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Get some parklife! Best family friendly parks in North London

The summer holidays are at large and luckily there is some sun to make them worthy of the name. Yesterday I bumped into a mum of three on her way to the same park for the second time in one day. It got me thinking about how a change is as good as a rest, and as we mums really need rest, here is a list (in no particular order) of our favourite parks for families in and around North London to encourage you to give a different park a try this holiday or weekend.

Best In North London: 

Why go there: Those of you in the know will recognise our photo as being of a sculpture in Golders Hill Park. We are big fans of Golders Hill with its free (small) zoo, butterfly house, large sandpit, ducks and beautiful open parkland. You can also walk from Golders Hill on to the Heath if you fancy a walk on the wilder side.

Food: Golders Hill has a good, small Italian restaurant and an absolutely fab ice cream parlour serving some of the best ice cream you can get in London.

Priory Park, Crouch End 

Why go there: A really fun park with a super playground, a very large paddling pool and large wide open spaces for exhausting children.

Food: The Fun Yum Cafe is a great cafe serving healthy food for kids and in summer kids can splash in the paddling pool while you relax with a paper.

Alexandra Palace Park

Why go there: There is so much to do at this park with a playground, a boating lake, a deer enclosure and indoor play at the fabulous Little Dinosaurs.

Food: With five cafes you are spoiled for choice. The Grove Cafe serves Italian deli style food. Little Dinosaurs serves healthy, homemade food and has a good kids menu. There is also a lakeside cafe, a cafe in the garden centre and the Bar and Kitchen.
Highgate Wood, Highgate

Why go there: Highgate Wood is a thoroughly peaceful place close to Highgate Tube. There is an excellent adventure playground that is separated into different age groups so is suitable for all.

Food: In our opinion, the best park cafe in North London. Time Out gave it four stars (full review here). A varied menu including healthy options, a daily homemade muffin and other luscious cakes.

Sunny Hill Park, Hendon

Why go there: There is a fairly good playground here but the main reason to come is definitely for the food!

Food: A close challenger for best park cafe, Sunny Hill Cafe serves absolutely awesome meditarranean style food including delicious falafel, mezze and shakshuka. Highly recommended in good weather when kids can run around the wide open space outside in full view, whilst you eat.

Queens Park

Why go there: There is so much to do here with a massive playground with large sandpit, fab splash pool and great play facilities. There is also a small farm. This is yummy mummy central though so stay away if that bothers you!

Food: The cafe serves nice light snacks and ice creams. Even better though is picking up a picnic from one of the many nice delis and bakeries nearby.

Best Around North London
Aldenham Country Park, Hertfordshire 

Why go there: This place is an absolute gem. Costing only £5 for the whole family at weekends and holidays and £4 at other times, it is real value for money. There is a small farm, an adventure playground, lovely woodland walks around the lake and 100 Aker Wood - a Winnie the Pooh themed area.

Food: There is a small kiosk selling ice creams, pasties and sandwiches but you are best to bring a picnic and eat in one of the lovely spots overlooking the lake.

Do you agree with our selection? Have we missed out your favourite park? Do tell us what you think and tell us if you visit any of these places that you haven't been to before.

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