10 Green Spaces You Must Visit in Islington
With the season of spring well underway, Chiara Fiorollo rounds up a collection of local green spaces sure to offer Islingtonites a relaxing, enviromentally-friendly afternoon out…
Last year, Islington was named London’s greenest borough. If you want to escape the concrete jungle that Central London has become of late, then why not seek refuge in one on of the many parks, playgrounds and small rural areas that this patch of the city offers?
In the event that this sounds like something of a daunting task, here’s our full guide to the green spaces in Islington which eco-devotees can’t afford to miss…
1. ISLINGTON GREEN
Based just off Upper Street, a mere five minute stroll away from Angel tube station, Islington Green represents a rare relaxing spot in a very busy area. Surrounded by shops, libraries and bookshops, it’s the perfect place to spend a nice afternoon in the company of a good book and warm cup of coffee.
2. CALEDONIAN PARK
Known for being the second-largest park in Islington, Caledonian Park is also home of the famous Caledonian Clock Tower, a building which last year received £2m for refurbishment and expansion from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Zone 2 park boasts community gardens – some of which can be hired for private events – as well as an orchard, a variety of flowers and grass meadows.
3. HIGHBURY FIELDS
Highbury Fields currently stands as Islington’s biggest park with its impressive 29 acres of green space. The location serves as both an ideal play area for youngsters and a great sporting venue with its housing of the Highbury Pool and Gym. What’s more, Highbury Fields plays host to a barbecue area, making it a perfect pick for picnics.
4. ELTHORNE PARK
Situated near Crouch Hill and Archway stations, Elthorne Park boasts a sizable games area perfect for basketball and football competitions. Whilst its opening hours depend on the time of year, the park can usually be roamed from around 8am onwards.
5. SPA FIELDS
Spa Fields is only a small park located right now to Exmouth Market, but it’s a venue which offers plenty of diverting attractions such as a large children’s playground and an aromatic lavender garden. Like Islington Green, it’s a cathartic spot ideally suited to anyone looking for a quick reprieve from the city’s stresses.
6. ROSEMARY GARDENS
Situated in east Islington, Rosemary Gardens houses a big football pitch, which can be booked either online or over the phone. Leisure organisation Better Facilities works with Islington Council to make sure that the borough’s residents get the most out of this sizable green space.
7. NEW RIVER WALK
Located in the N1 area near Canonbury Grove, New River Walk runs alongside a manmade river built hundreds of years ago which was once used to bring water into London. Some of the neighbouring park’s most notable – not to mention rarest – trees include a swamp cypress and a dawn redwood.
8. PARADISE PARK
Paradise Park is perhaps the most ideal green space in Islington for a family day out; with plenty of children activities, a nursery and an adventures playground for kids under five, the venue has a lot to offer London’s youngest citizens.
The Children’s Centre, run by the Islington Play Association (IPA), offers childcare and family support, while a nearby cafè provides fresh homemade food for visitors.
Right next to the park, you can find The Freightliners City Farm, a great attraction for both kids and adults. It’s a traditional British farm packed with adorable animals, not to mention an unexpected bee garden and series of beehives. They also run an adoption programme which lets people take care of rejected animals.
9. WRAY CRESCENT
Above all Wray Crescent is a must-visit for any cricket lovers, featuring the only such pitch in Islington and as such serving as the home of the local Pacific Cricket Club.
That said, those who enjoy other sports should look out for the outdoor pingpong tables as well as the dedicated football and basketball areas of the park.
10. BARNARD PARK
Located on Copenhagen Street, Barnard Park is one of Islington’s biggest green areas. As well as boasting a playground for kids packing a rather unique water feature, the park also features a free football pitch for any sport afficionados in the neighbourhood.