So after the roaring success of Winter Wonderland on the Saturday, followed by a wonderful visit to the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition (which I would highly recommend), I followed this up with a Sunday stroll up to Alexandra Palace.
Now I have to say, the weather was on our side BIG time. It certainly wouldn’t have been such an enjoyable day had it been pouring down with rain. But with our sunglasses on and a picnic packed, we picked up the New River Path (which rather handily runs right past our flat) for the short 2 mile walk to this famous north London landmark.
Unfortunately, the part of the New River Path we needed was largely on the road, so there wasn’t much river to see. But it was still better than catching the train or bus and gave us some much needed fresh air and exercise after stuffing our faces at Pappagone’s the night before (favourite restaurant EVER).
Eventually we made it to the bottom of the hill upon which stood Alexandra Palace, standing tall and proud overlooking all of London. We slowly wended our way over the grass and picked up the main path leading up the building itself. Once at the top, we stopped and turned around to admire the fantastic panoramic views.
There is quite a lot to do at Ally Pally which I was pleasantly surprised about. We spent a little time admiring the view before reading about the history of the palace from the information boards set up on the car park side of the building (this made for a really interesting read). We then wandered over to the Rose Garden, a peaceful and secluded section which I’m sure has beautiful roses in bloom during the spring and summer months – not so much in December though unfortunately.
After this, we headed over to the boating lake which was bathed in the winter sun. A lovely little lakeside café was making the most of the nice weather, with all its outdoor tables occupied. At this point we decided it was time for lunch and so out came our picnic – and yes, we sat outside eating our sandwiches and crisps…in DECEMBER…with entertainment provided by the pedalos and people’s questionable driving abilities.
Once fed, we went to the Alexandra Palace Garden Centre, which I’d heard had a Christmas shop – yay Christmas! I could have easily spent hours in here. There were so many decorations and ornaments I wanted to buy to decorate our flat with, but I had to make do with one festive tea light holder.
By this point it was mid-afternoon aka. coffee and cake o’clock, so we walked back up to the palace and to the Bar and Kitchen. With hot chocolates, cappuccinos and carrot cake all round, this was a perfect end to a lovely day.
The sun was beginning to set around 3.45pm, so at this point we finished up and headed outside to see the beginnings of a beautiful sunset. We hopped on the W5 bus for the journey back, home in time to catch up on last night’s Strictly (oh yes) and enjoy a nice hearty homemade stew (thanks Tom).
All in all a brilliant day!