Space to play in Ladbroke Grove

Walking with John Goodier

A circular walk, starting and ending at Ladbroke Grove underground station.

Link to Map

  1. Starting from Ladbroke Grove tube station, follow Lancaster Road then Basing Street to Tavistock Gardens. Hidden among housing, it was completely redesigned in 2001; an area of grass and semi-tropical planting opens out to a children’s play area. Open space and trees between the houses and the Westway continue the green corridor.
  1. Continue round Tavistock Crescent to the Brunel Estate, completed in 1974. The landscaping, by Michael Brown, showcases brickwork, the highlight being a children’s slide built on a tall brick structure; reaching the top involves finding a route up various levels. The gardens have recently been added to Historic England’s List of Registered Parks.
  1. Continue along Westbourne Park Villas, then cross under Westway at Royal Oak tube station to Westbourne Green. Opened as a park in 1974, it was once the works depot for the building of the A40 and the Westway flyover. The southern part is meadow, but the most important features are the play areas, one for younger children in the northern part, across Bourne Terrace, and another for older children in the southern part, alongside an outdoor gym. The Canal runs along the top of the park, with a sculptural bridge crossing it.
  1. Without crossing the canal, follow the towpath left to the Meanwhile Gardens, established as a community garden in 1976. Play spaces including an excellent skate bowl sit within a range of habitats, with a formal sitting space – the Courtyard Garden – at the west end. Gerry’s Pompeii, a unique sculpture garden of ‘outsider art’, can be seen across the canal.
  1. Continue along Kensal Road to Emslie
    Horniman’s Pleasance Park, laid out in 1914 by Charles Voysey and Madeline Agar. Horniman was a local MP who
    gifted the park to the community; the restored formal garden is visible even when closed to the public. There is a well-equipped play area and an innovative adventure playground, with resident goats!
  1. Head down Hazlewood Crescent to Golborne Road, spotting an effective planting of palm trees in Kensal New Town. At the corner of Elkstone and Golborne Roads is a community garden highlighting the meanings and uses of plants. Follow Golborne Road to Portobello Road, arriving at Athlone Gardens which boasts playgrounds for both children and dogs! The middle of the park is caught up in housing redevelopment but there is good street planting in the finished parts. Return down Portobello Road to Portobello Green, run by the Westway Trust which manages the land under the Westway as community space. Follow Thorpe Close under the Westway to return to Ladbroke Grove tube station.