Health walks in Acton and Ealing

Elthorne Park and Waterside

  • Start and finish: Main entrance to Elthorne Park on Boston Road
  • Distance: 3.2 km (1.98 miles)
  • Transport: Bus E8; tube Boston Manor (ten-minute walk north from the station up Boston Road)
  • Parking: Fairly easy outside the park
  • Facilities: Corner House Café and shops on Boston Road a short distance from the park entrance towards Hanwell; Harvester restaurant 0.5 km in the other direction
  • Accessibility: This walk is not suitable for wheelchairs

An attractive walk around meadows, woodland and the Grand Union Canal with a few information boards on the route.


Turn left at the Sarsen Stone (where there is an information board) and follow the perimeter of the formal park until you see two yellow bollards. Go through these, turn right and go past a metal gate into the large area known as Elthorne Waterside where you should beware of rabbit holes, as they are abundant here. Keep to this gravel path as it goes past the brick-built 'Mosaic Trail' plaque and a granite sculpture, and then goes downhill. At the bottom, go straight across at the junction, and then, near the road, go down some steps on to the canal towpath and turn left. Be careful here – the path is a bit narrow initially.

Follow the path between the canal and a ditch (where you might see water voles) until you come to Osterley Weir, where you cross over the weir on a footbridge to Osterley Lock Island. Here you might see herons, kingfishers or cormorants and there is a picnic spot beside Osterley Lock on the island, which is an attractive wooded spot with a maze of little paths.

Carry on the towpath until you cross another footbridge and then turn left before the motorway flyover. Take the path beside the river and then follow it uphill through woodland. At the first junction (at the top of the hill), turn left and follow the path round the edge of a plateau with woodland on your left and playing fields and meadows on your right. This whole area used to be a rubbish dump with refuse arriving from central London along the canal and now it's a haven for birds and wildlife.

Walk past the sculpture of a deer, which was erected in the park in 2000, then on in between two fenced-off areas. After the path goes downhill, go straight across at the junction and keep the scout hut on your left. Go uphill and, at the first junction, turn right to stay inside the park. After the houses, turn left through a wooden gate into Elthorne Park again. Keeping to the left, walk past the tennis courts and the playground around the edge of the park till you come to where you started. If you've time to spare to make up an hour's walk you can always do another circuit of the small formal park.