Hi everyone! Hope you are all okay and managing to stay safe and well during lockdown! For this post, we have compiled a list of some of our favourite destinations for a social distanced walk! They are not in any particular order – we love them all for different reasons. They are not your standard parks! There are gorgeous sights to be seen and lots of fun to be had! Don’t hesitate to reach out via our Instagram @Our.London.Life if you have any more questions about these or your own favourite locations!
1. GRUFFALO TRAIL – HORSENDEN HILL
This is one of the most local walks to us on the list. The trail is located at Perivale farm (UB6 7QL) and consists of 5 Gruffalo favourites, including the big man himself, standing tall at 7ft! Each character has an information board about the animal and are a cute little photo op for any Gruffalo fan! Horsenden hill consists of lovely woods and is right on the banks of The Grand Union Canal. I absolutely love the views from the top of the hill, especially on a clear summers day! It’s one of the highest points in London!
One of the main questions I get about this trail is parking! Normally, they have a fab on site car park at Perivale farm but this is currently closed due to Covid-19. There is local on street parking near by (close to the Ballot Box pub) and from there it’s a 5-10 min walk to the trail. There is a map of the trail located within the car park, but as this is currently closed I’ve popped it below!
In terms of the accessibility of the trail, it’s not great but we managed with a pushchair. It does get muddy, and on our last visit it was extremely muddy, but we still didn’t really have any issues with the buggy. There are normally a few steps when accessing the trail through the Perivale farm car park, but as this is currently closed, you enter through a different route so this shouldn’t be an issue.
The trail took us about 30 mins to complete, including the time we took looking at the characters etc. There are currently no toilet facilities at this location.
2. EASTCOTE HOUSE GARDENS
I have driven past this park on numerous occasions, mostly on the way to Jungle Monkeyz soft play, but we have never gone inside! We really have been missing out on this local gem! There is free on site parking, but also plenty of on street parking nearby too and a lovely little cafe which is currently open! Yay!!! Ice cream and coffees all round! The lady who works in there was so lovely to us the other day when we didn’t have any cash – and she now has made regular customers out of us!!
One of my favourite areas of this park is the walled garden. It is like a mini Kew Gardens and is just beautiful. There are benches all the way around the gardens where you can sit and enjoy a coffee whilst the kids explore and look at all of the different flowers.
I also loved the little stream where the kids are able to get into. The kids loved this and they spent over an hour in there!! It’s such an idyllic little spot for gorgeous photos and lots of fun!
There are toilets next to the cafe but I’m not sure if these are open at the moment (I will endeavour to find out.) We haven’t yet explored the park in its entirety, but just those above aspects make it a perfect park for us!
3. NORTHALA FIELDS
We have been coming to his lovely park since Jai was 1 year old, and it’s very local to us. However, I would definitely travel a fair distance to go here as it is so lovely. The main features of the park are two playgrounds (which are obviously closed at the moment) a nice cafe (again this is currently closed but there are plans to open very soon.) But also the gorgeous little lakes and three distinctive hills with views across London.
One of the hills is fully accessible, as it has a pathway leading around the hill. It is 22 metres tall and has a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area including central London and Canary Wharf.
I just love sitting by the lakes, having a picnic and feeding the ducks.
FUN FACT: This park was only made in 2008 and the hills were made from the waste of the original Wembley Stadium and Westfield white city!
There is plenty of FREE parking available, including two on-site car parks and lots of street parking around the hills.
4. BLACK PARK COUNTRY PARK
This is a new one for us, located at Black park road, slough, SL3 6DS. We recently visited and absolutely loved it! I will outline the reasons why this is the perfect lockdown park – but I also can’t wait for it to reopen fully to enjoy all that this park has to offer.
There is a very large on site car park. We paid £4.80 for a few hours which I feel is reasonable. There are no toilets open at Black Park which is something you need to consider before going there.
Our two favourite things about this park are the beautiful flowers and the lovely lake. When you enter through the woods, and walk a bit further in, you will come across the most incredible sight! Just look at these beautiful trees!
If you are bringing a picnic, I’d advise you to have it by the lake. There are lots of picnic benches, or space to sit on the grass if you prefer – with lovely views of the lake.
The kids also loved exploring the woods. There are lots of little “den” areas as well as great climbing trees, so Jai was in his element here! Overall, a really beautiful, large, clean park with plenty to see and do!
5. ALDENHAM COUNTRY PARK
Finally, we have Aldenham country park (WD6 3BA.) We visited for the first ever time yesterday and we were not disappointed! Just driving through into the large car park is lovely. There are cows and horses along the route in. Parking costs £4.50 regardless of how long you stay.
There is a kiosk open selling hot & cold drinks, ice creams, pasties and other snacks. There is also a farm shop open which is where you pay for your parking at the end. They sell a small range of toys, food products such as fresh farm eggs and cakes. There is also a farm on site and pony rides available, both of which are currently not open (can’t wait to visit again when they are!)
One of the highlights of the park is definitely the Winnie the Pooh trail ‘100 Acre woods.’ Located at the beginning of the car park, next to the lake, you will see signs for 100 Acre wood, and here you can begin your Winnie the Pooh themed trail! You will come across the homes of some of your favourite characters including Eeyore, piglet and Pooh himself. Along the route there is a sandpit (where Roo likes to play) and we loved walking through the field of bright yellow flowers.
We used Mila’s pushchair around the trail and it was completely accessible (I also saw two wheelchair users doing the trail.) When you first enter through the woods and you see the “Pooh Bridge” this one has steps, but if you continue straight down for about 1 minute, there is a fully accessible bridge. I have popped a picture of the map below. The picnic area is absolutely gorgeous and is completely shaded – lovely for a break from the boiling hot sun we had yesterday. It is actually closer to the bee tree so the map doesn’t accurately show where that is. Also bear in mind that there’s only one picnic table there so it may be taken by the time you get round to it.
We spent a good couple of hours here, having a picnic, feeding the ducks at the lake, doing the 100 Acre woods trail and looking in the shop. Unfortunately there are no toilet facilities at the moment and I was absolutely desperate for a wee so we had to leave sooner than we would have! It’s okay for the kids as Mila is in nappies and Jai could go in a bush – but it’s not quite the same for us mums!