Alexandra Park can be found on London's Musgrove Hill, a short distance from Wood Green Underground Station. The sloping park has its own nature reserve. Parkland Walk is picturesque walk along a disused railway. Alexandra Park also boasts a boating lake and children's play area. At more than 200 acres, Alexandra Park is a welcome break from the city and offers spectacular views. At the Peak of Alexandra Park is the Alexandra Palace. Alexandra Palace was built 1873 as the Peoples Palace. The original Palace burnt down after only a few days, though a new Palace was soon built. An act of Parliament declared that Alexandra Palace remain a property of the people of London forever. The British Broadcast Corporation leased Alexandra Palace in 1935, the first BBC broadcasts took place a year later. A fire in 1980 almost destroyed Alexandra Palace and it had to be extensively refurbished. Alexandra Palace has become one of the most versatile and exuberant venues for conferences, parties and exhibitions. The Alexandra Palace also boasts and ice-rink with a capacity of 12,000. The Palace also puts on shows at the Palace Theatre. A Bar and Cafe are open daily for visitors.
Alexandra Palace has long been the setting for trade shows and family-friendly days out. Farmerís markets, the ice rink and collectorís fares routinely attract thousands of visitors to this North London landmark.
As a concert venue, Alexandra Palace is huge, clocking the largest capacity of any locale in London at 10,400 people. This effectively translates as lengthy queues for the cloakroom, the toilets (especially if youíre a girl) and the bar, resulting in panic-stricken faces concerned theyíre going to miss the main act, if not the entire performance by the time theyíve left their coat, powdered their nose and got a warm beer.
To top it all the bars donít accept cash, instead tokens need to be bought first (thatís right, more queues), and then thereís the time spent calculating the necessary amount of tokens so as to not run out or be left with a heap of useless tickets at the end of the night.
Moaning aside, the sound quality is very good, and the standing area is so large that in spite of the masses it is possible to find a spot from where the band is visible, even if it does mean snaking around to the side of the stage.
The Phoenix Bar serves post-gig drinks Ė in exchange for conventional money, thankfully - and typical pub grub such as burgers, BLTís and pies throughout the day, as well as a Sunday roast. This may be ideal for those spending a long day going around a model engineering exhibition, but unlikely to lure anyone who isnít already paying a visit to Ally Pally due to its somewhat far flung location.
That being said, despite being situated atop a hill, buses from Wood Green travel to the main entrance. Even better are the specially-scheduled shuttles which operate for certain concerts, resulting in ten minutes of fun on a bus filled with revellers going to the same event.
Allow plenty of time, and the magnificence of the palace coupled with the main event will hopefully make all other matters slip into the background.