Your pick of parks
When it comes to finding the perfect balance between city and village life, Ealing certainly hits the sweet spot. The parks in and around the area are not only plentiful, they combine green space with the best of London living – from independent eateries to cultural activates.
Topping our list of favourites is Walpole Park – a 15-minute stroll from the JIGSAW development. No two visits here need be the same. Its fish pond, fountains and the Serpentine Lake are just the start of its offerings. Head there en route the Pitzhanger Pantry for a cake and a cuppa, or hit Soane’s kitchen for bottomless brunch.
Parts of the park were recently restored to its former Regency glory, through a Heritage Lottery funded project. You can now admire the stunning original beauty of Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery, designed by one of the UK’s most influential architects.
Come summer, the park’s Ealing Summer Festival will be calling, and there’s something for everyone and every age. Discover some of the best live music from the borough and beyond, tuck into delicious food and drink, and enjoy comedy shows and cinema screenings.
Brent River Park is another park worth checking out in the area – a green oasis of open space running along 7km of the Brent Valley, with golf courses, sports grounds and allotments. You’ll also want to visit the beautiful Gunnersbury Park and Warren Farm Nature Reserve, slightly further afield
On Saturdays, head to West Ealing Farmer’s market on Leeland Road, loved by locals for 10 years for its independent stalls piled high with fresh farm produce. Here you can grab everything from your morning eggs and sourdough to fresh fish for supper.
Cycle routes to anywhere
Take your pick of idyllic locations and let two wheels (and a little leg power) take you there. Chiswick House and Gardens, Kew Gardens, Richmond Park, Gunnersbury Park, Osterley Park, Acton Park are all withing cycling distance. Or choose from these routes:
Riverside cycle from West Ealing to Bishops Park, Fulham: 40 minutes, 6.8 miles: From West Ealing, cycle to Gunnersbury Park, onto Chiswick, then along the river to Bishops Park Fulham. Make your halfway stop 197 Chiswick Fire Station for its all-day brunch, or choose from pubs or restaurants along the river: The Dove Hammersmith, Rutland Arms, The Blue Anchor, The Old City Arms, The Chancellors, Sam’s Riverside, Brasserie Blanc, The River Café The Crabtree and Mes Amis.
Ride to Holland Park: 28 minutes, 5.3 miles: Cycle through Ealing Common and Shepherd’s Bush to reach the beautiful Holland Park. Here you can explore its stunning rose gardens, Kyoto garden and dragonfly trail, along with the Holland House ruins for your hit of history. Sporty types will love its tennis court, golf practice nets and cricket pitch. Head home via Yashin and Japan House for excellent sushi just off High Street Kensington. Or take a detour via The Churchill Arms (you won’t miss its flower-covered exterior) for real ale, delicious Thai food and Churchill memorabilia.
A cycle to Notting Hill: 32 minutes, 6 miles: Start by following the same route to Holland Park, but end your ride in Notting Hill. From here, visit Portobello Road market for an eclectic mix of independent shops and cafes. Check out Graffik Gallery, The Notting Hill Travel bookshop from the movie itself, and celeb spot over brunch at Farm Girl Café or Granger and Co. And of course, there’s the legendary Notting Hill Carnival.
You’ll be spoilt for eateries here. Try Ottolenghi for North African and middle east flavours, Taqueria for tacos and Mexican street food and on Saturdays, hit the farmer’s market.
Ealing Broadway on your doorstep
Ealing Broadway is around 15-minute walk away from JIGSAW (or jump on the 207/427/607/E8 for an even quicker bus ride).
Fancy some retail therapy? Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre has undergone a multi-million
refurbishment and is home to H&M, Primark, Boots, JD Sport and more. Or you can try Dicken’s Yard – a new area with shops and restaurants including Gail’s Bakery – and that’s before you’ve even hit the high street.
Once you’ve maxed out of things to do in the borough (although that’s near on impossible), Ealing Broadway’s trains, along with the central and district lines, will get you to pretty much anywhere in the capital.