New River Walk (No.5)

At the Hornsey Water Works the path turns right to go under the railway and then turns left into Western Road. A signpost at this point would have been helpful…. Walk along the left side of Wood Green Common, heading towards Station Road. (Wood Green Common is the very small remains, deforested, of the Forest of Middlesex.) At Station Road turn left, and shortly pick up the New River on the right hand side of the road. Here, too, is the beginning of the Wood Green Tunnel, completed in 1859 to remove a loop in the New River.

Wood Green Common
Wood Green Common
Wood Green Tunnel entrance
Wood Green Tunnel entrance

From Station Road walk northwards, over the New River,  to Avenue Gardens, and Nightingale Gardens, coming out on Bounds Green Road where a curious obelisk required a little diversion. The obelisk is in memory of Mrs Catherine Smithies who founded ‘Bands of Mercy’, a society concerned for humane treatment of animals and said to be a forerunner of the RSPCA. However, Lewis Gompertz, as early as 1824, had founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and spent his life promoting the aims of the Society.

Avenue Gardens
Avenue Gardens

Continuing northwards to Nightingale Road and then Truro Road, diverting left up Palmerston Road before turning left again into Myddelton Road where the New River reappears from the Tunnel (or disappers into it, depending on the direction of your walk!)

Myddelton Road offered another little diversion – a street market! Here is an outdoor exercice point with very full information about the New River and the Tunnel. Then a beautiful stretch of the New River up to the North Circular Road, and to my stopping point near Palmers Green station.

Myddelton Road Market
Myddelton Road Market
Just after crossing Whittington Road
Just after crossing Whittington Road
Church of ? just before crossing the North Circular Road
Converted church just before crossing the North Circular Road
The New River just before Palmer's Green station
The New River just before Palmer’s Green station

You may be interested in
Walking the New River
Another New River Walk!
Lewis Gompertz & the SPCA – interesting article



  1. What a lovely walk – I’m inspired to do it. Interesting about the Bands of Mercy. However they post-dated the inception of the English SPCA (as it originally was) by more than half a century – see the piece on Lewis Gompertz on the London Historians website.


    • Thank you for making the correction; I will amend post to include reference to the article. It is an interesting walk, although not endlessly beautiful. The London Historians walked the entire route in two days in 2013 – not my idea of fun anymore! I think it is one of those walks where you need to approach with the aim of active enjoyment!


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