Starting from Kentish Town station, cross the junction with Fortess Road and walk north past The Bull and Gate public house and The Forum.
On your right on the corner of Highgate Road and Burghley Road is Elsfield, a really interesting block of modernist tiered flats painted blue and white. I like this block; it looks like a ocean-going liner and always cheers me up. In my mind, this is how modern housing ought to look.
Continue walking north. Hints of the past are really noticeable along this stretch of the road, especially the cottages either of the Vine pub which back onto College Lane. As you go under the railway bridge look at the parade of shops etc on the other/west side of the road and imagine how this area might have looked 100 years ago.
|The Vine public house, an old Sun Insurance marker, a blue enamel street name sign, and the uncovered carved lettering on the Costcutter at No.157 on the corner of Mansfield Road showing a previous occupier, probably in Edwardian times, was J Ritchie.|
Time for a beer
Turn right into Chetwynd Road and walk up the hill, then left at the lights into York Rise to see what used to be a fantastic proper locals' pub called The Dartmouth Arms. It closed down earlier this year and looks to be turned into shops/cafe.
Facing the pub in Bellgate Mews is one of my favourite old and faded shop advertisements (a ghostsign) listing things such as flannelettes, calicoes, gloves and ribbons.
Return to Chetwynd Road and continue up the hill. At the top, on the corner of Darmouth Park Hill is the Lord Palmerston pub. I can't quite work out why this pub is still open yet the Dartmouth is closed. A different clientele I suppose.