London has wonderful parks and gardens to explore and autumn is a lovely time of year to enjoy the changing seasons and pretty colours. You’ll find beautiful parks right in the heart of London, such as Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, pretty Holland Park with its Japanese Gardens and St. James’s Park and Green Park near the Mayfair neighbourhood. Or there’s Regent’s Park where you can visit the London Zoo and Battersea Park just across the Thames from Chelsea. A park that many visitors haven’t heard of is Alexandra Park in North London’s borough of Haringey near Muswell Hill, a classic Edwardian suburb of London. Here you can explore 196 acres of parkland with amazing views overlooking the London skyline in the distance. Much of the park has been left untouched with large trees and a surprisingly rural feel. It’s perfect for enjoying autumn foliage with a great view of London!
Alexandra Park is home to Alexandra Palace, both of which are named in honor of Alexandra of Denmark, Princess of Wales and wife of King Edward VII. The palace opened in 1873 as a grand Victorian exhibition hall. The first building had a short life – burning to the ground just 16 days after opening! The success of the building’s opening—with over 124,000 visitors in the first two weeks—encouraged rebuilding, and the new Alexandra Palace opened in 1875. Alexandra Palace is now known as “The People’s Palace” or more affectionately as “Ally Pally.”
When the BBC transmitted the first high definition public TV programmes from Alexandra Palace, it had a resurgence in public popularity. From 1936 until 1980, when another fire devastated much of the building, the BBC transmitted from the palace using a tall mast located on one of the towers of the palace. Today the building functions as a conference and exhibition centre, hosting art fairs, concerts, wedding and trade shows and festivals.
From Alexandra Park you can enjoy views overlooking London in the distance. On the right you’ll spot the soaring Shard, the tallest building in Europe, and the other classic landmarks in the City and to left you’ll see the Docklands and Canary Wharf. It’s an impressive sight to see all of London spread out at your feet! If you’re looking for a different way to see and experience London, head to Alexandra Park for lovely views or an event at Alexandra Palace.
Image credits: Autumn in Alexandra Park by Zoë F. Willis, Alexandra Palace by Sarah, Alexandra Palace Blue Plaque by Jim Linwood, Alexandra Park view by Solveig Osk.