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Ruislip and Ruislip Woods

There are currently 4 comments and 2 photos online for this walk.

Ruislip and Ruislip Woods
Author: pubwalker, Published: 29 Aug 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Duck House and Ruislip Woods walking guidestar1 The Duck House and Ruislip Woods walking guidestar1 The Duck House and Ruislip Woods walking guidestar1 The Duck House and Ruislip Woods walking guidestar0 The Duck House and Ruislip Woods walking guide
Middlesex, Ruislip
Walk Type: Woodland
Ruislip and Ruislip Woods
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Duck House and Ruislip Woods walking guide boot The Duck House and Ruislip Woods walking guide
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4 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 7 mph ENE
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A 4 mile circular walk from Ruislip, Middlesex. The walking route heads north past the site of an old castle to reach Ruislip Woods – a beautiful mixed woodland and National Nature Reserve. You’re likely to see plenty of wildlife with the woodland being home to everything from badgers and foxes, to woodpeckers, squirrels and owls.

The walk has just a couple of long but steady gradients. The woodland paths are all fairly wide but they are uneven with roots and can get very muddy after periods of rain and in the winter. There is one single gate on route and no stiles. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.

Ruislip is located in north west London, in the London Borough of Hillingdon in Middlesex. The walk starts and finishes at the roundabout between the A4180 High Street and the B466 Eastcote Road. Approximate post code HA4 7AR. If you are travelling by car, the nearest car park is the St Martin’s Approach pay and display car park which is just around the corner (go down the B466 Eastcote Road and take the first left into St Martin’s Approach). Alternatively, the nearest underground station is Ruislip Station which is on the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines and is just a 10 minute walk along the High Street.

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Walk Sections

Start to Ruislip Woods
Start to Ruislip Woods

Start point: 51.577 lat, -0.4273 long
End point: 51.5832 lat, -0.428 long

Standing on the pavement facing the Duck House building (currently a Prezzo restaurant), turn right and then immediately left down the small gated private road which passes between the restaurant and the public toilets, signed to Manor Farm Heritage Site.

Follow the gravel driveway ahead. On the left you’ll pass Horse Pond, the duck pond from which the building takes its name. When Manor Farm was a large working farm, the pond was used to wash down the working horses and to allow them to drink. On the right you’ll pass the public car park and then the site of a pre-Norman motte and bailey castle, now just some earth mound remains.

Continue ahead passing the buildings of Manor Farm on the left. Manor Farm is on the site of the ancient administrative centre for Ruislip Manor. The most impressive remaining building is The Barn, built in 1280, an aisled barn which is 36 metres long and divided into 17 bays. The timber for the main oak posts was almost certainly taken from nearby Ruislip Woods. Today, the farm complex is a cultural and arts public site housing a library, art gallery, tea room and craft workshops.

As you reach the converted stables, where the main gravel driveway bends right, fork left onto the narrow tarmac path signed as a public footpath. Keep ahead steadily downhill and passing the Winston Churchill Theatre on the left. Bear right onto a pavement alongside a concrete access road and you’ll come to a T-junction with a road.

Cross over with care and turn left along the pavement, crossing the bridge over the River Pinn. Immediately afterwards turn right onto a narrow woodland path which then emerges to the bottom of a residential road. Bear left to follow the pavement up the road, passing between houses each side. At the crossroads go straight ahead to continue on Sherwood Avenue. At the end you’ll reach a T-junction with Broadwood Avenue. Cross over and go ahead through the staggered barrier onto the footpath into Ruislip Woods.

Ruislip Woods to Ruislip Lido
Ruislip Woods to Ruislip Lido

Start point: 51.5832 lat, -0.428 long
End point: 51.5886 lat, -0.4284 long

Keep ahead to join the boardwalk heading into the woodland and, as it ends, continue ahead on the main woodland track.

Ruislip Woods is a National Nature Reserve covering 726 acres. Evidence of Bronze Age settlements has been found within the woods and its ownership has changed hands many times over the years. Following the Norman conquest, Ernulf de Hesdin was given ownership of Ruislip Manor and Woods as recognition of his services to William the Conqueror. Since then the woods have passed into the ownership of Bec Abbey (1087-1481), Kings College Cambridge (1481-1931) and finally the local authority who still manage the site today. Timber from Ruislip Woods was used in the 1339 construction of the Tower of London and the 1344 construction of Windsor Castle.

Ignore the boardwalks to the left which lead to a side path, just stay on the main track as it swings right and then meanders through the woodland. You’ll come to a crossroads with a bridleway. Go straight ahead into the area of trees, and then take the left-hand of the two paths ahead.

At the bottom of the slope you’ll come to the buildings of Ruislip Lido ahead, with the large lake visible beyond the buildings. The reservoir here was opened as a feeder for the Grand Junction Canal in 1811, but was converted to a lido in 1933 with facilities for swimming and boating.

Ruislip Lido to Haste Hill
Ruislip Lido to Haste Hill

Start point: 51.5886 lat, -0.4284 long
End point: 51.5956 lat, -0.4204 long

Turn right just before the lido and follow the woodland path with the fenced lido area on the left. Through the fence you’ll see the small tracks of the miniature railway. This railway was first opened in 1945 and at that time the carriages were pulled by a steam locomotive.

Continue for some distance, staying on the path closest to the wire fencing on the left. As the fence on the left ends, you’ll see the open grass hills of a golf course directly ahead and a T-junction in the path. Turn right here on the path which runs within the top edge of the woodland signed as Footpath R39. Follow the main path as it climbs steadily and at the top you’ll reach the summit of Haste Hill (you’ll see a gate, car park and bins on your left).

Haste Hill to Kings College Road
Haste Hill to Kings College Road

Start point: 51.5956 lat, -0.4204 long
End point: 51.5831 lat, -0.4202 long

At this top corner, turn right and then keep left to follow the path marked with a white circle and arrow, following the fence line on the left. As the fence line swings left, bear left on the boardwalk footpath which follows it. Next, bear left on the bridleway marked with a blue horseshoe with the fence still close on the left.

Follow this bridleway steadily downhill and then as it bends left and then right, following the edge of the woodland. You will pass the gate into Ruislip Stables on the left. You will come to a crossroads with a large oak tree in the centre. Turn right still following the bridleway marked with a blue horseshoe. Keep ahead on the very straight stone path heading back through the centre of the woodland.

Continue until you reach a major crossroads in the path. Turn left onto the wide track heading for a wooden footbridge. Cross the footbridge over a small ditch and keep ahead on the stone track heading south. At the end of this path, exit the woods alongside the vehicle barrier to reach a small roundabout. Go straight ahead and then straight ahead again at the next roundabout to join Kings College Road (named after the Cambridge college who were lords of the manor from 1451).

Kings College Road to End
Kings College Road to End

Start point: 51.5831 lat, -0.4202 long
End point: 51.5778 lat, -0.4275 long

Continue down Kings College Road for just a few paces and, opposite the entrance to a car park on the left, turn right under a height restriction barrier signed as public footpath R137. Pass the cafe to the left and you’ll emerge to a playing field.

Cross the field diagonally left (at about 10 o’clock) and pass through the gateway where you’ll reach a surfaced oval running track surrounding another area of grass. Cross this in the same direction and, when you reach the track on the opposite side, turn right along the track and then bear left to join the stone path in the field corner.

Ignore the footbridge over the River Pinn to the left, instead keep ahead on the grass path with the river to the left and an open meadow to the right. Eventually you’ll emerge through a gate to reach a T-junction with a residential road. Turn left along the pavement and follow it over the white 1920s style bridge.

Keep straight ahead on St Martin’s Approach until you reach the public car park on the right. Turn right into the car park and go straight ahead on the pedestrian walkway and out through the gap in the hedge on the opposite side. Turn left down the gravel driveway and out past the gate where you will reach the roundabout where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author pubwalker and may not be reproduced without permission.


4 responses to "Ruislip and Ruislip Woods"

Very muddy in March. Clear directions

By dejongm on 2016-03-28 18:57:22

I'm starting my fitness campaign and this was a nice gentle one to begin with. Wear appropriate clothing. I went after a night of rain so very muddy in some places. Peaceful too, if you go early enough.

By fazakd01 on 2016-10-02 09:54:07

Be aware that The Duck House is no longer a pub, it's a branch of the Italian chain restaurant Prezzo.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Thank you so much for letting us know, we will update the walk description.

By steveroberts on 2016-11-01 09:15:41

One of my regular walks and very well described. The cinder track near the end has a Tarmac surface now.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Thank you so much for letting us know, we have updated the details about the running track so that future walkers have the latest facts...

By abeuseli on 2016-11-16 11:17:04

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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2 images to "Ruislip and Ruislip Woods"

2482_0Richard1377845645 The Duck House and Ruislip Woods walking guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Bobbie the Poodle in Ruislip Woods with her blue cool coat on. It was a warm day in August and hot even in the shade of the woods.
2482_0Richard1377851498 The Duck House and Ruislip Woods walking guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
This picture was taken in August in the morning just before we went on this walk. As you can see form the blue sky it was a lovely day.

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