60–90 minutes and will start and end at the Tolpuddle Cafe by the clock tower.

Paradise Park and Mary Magdalene Garden

Friday 24 February, 11am
Paradise Park Children’s Centre, 164 MacKenzie Road, N7 8SE

Walk from Paradise Park to St Mary Magdalene church gardens and find out how 19th century streets and a churchyard became the lovely green spaces they are today.

Elthorne Park

Friday 31 March, 11am
Hazellville Road, N19 3NF (meet outside Islington Boxing Club)

Discover the stories of orphanages and workhouses and urban regeneration around Elthorne Park, Archway.

Rosemary Gardens

Friday 28 April, 11am
Southgate Road, N1 3DU (meet inside the park entrance by the bus stop)

A stroll around Rosemary Gardens – beautiful planting and local history, including an ancient inn, an old cobbled path and a lost church

New River Walk

Friday 26 May, 11am
St Paul’s Road, N1 2SY (meet inside the park, by the St Paul’s Road entrance)

Islington’s ancient canal drawing water from the Lea Valley down to Sadler’s Wells is celebrated in this gentle stroll in Canonbury

Dartmouth Park

Friday June 30, 11am
Darmouth Park Hill, NW5 1HL (meet at the park entrance)

Discover and admire superb, panoramic views across London and learn to identify the buildings that now dominate London’s skyline.

Joseph Grimaldi Park

Friday July 28, 11am
Cumming Street, N1 9JE (meet at the seating area by the entrance)

Explore Grimaldi Park and its surrounding streets. Discover a former graveyard and the people who lived through the transformation of Islington from fields to houses.

Newington Green

Friday 25 August, 11am
Newington Green, N16 9PX (meet at the Maggi Hambling statue of Mary Wollstonecraft)

Learn about Mary Wollstonecroft’s connections with local radicals and this ancient green in Canonbury.

Wray Crescent

Friday 29 September, 11am
Thorpedale Road, N4 3BW (meet at the park entrance)

Discover this small park near Finsbury Park, with the Yvonne Connolly community garden, named after the UK’s first Black female headteacher.

Whittington Park

Friday 27 October, 11am
Holloway Road, N19 4RE (meet inside the entrance, near the topiary cat)

A stroll through Whittington Park and Foxham Gardens. Discover the area’s history, ecology, community – and Dick Whittington’s cat!

Spa Fields

Friday 24 November, 11am
Skinner Street, EC1R 0DF (meet by the picnic benches, next to the park office)

Discover Spa Fields Park’s links to radical movements of 200 years ago.

Cally Park

Friday 22 December, 11am
Market Road, N7 9PL (meet at the clock tower)

For more than 150 years, Londoners crowded in Caledonian Park at Christmas time. Come and discover where Christmas goods were bought and sold and find many echoes of Christmases past.


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