A 5 mile walk along the ex-railway that used to run between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace. The park can be accessed at several points along the trail and is a tranquil escape from the city. As a nature reserve, it is also home to plenty of woodland creatures.
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Tower Hamlets Cemetery
Just because there's a lot of inactive long-term residents here, doesn't mean there's not plenty going on all the time. This is one big nature reserve, filled with wildlife, and run by two separate charities who put on 120 free events a year, and 50 paid ones. We're talking wild food walks, bat watching, even scything courses. Plus it's a genuinely tranquil place to get away from things when you just need to clear your noggin. It also hosts the Shuffle festival run by Danny Boyle every year. Look out for the resident celebrity cat roaming the grounds, Dr. P.
A short trip south west of the city and you're in Painshill Park in Surrey. A bit like a fairytale, this 18th century landscape garden is full to bursting with magical features such as ruined follies, a crystal grotto, a waterwheel and a vineyard. Entrance is £7.70 per adult. Please check their website for opening times.
Salvation in Noodles
Different cultures have different solutions to sin... but in London, a trip to this Vietnamese joint should do it. Salvation in Noodles in North London is a popular spot for great noodles, Vietnamese fish cakes, and a host of local heroes like Dalston Cola. The menu is emblazoned with pictures of the Virgin Mary and other sin-redeeming imagery. We're not sure why, but instead of trying to figure it out, we recommend focusing on the food, which is bang on.
The Faltering Fullback
The Faltering Fullback’s charm begins with its vine-clad exterior and ends with its gorgeous terraced beer garden. Seriously, it’s one of, if not the, best beer gardens in London. You know what? Scratch the beer, this is one of the best gardens, period. Ya hear dat, Kew? Ya hear dat, Kensington? Yeah, you heard. The inside is pretty OK as well: pool tables, big-screen sportz for big-sportz fans, banging Thai food, quirky decor and all the beers you could reasonably expect. Honestly though, get yourself in that garden, pal. Just be prepared to fight for your spot, especially if there’s been any hint of sun that day - you know how we get.