A guide to the best things to do and attractions in North London, including visiting Camden Passage, Highgate Cemetery, Alexandra Palace and the Emirates Stadium.
Set in a large hillside park with fine views over London, "Ally Pally" opened in 1873 as a Victorian "people's palace" that at its peak attracted 70,000 visitors a day. Closed in 1889, it was later taken over by the BBC who made the world's first television broadcast from here in 1936. Today it is used for exhibitions, performances and sports events, and you can also have fun visiting an ice rink, boating lake and deer enclosure.
Once devoted to antiques, this small run of narrow lanes near Angel is today home to a range of specialist shops that are supplemented by market stalls every Wednesday and Saturday. Vintage clothes, period crockery, Japanese prints, African waistcoats, designer wools, high quality chocolates-- it's all worth a browse and there are also several pubs and cafés where you can get a drink and a bite to eat.
Founded in 1886, Arsenal Football Club has been a major feature of North London life since 1913. Known as "The Emirates", its current, 60,000-capacity ground opened close to Holloway Road in 2006. Sports fans can visit the memorabilia-filled Arsenal Museum and take an hour-long stadium tour - including a premium experience led by a team "legend" such as Charlie George or Perry Groves.
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
Eric Estorick was an American art dealer with a passion for 20th-century Italian art who established this elegant museum in Canonbury shortly before his death in 1993. As well as a permanent collection that includes key works by the Futurists, Modigliani and de Chirico, there are stimulating temporary exhibitions plus a small garden café and shop.
This atmospheric, Grade I-listed Victorian cemetery has many famous residents including Karl Marx, George Eliot and Beryl Bainbridge. It is split into two parts-- the easily accessed East Cemetery, which offers plenty of interest with its ivy-clad tombstones and poignant memorials, and the wilder West Cemetery which can only be visited on an hour-long guided tour. A map showing key graves is on sale at the entrance.
Set in a 20-acre park with a children's playground and sports facilities, this much-altered 16th-century manor house is now a large museum devoted to the history of Haringey and the borough's many famous residents - including Sir Rowland Hill, who reformed the British postal service, and the Hungarian David Gestetner, who invented the forerunner of the modern photocopier. A red-brick tower from 1516 somehow survives just beside the entrance, which was probably built to house hunting birds.
Opened in 2008, this impressive modern arts venue is at the forefront of the regeneration of King's Cross. Two concert halls, art galleries, a canalside restaurant and a lively programme of cultural events make it well worth visiting-- the interior of Hall One is faced entirely with oak veneer that came from a single, 500-year-old tree from Germany.
Little Angel Theatre
Founded in 1961, this 100-seat children's puppet theatre occupies an old temperance hall in Islington. It puts on lively, innovative shows that amuse and amaze both old and young audiences. Some performances are "baby-friendly", others aimed at two to five year-olds, the rest are for anyone aged six and older.
London Canal Museum
Originally built in 1863 for the ice cream-maker Carlo Gatti, this small and enthusiastically run King's Cross museum sits beside the Regent's Canal and still has a well once used to store ice shipped down from Norway. Exhibits on two floors tell the story of England's canals and the lifestyle they supported, and include some entertaining archive films. There is also a bookshop and an events programme with towpath walks and children's activities.
This delightful hillside park and arts venue in Highgate was given to the public in 1889 by the printing magnate Sir Sidney Waterlow. Its centrepiece is Lauderdale House, now a performance and exhibition space with a busy programme of cultural events and a restaurant. Ponds, gardens and a children's playground make this a popular spot for families, and the shops and restaurants of Highgate Village are close by.