Walk No 12 - From Ealing Broadway, at the Western End of the Central and District Lines, to Boston Manor
13 km ( 8 miles)
|Roads or good footpaths
By Central or District Line to Ealing Broadway - about 25-30 minutes from Central London
By Piccadilly Line from Boston Manor
Points of Interest
Pitshanger Park, Perivale Park, River Brent, Grand Union Canal
Cafés in Pitshanger Park and Perivale Park, The Viaduct pub at Hanwell Bridge
At Ealing Broadway Station. Pitshanger Park
Shortening the Walk
You can catch and E8 bus from Hanwell Bride back to Ealing Broadway
What To Expect From This Walk
This walk makes maximum use of green spaces and riverside paths in this pleasant part of London. It starts at the busy terminus point of Ealing Broadway but soon enters leafy suburban streets and pedestrianised byways which lead northwards to Pitshanger Park and the green tract of land which marks the progress of the River Brent. At Perivale Park the route meets the Capital Ring footpath and follows it to the Grand Union Canal. After about 1 mile on the towpath the route turns away to reach Boston Manor Tube Station.
1. Turn right out of the station and walk to a road junction. Cross at the pedestrian crossing and enter Mountfield Road, the middle of three roads opposite. Walk to the end of Mountfield Road, cross Woodville Road and enter Hillcroft Crescent. Where the road turns left, go straight ahead and enter West Walk, a pedestrian and cycle shared path, which starts to climb gently. At the end of West Walk, go ahead along the footway for another 150m to reach a hedge with a sports ground visible beyond. Turn right and after 100m turn left into Fox Lane, another shared path. Walk to the end and turn left into Sandall Road. In 100m turn right into Lynwood Road and walk towards Western Avenue (A40).
2. Go over the junction with Brunswick Road. Just before reaching the A40, turnleft into an unmarked drive between houses and garages. Continue on a path with allotments on your right. When the path reaches a fence, turn left and arrive at a suburban road where there is a sign for Brent River Walk. Turn right here and right again into Neville Road. Turn left into Meadvale Road, as indicated by another Brent River Walk sign. Walk along the right-hand footway for 550m to reach the entrance to Pitshanger Park on your right. Enter the park and turn left on a broad path to pass some tennis courts. At the far end of the tennis courts, turn right and reach the Tennis Courts café.
3. Continue past the café and turn left along the edge of the park. After 70m turn right onto a crossing path towards Perivale. Follow this path between fences and over a bridge. This is your first sight of the River Brent. Continue past a weatherboarded church. Go through a lych-gate and turn left into Perivale Lane. Walk for 400m to the junction with Argyle Road and cross with care at the traffic lights, which have no pedestrian phase. Go ahead into the road opposite, Stockdove Way, and continue for 300m to pass under a railway bridge. Ahead to your left, you can see Perivale Park Golf Club shop and café. To your right is a sports stadium. Pass between the café and the stadium to reach a vehicle barrier.
4. Do not go ahead on the track around the perimeter of the sports ground. Instead, turn diagonally left along the line of a hedge on a gravel track, past a wooden post. Follow the track and continue in the same direction, down the line of bushes and rough grass which marks the boundary between the park on your right and the golf course on your left. After 250m you reach a path which comes in from the right and turns to continue in your direction of travel. You are now on the Capital Ring and you will follow it for almost all the rest of the walk. Continue ahead and cross a bridge. Emerge on Costons Lane and turn left to reach a larger road (Ruislip Road) on the outskirts of Greenford. Turn left over a bridge, cross the road and turn right onto a path with Capital Ring waymarks. In this section, the river, which is on your right, is often hidden from sight by undergrowth.
5. After 700m, where the path swings left, look out for a marker post on your right. Go down some steps to the river bank and turn left along it. After 200m, rejoin the main path and within 100m come to a wooden bridge. Turn right and go across the bridge to the other bank of the river. Go ahead for 50m and then turn left on a path across Brent Valley Golf Course. Walk for 800m to a metal footbridge, which takes you back to the left bank of the river. Turn right and follow the meanders of the river on a grassy path beside the riverside undergrowth.
6. Go over a bank and follow a wider pathway to the right to reach a number of fingerpost signs. Your onward route is indicated by the sign which points to Osterley Locks and Brentford. Join a track, which swings right to pass under a very large railway viaduct. footbridge takes you back to the right- hand bank and soon you reach Hanwell Bridge. You can find The Viaduct pub by crossing the bridge. If you wish to shorten the walk at this point, catch an E8 bus back to Ealing Broadway.
7. To continue the walk, go under the bridge and follow the footpath beside the river for another 700m to the Grand Union Canal and the Hanwell Flight of Locks. To see the full extent of the locks, turn right. Otherwise, turn left and walk down the canal towpath for 1.3 km. Continue over a concrete walkway at Osterley Weir, past a lock. Ahead, you will see the M4 motorway bridge over the canal. Just before the bridge, turn left at a signpost for Boston Manor Station. Take the left-hand of two paths, initially beside another stretch of the River Brent. Go ahead at the top of the hill. When you reach a residential road (Southdown Avenue), turn right and walk to the junction with Wellmeadow Road. Turn left and then right on Boston Road to reach Boston Manor Station.
Information On The Things You Will See
The River Brent is a tributary of the River Thames. It comes into existence at the junction of Dollis Brook and Mutton Brook near Hendon in the Borough of Barnet and runs for 29Km (18miles) to join the Thames at Brentford. (See Walk 7 for more information on the Dollis Brook Greenwalk). The river corridor has been subject to flood alleviation in parts, meaning that the banks are generally not natural to wildlife. . However, there remain many old trees along the river’s course plus some high-quality grasslands and woodlands. Much of the open space in the park is mown grassland, but the hedgerows, ditches and golf course roughs all retain wildlife interest. Some of the key notable species within the whole of the Brent River Park are water voles, king fisher, native black poplar, orchids and ferns. Unusually, the river was celebrated in poetry by Sir John Betjeman
“Gentle Brent, I used to know you. Wandering Wembley-wards at will,
Now what change your waters show you. In the meadowlands you fill!
Recollect the elm-trees misty. And the footpaths climbing twisty
Under cedar-shaded palings. Low laburnum-leaned-on railings
Out of Northolt on and upward to the heights of Harrow hill”
The Capital Ring is a walking route sponsored by Transport for London (TFL) which encircles central London. It is divided into 15 sections and covers 126Km (78miles). The official start of the route is the Woolwich foot tunnel, but the nature of the route means that it can be started or finished at any point.
The Grand Union Canal (GUC) is 220Km (137 miles) long and stretches from Brentford on the River Thames to Gas Street Basin in Central Birmingham. It has 166 locks. It is a 'wide' or 'broad' canal, i.e. its locks are wide enough to accommodate two narrowboats side by side or a single wide barge up to 14 feet (4.3 m) in beam.
The Hanwell Flight of six locks was built in 1794. It takes a boat at least 1.5 hours to pass through the locks which together raise the Grand Union Canal by 16 metres (53feet). The flight has been designated a scheduled ancient monument by English Heritage. At the top of the flight of locks is the Three Bridges designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.