A cultural hub set at the confluence of the Victoria and Piccadilly lines, Finsbury Park has everything from cinemas to climbing centres and brilliant boozers to excellent restaurants. You know how much we love a neighbourhood guide here at Secret London, so without further ado, here’s our roundup of the best things to do in Finsbury Park:
1. Bowl the night away at Rowan’s
Now we couldn’t do a roundup of the best things to do in Finsbury Park without mentioning this one. This beloved old-school venue might not win quite so many style points, but with 24 lanes, late opening hours (until 2.30am Fridays and Saturdays), pool tables and karaoke, this turns into a bit of a party at the weekend. It costs just £8 at peak times (£9 on Fri and Sat) means it’s one of London’s best cheap thrills. There’s also a dancefloor here, so post-bowl why not throw a few shapes? Go on – it’d be rude not to…
📍You’ll find Rowan’s at 10 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 2DF.
2. Sink a few pints at The Faltering Fullback
This Finsbury Park fave – regularly topping lists of the best pubs in London – may have come from over the Irish Sea, but it clearly had a gap year on the way, given the Thai-heavy, cash-only menu. No need to worry about buckets of SangSom – the very thought is making us shudder – or ‘finding yourself’, as The Faltering Fullback still pulls pints of Guinness and shows Gaelic football on the big screen. They’ve also got jazz nights to boot too. Sláinte!
📍You’ll find The Faltering Fullback at 19 Perth Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3HB.
3. Wander down the scenic Parkland Walk
This lovely walk follows the course of an old railway that once ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace. It provides four and a half miles of tranquillity, and a chance to enjoy a green and pleasant environment right in the very heart of the city.
London’s longest local nature reserve is covered with over two hundred species of wild flower, and supports a remarkable range of other wildlife. On your walk you could spot everything from butterflies and birds, to hedgehogs, foxes, and even muntjac sometimes – a fairly elusive species of deer!
📍Start the walk at Florence Road, London, N4 3EY.
4. Scale the heights of the Castle Climbing Centre
Adventures listen up! Located in an old converted water pumping station – which looks like a castle hence the name – the Castle Climbing Centre offers climbers of all levels a chance to experience some world-class climbing. With well over 450 routes, it’s perfect for climbers of all levels, and their tallest wall stands an astounding 13.5-metres-high.
There’s something for everyone here – whether you’re a complete novice or an expert climber. Whether you’re looking to top rope, lead climb, or practise your bouldering, then this is an ideal spot. You can challenge yourself on the rock faces, or take a break in the café with a cuppa and enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the castle and surrounding area.
📍You’ll find the Castle Climbing Centre at Green Lanes, Stoke Newington, N4 2HA.
5. Shop ‘til you drop in Crisis
This absolutely humongous charity shop is just down the road from Finsbury Park station and right by Finsbury Park – and it’s so much more than just a charity shop. It’s also a coffee shop and an arts and cultural hub, bringing together various different members of the community.
As well as second-hand vintage clothing and vinyl records, Shop From Crisis also sells a plethora of other goodies, from handmade furniture to fashionable high street brands and much more besides. Proceeds raised from here go directly to Crisis, whose mission is to help people directly out of homelessness and campaign for the changes needed to solve it altogether. There’s also plenty to find here when it comes to vintage clothes and the like – so see what treasures you can unearth!
📍19 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3FB.
6. Amble your way through Finsbury Park
Now we couldn’t do a roundup of the best things to do in Finsbury Park without actually mentioning the park now could we? It’s a lovely spot which has a lake, a children’s play area, a café and an art exhibition space too. There’s also loads of sports facilities here – including tennis, American football and even baseball – and during the Summer months, there are regular music festivals here, with artists like Peggy Gou, Four Tet and Solomun playing. Heck there’s even Wireless! You can also combine a walk here with a visit to Gillespie Park to the south in Arsenal – a lovely little nature reserve.
You’ll find Finsbury Park at Endymion Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 1EE.
7. Tuck into a mammoth sarnie at Max’s Sandwich Shop
One of the best things to do in Finsbury Park is definitely a visit to Max’s Sandwich Shop – a cosy spot on the way to Stroud Green which rustles up some inventive flavours and hefty sandwich portions.
Flavours include ham, egg and chips and ‘an ode to adana’ – a heavenly concoction of adana spiced goat, dill pickle, chilli sauce, Istanbul onions, parsley mint and a side of Tarhana chips. They also do a mean negroni here – and we all love one of them – what’s not to love hey?
📍You’ll find Max’s Sandwich Shop at 19 Crouch Hill, London, N4 4AP.
8. Quaff some natural wine at Shop Cuvée
Natural wine is all the rage nowadays, and there’s nowhere better in London Town than Shop Cuvée to pick up a bottle of it. It’s the brainchild of Brodie Meah, whose neighbourhood restaurant was sadly closed by the government during the Covid 19 pandemic. After knocking their heads together to come up with a solution, they decided to create a delivery service which went down a treat during lockdown. Since then, they’ve opened two physical stores and Cave Cuvée too just down the road – which is great if you’re wanting a bevvie in the splash. Date spot perhaps?
The first of these was Shop Cuvée in Islington which specialises in a whole gamut of natural wines, ranging from the cloudy and unconventional to the clean and classy. If you’re a big fan then you can also indulge in their ‘Natural Wine Subscription’, which gives you monthly boxes of wine from just 30 quid! Winner, winner.
📍You’ll find Shop Cuvée at 189 Blackstock Road, London, N5 2LL.
9. See what’s on at the Park Theatre
Originally little more than a deserted office block, the Park Theatre was transformed into an incredible neighbourhood cinema by Artistic Director, Jez Bond, and Creative Director, Melli Marie. With the work of the local community and support from names like Ian McKellen and Alan Rickman, the Park Theatre then secured enough funding to launch into the success that it is today.
Intimate and local, their ambition is to tell accessible, real-to-life theatrical stories across two different stages, and to be accessible to a diverse community. They’ve got some fantastic productions on here, as well as dramatic training programmes for local children and adults too.
📍You’ll find the Park Theatre at 13 Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP.
10. Grab a bowl of pasta at Osteria Tufo
Rounding off this list of the best things to do in Finsbury Park is, of course, a pasta joint – because you all know how much we love those here at Secret London. This charming spot is owned and run by someone actually from Naples, so you can expect that the pasta here is bloody good.
It’s a fantastic spot with friendly staff and a lovely atmosphere, and there’s a daily-changing menu with dishes including ravioli, grilled whole sea bream, and grilled king prawns served on a rocket salad and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon. It’s well worth making your way here if you’re ever in this neck of the woods!
📍You’ll find Osteria Tufo at 67 Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3HZ.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best things to do in Finsbury Park. From getting down to pop music at Rowan’s to spotting wildlife in the Parkland Walk, there’s plenty to do here, so best get yourself on the Victoria or Piccadilly Line!