Turn left out of Archway Tube and left again up the hill. You'll pass the statue of Dick Whittington's cat (don't forget to turn round - just as Dick is supposed to have done - and admire the view of London behind you). Turn left down Magdala Rd, walk to the junction with Dartmouth Park Hill. Cross the road and walk down hill about 200m until you reach the second turning on the right, Chester Rd. Follow Chester Rd as it curls round to the left and follows the boundary of a cemetery on your right. This is the world famous Highgate Cemetery (East) whose best known resident is Karl Marx.
What we set out to see on this walk is at the corner of Swains Lane and Chester Rd. As the road swings round again a group of unique Gothic houses, set round a quadrangle, appear on your left. They're private property so to get the best view of the whole group go a little way up the hill. Although they look like something the Addams Family would live in, as you get near them you realise that, far from mansions, they are little bigger than cottages. But the carvings and fantastic detail are worth a really careful study.
They were built on behalf of Angela Burdett Coutts, the richest woman in England in Victorian times. She achieved that by being the last survivor of two immensely wealthy families, one of which bore the appropriate name of Money-Coutts (and which owned the upmarket Coutts Bank). Known as ABC, she put her wealth to good use as one of the leading philanthropists of the 19th century. Charles Dickens was a friend and advisor. These cottages were designed to be retirement housing for clerks in her bank. The houses were built at the edge of her estate, Holly Lodge. (Nothing remains of her house except a small walled garden in the middle of the Holly Lodge Estate - whose distinctive black and white half-timbered buildings cover the hill in front of you - a rare example of multi story mock Tudor!) Retrace your steps down Chester Road until you get back to Dartmouth Park Hill. Cross the zebra crossing ahead and enter the gates of the small park. This is Dartmouth Park, built surrounding a covered reservoir, which is the reason for the high bank to your right. Follow the high bank towards the children's playground, and bear slightly to your right. This reveals one of the best uninterrupted views in London. It simply feels nearer and more immediate than its more famous counterparts Primrose Hill and Parliament Hill. Climbing the reservoir bank is worth the effort. Among all the obvious landmarks, in case you were in any doubt, the white criss cross structure to your left is the Emirates Stadium. On match days, you can clearly hear when Arsenal has scored. When you've had a good gaze, leave the park by the side gate (besides the wire enclosed basketball court) and enter Bickerton Rd. Turn right, walk down hill for one minute until you reach Junction Rd. Archway tube station is away to your left but this is a good chance to pick up some shopping or a snack.