Health walks in Acton and Ealing

Wormwood Scrubs

  • Start and finish: Corner of Old Oak Common Lane and Du Cane Road, opposite Acton Snooker and Pool Club and St Aidan's Catholic Church
  • Transport: Bus Scrubs Lane, 220, Du Cane Road 7, 70, 72, 272, 283; tube East Acton
  • Parking: Pay and display car park at rear of Hammersmith Hospital
  • Facilities: Caf├ęs and toilets at start point and in Hammersmith Hospital
  • Accessibility: This walk is not suitable for wheelchairs
The vast open grassland of Wormwood Scrubs Park (known as the 'Scrubs') is Hammersmith and Fulham's first designated local nature reserve. It has a sense of space, a rugged feel and valuable wildlife. The land was part of the Great Middlesex Forest but had become arable or pasture by the early nineteenth century, with a tradition of recreational and military use. In the 1980s the GLC planted a number of areas with native whips. These have now grown up into scrub and immature woodland, adding considerable interest to the landscape, whilst also providing cover for a variety of birds. Most of the walk is on tracks around the perimeter, which can be very muddy after wet weather.

Directions

From the start walk up Erconwald Street past East Acton tube station. At the end of the street cut around Old Oak Primary School and into Wormwood Scrubs at the entrance next to the prison, taking care crossing the roads.

Walk along behind the prison to Hammersmith Hospital. From the car park behind the hospital follow the path round the outer edge keeping the grass on your left. Turn right to pass the Linford Christie Stadium on your right. Continue along the avenue of trees. Follow the avenue which curves round past the Pony Centre on your right. Take a sharp left just after the parade ground, which is on your left. Turn left into Wormwood Scrubs car park and walk through the car park to the beginning of the brick path straight ahead. Follow the brick path through the wooded area.

At the end of the brick path, walk along the track. Follow the track and pass between a separate wooded area on your left and the main wooded area on your right. Pass through to the edge of the playing fields on your left and follow the edge as it curves around (there are opportunities to take paths into the wooded area and loop back out). At the beginning of the wooden fencing, turn hard left and set out across the playing field towards the central wooded area. (If you would like to take a longer walk of approximately two miles, which crosses rough ground, follow the perimeter track all the way round back to the start.) You will pass the area designated for flying model aircraft. Loop around the left-hand edge of this central copse and head straight for the hospital car park ahead of you. From here walk behind the prison back to the start.

With thanks to The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Walkwell and Groundwork West London.