Every North London allotment site is special in its own way, but if there are any with better views over the city than Alexandra Palace Allotments, I have yet to visit them.

For the first time through the National Garden Scheme, the public is invited in. I went to meet co-ordinator Peter Campbell to find out what visitors may see on Sunday, July 2. The top entrance will be the way in, right by the W3 bus stop for Alexandra Palace Garden Centre.

This Is Local London: Plants, cakes and local honey will be on sale when the allotments open to the public on July 2.Plants, cakes and local honey will be on sale when the allotments open to the public on July 2. (Image: Sally Chubb)

Discreet and shadowy, the promised "gate in tall wooden fence" was easy to miss, but Peter says it will be decked out in yellow NGS posters and welcomers on the day.

The gate gives on to a path between plots, leading past one with a vine-covered terrace, to the area where the stalls and refreshments will be. This section of the site is known as Grove Lodge Meadow, its extent marked by a former field margin of old oak trees.

This Is Local London: The allotments are a lovely place to be.The allotments are a lovely place to be. (Image: Zoe Norfolk)

Grove Lodge was one of the many C18th and C19th mansions built above London by City grandees, although the oak trees look older.  As we sat in the shade of one of them, Peter related how the allotment committee had arranged the rebuilding of the Meeting Shed during lockdown, making sure the tree’s roots were unhurt.

This Is Local London: One of the plots has a pond.One of the plots has a pond. (Image: Zoe Norfolk)

Then Peter detailed how visitors will be able to see a lot because plenty is visible from the main paths, but only about fifteen marked plots will be officially open, with their holders there for anyone who wants a closer look or a chat.

These plots are delightfully varied, from one that looks quite wild from the entrance, but inside is an inviting oasis around a pond, to neatly kept vegetable beds, eccentric sheds, flower gardens. On one plot I met the resident I had been hoping to meet, the Allotment Cat - such an encounter cannot, however, be guaranteed.

This Is Local London: Cakes will be on sale in the meeting shed.Cakes will be on sale in the meeting shed. (Image: Peter Campbell)

North London Beekeepers have a teaching plot, not open on July 2, but their stall near the Meeting Shed is where NGS visitors will be welcomed and can buy honey.

There will also be plants raised on site for sale, second hand tools and gardening books, and information about nature-friendly gardening. The paths are unsuitable for wheelchairs, but for those walkers not comfortable with going uphill, the Grove Lodge Meadow plots, stalls and refreshments are all on the almost level ground at the top. Even if you get no further, this is a wonderful place to be – those old grandees who built mansions above London knew what they were about.

This Is Local London: A plot holder at Alexandra Palace allotments.A plot holder at Alexandra Palace allotments. (Image: Zoe Norfolk)

Ally Pally Allotments, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 are open from 1pm-4.30pm on July 2. Nearby on the same afternoon the lovely Railway Cottages at 2, Dorset Road N22 have a group NGS opening.