OPEN DAILY, 7.30am – dusk
From wide-open fields to woodlands, glittering ponds to elegant buildings and formal gardens to vegetable plots, Gunnersbury Park’s 186 acres has more in store than meets the eye.
In this natural haven there’s plenty of picturesque spaces to throw down a picnic blanket and relax with your family. Or if you fancy a stroll, surfaced paths wind through the park, taking in many of the historic curiosities and garden features.
Gunnersbury, a park for all seasons
From spring through to the depths of winter, Gunnersbury park changes with the seasons. The year starts with clumps of snowdrops and bluebells emerging in the shady spots and golden daffodils edging the lawns. Come summer, the Rose Garden is in full bloom, vegetables are plentiful in the Community Garden and the wildflower meadow is bustling with ruby-red poppies, sky blue cornflowers and plenty of insect life.
As autumn arrives and the leaves change colour, a canopy of oranges, golds and browns forms overhead. In particular, look out for the Japanese maples and the row of Liquidambar trees (between the old Japanese Garden and lost tennis courts) whose leaves take on brilliant orange, red and even purple tones. With the onset of winter, the oak, plane, sycamore and sweet chestnut trees reveal their sculptural structures and reflect in the ponds. Meanwhile, a touch of frost or even snow on the lawns and trees transforms the park to a crisp winter wonderland.
A window into the past
Throughout the park you’ll glimpse the lives of Gunnersbury’s former owners. Take a peek in the Temple, which Alexander Copeland thought perfect for billiards, or the Rothschilds’ Orangery where oranges, pomegranates and other exotic fruit were grown. Then there’s the Bath House that belonged to Princess Amelia, daughter of George II, complete with secluded plunge pool and a shell, glass and mineral-studded grotto.
The landscape around the mansions was carefully designed to show off the buildings and provide captivating views from both inside and out. We’re restoring this area to its 19th century grandeur, including re-instating the striking Horseshoe Pond that curves round in front of the Orangery.
Walking with your dog
Walking in the wide-open spaces here is a treat for dogs and their owners. Please help ensure that everyone can enjoy the park by keeping your dog under control and cleaning up after it. Gunnersbury Park falls under the Brentford dog control order which also means that the maximum number of dogs one person can walk is four.
There are some places that we ask you to not take your dog. This includes the museum, playgrounds and inside the café. Our café has a ‘dog park’ so you can safely leave your dog whilst you pop in to order and there’s lots of outdoor seating too. Assistance dogs are welcome across the entire estate.
Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub
Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub has completed its first phase and 8 new macadam courts have been completed. When the Hub is finished it will also include a multi-use sports centre, two external floodlit artificial grass pitches, and natural grass cricket and football pitches.
The tennis courts are now open for casual pay & play, junior and adult lessons, private lessons, and many other opportunities. To find out more information you can visit the website. www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/london/gunnersbury-park/gunnersbury-park-sports
The entire complex will be managed by charitable social enterprise GLL.
Good to know
Although the Round Pond was once used for boating, we’re not currently able to offer boats for hire. The ducks are not too keen on model boats either, so please just enjoy their antics from the bank.
The wide-open spaces of the park are perfect for flying kites and model aircraft, but keep an eye out for the safety of other park users. Drones are not permitted as we are directly under an international flight path.
Find out how we are restoring the park to its former glory.