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Known affectionately to locals as ‘Ally Pally’, Alexandra Palace in North London is a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon.
At Alexandra Palace, take in incredible panoramic skyline views of London, learn more about its history or simply buy organic produce at the farmer’s market – you can also ride on a giant swan pedalo on the boating lake!
Last line of intro – Here is our Alexandra Palace guide including lots of things to do:
Table of Contents
Alexandra Palace Viewpoint
We start our 2023 Alexandra Palace guide with the view from the top of the hill at Alexandra Palace, looking over North London and easily one of London’s best panoramic views. It’ll likely be the first thing you notice as you arrive and advance up the hill, especially if you’re driving or getting a bus here.
From the top of the hill at Ally Pally, you’ll be treated to stunning views of London, and on a clear day you can make out all the main attractions in London including the Shard and the Walkie Talkie.
At night, free from a lot of light pollution (as street lighting here is at a minimum), you’ll also see clear evening views of the city. This is Ally Pally at its most stunning.
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Alexandra Palace Building
Elegant and ornate (particularly the Rose Window section), this Grade II listed building opened in May 1873 to coincide with Queen Victoria’s birthday – although no actual royalty have ever lived in Alexandra Palace.
Although parts of Ally Pally are restricted for commercial usage or events, you can still wander inside for free and see former artefacts used in its heyday, like an old BBC television camera.
Alexandra Palace is now most popular as a venue for live bands (we have seen Blur and Arcade Fire play here), and world-class events, such as the PDC World Darts Championship which have been held here since 2007.
More recently, the Kaleidoscope Music Festival has found a home here at Ally Pally. An information desk is located inside which has flyers and leaflets relating to all the upcoming events.
Hosting around 30 stalls of fine farm produce and organic food every Sunday between 10am and 3pm, Alexandra Palace Farmers Market is one of North London’s best weekly food markets.
From meats and sauces to pies and pickles, you’ll find something to suit all tastes here – the Ally Pally Farmers Market has dozens of stalls selling good quality local produce such as raw milk, organic meat, fresh fruit & veg, bread, jam and chutneys, cakes and more – plus lots of craft and street food stalls – just remember to bring your own bags.
Amazingy, the Alexandra Palace Farmers Market celebrates its 20th anniversary this year in 2023 – we also love the Ally Pally park setting and all the cute coffee trucks and vans. It is dog friendly too.
ADDRESS: Muswell Hill, London N10 3TG
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Fancy something a little more sedate? How about riding on a giant swan on the Alexandra Palace boating lake?
If swan sailing isn’t for you, there are the more traditional rowing boats also available for hire, or if you’d rather just watch others, sit down and enjoy drinks and hot snacks in the nearby Lakeside Cafe.
Alexandra Palace Theatre
Opened in 1875, the Alexandra Palace Theatre is a beautiful Victorian playhouse that sadly closed down for around 80 years (it was even used as a BBC workshop for many years.
Thankfully, the theatre has now reopened after construction work on 2016 – the Ally Pally theatre cutely refer to themselves as “London’s newest old theatre”
Recently acts such as Jools Holland and Badly Drawn Boy have played here – regular comedy acts and live gigs occur plus we’ve also spotted an outdoor comedy tent at Ally Pally in the past.
Address: Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY
Monkey around in the forest by visiting Go Ape, an action adventure activity centre with various zip slides, canopy walkways and treetop rope courses.Klook.com
Other Alexandra Palace attractions
There are lots of other attractions and activities at Alexandra Palace including:
A 10 pitch and putt course
Set against a sloped embankment – £7.50 per adult (£6.50 off peak) as at March 2022; £3 club and ball hire (just don’t blame us if you get stuck in bucker).
Alexandra Palace Garden Centre
Open 7 days a week and located on the south side of the park – they have a cafe onsite and a Victorian style greenhouse.
A simple, free to use skatepark (quite grey in colour) with several ramps and grinds.
Ally Pally Petanque courts
Free to use and play French boules.
Alexandra Park Little Dinosaurs
A soft play centre for kids with a cafe for adults.
Nearby to Alexandra Palace
After you’ve finished at Alexandra Palace, you could continue your adventure by either walking to nearby Muswell Hill (approx 10 minute) walk. This is a neighbourhood village chock full of cafes, delis, shops and entertainment such as the Everyman Cinema.
Or you can stroll to Crouch End, an artsy enclave with an array of delicious delis, organic food shops, fashion stores all centred around a rather charming clocktower.
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