Wormwood Scrubs, famed for the prison sharing the same name, is a huge open area featuring a scrubs, meaning that it has both groomed and wilder grassy areas for your dog to romp around on, making it a perfect dog-friendly walk spot. You’ll likely meet several other walkers with their pooches, and the occasional brave jogger.
Why not start this route from a mega friendly coffee shop called The Common Restaurant, which also contains a cafe, not far from Willesden Junction station. Located on the canal, it’s a great place to start and/or finish for a coffee, especially as they also have a water bowl and free treats on offer for your dog. Now that you’re properly caffeinated and your dog has wet his beak, you can head off a walk.
Walk time: the following route should take around 2 hours to complete.
Dog-friendly features on this dog walk:
Away from busy roads
Dog Poo Bins
No other animals
Well-lit at night
The Common Cafe to Wormwood Scrubs loop dog-friendly walk route:
- With your back to The Collective, cross the road and head towards the roundabout. Take the exit down Old Oak Common Lane. This is a busy road, so be careful and keep a firm hold on your pooch’s lead. Try to stay on the right hand side of the road as you head down hill, because when you walk under the bridge, this side has more space for you and your dog on lead. Once you reach the zebra crossing after the bridge, cross the road and in a couple of metres, on your left, you can enter the scrubs.
- Wait until you are 50 metres or so into the scrubs before you let your dog off lead, well away from the road behind you. Immediately in front, you’ll see a well-trodden path. Take this all the way to the end, towards a large cylindrical building far in the distance. The scrubs suddenly open up into rugby pitches and playing fields and your dog can run free to their heart’s content.
- To walk a complete loop, aim to walk behind the rugby posts in front of you, keep them to your right hand side. Once past the rugby posts, you can bend round to the right and you’ll now be walking towards the back of Hammersmith Hospital. If you go close enough, you’ll see that all the surrounding bushes are filled with Blackberries, ripe for picking! There are also designated poo-bins in this area.
- You are now half way in your loop, so keeping the hospital to your left, begin to walk away from it and the famous Prison, then in front of you there is a small island of wild shrubbery. You can walk either side of this to rejoin the rugby posts, or use it to do an inner loop of the scrubs. When you’re ready, you want to walk back towards the rugby posts, now with them on your right. At the last one, you will find that well-trodden walking path again, among the wilder grass. This is your path back to the exit on Old Oak Common Lane.
- Wormwood scrubs can be used to let your dog run wild, for a short or long walk. You’ll meet lots of other dogs and walkers! To get back to The Collective, near the station, turn right once you reach the road. Take this to the top, and turn right at the roundabout. From here you will see the coffee shop and signs for Willesden Junction.
Where to find Wormwood Scrubs
You can easily access Wormwood Scrubs park from several different directions – it’s within easy walking distance from Willesden Junction, North Acton and East Action Stations, as well as local bus routes.
What are Wormwood Scrubs opening hours?
Wormwood Scrubs park is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. There’s limited light at night though, so take care and make sure you keep a close eye on your dog if you’re letting them off lead at dusk or dawn hours. Also, it’s good to note that it’s a popular location for a weekly Park Run – where dozens of runners attempt to beat last week’s personal best. Be sure to have your dog on lead if you’re heading for a dog walk on Saturday mornings.
Do you have a favourite local dog walking route you’d like to share with the DogBuddy community? Let us know in the comments below!