The pandemic has seen so many people experience problems with their mental health or found themselves working to support friends and loved ones who are feeling the stress, pressure and uncertainty of lives that have been upended. This May’s Mental Health Awareness Week is the perfect chance to speak out, raise awareness, and help do something positive and important for the cause.
The benefits of the outdoors and exercise on health and wellness have long been established, but with a year of lockdown now behind us, many more have embraced it as support for their mental health.
Thankfully, Islington boasts some of the best parks, scenery and walking spots in London, and we’re encouraging our locals and visitors from further afield to get out there and get active. Here are just a few potential stops to visit:
- BARNARD PARK
Barnard Park is easily accessible to visitors looking for green space with different amenities. To those with children, the park offers a One O’clock Club on a drop-in basis for those with children aged birth to five and the club is also available to rent for children’s parties.
- HIGHBURY FIELDS
At 29 hectares, Highbury Fields is Islington’s largest open space and the ultimate space for a lunchtime walk. On the edge of the park you’ll find Highbury Leisure Centre which boasts two swimming pools and if that’s not enough, the park also has an amazing history, it is home to the Boer War memorial which was erected in 1905.
- CALEDONIAN PARK
Another one of our favourites is Caledonian Park which is home to a 155ft high Grade II listed Clock Tower which offers a beautiful viewing platform for panoramic views of north London and the City. Caledonian park is also the perfect picnic spot for friends and families to enjoy with its flower and nature gardens, a small orchard and woodland area.
- DISCOVERING ISLINGTON
The full walk is about 7km (4 miles) long and takes about two to three hours to complete. You can kick off your walk at Highbury & Islington underground station and end it with a nice meal or a little bit of retail therapy at Angel Central. As mentioned by the London Garden Trust, there are numerous things you can explore during your walk. The many green spaces have always been the perfect spots for city-dwellers with its clean air and freshwater spas. In the early 19th century once more houses were needed the country estates were broken up and the second wave of London’s network of residential gardens took shape.
- ISLINGTON CANAL WALK
The Regent’s Canal is 9 miles long and the numerous pubs, cafes and restaurants along the way make it the perfect walk for a weekend.. You can start your walk at the London Canal Museum to prepare yourself for what you are about to see and on the way pause at City Road Basin. This is where you can take boat trips, go fishing or simply just relax and watch the world go by.
Read more: Angel Central is officially Fitwel!