Long Wood is a sliver of ancient woodland that has escaped the modern world in its quiet furrow between the M4 Motorway and the raised 'horse field' that border it to the South and North respectively. The railway goods line that passes under Three Bridges forms an Eastern border whilst Windmill Lane provides a Western edge. Windmill Lane travels between the Uxbridge road (and over Three Bridges) and the A4.
Not long after I discovered the Hanwell Flight I came upon Long Wood, known locally as Blue Bell wood, go there in April to see why.
Long Wood was a delight when I first came upon it and remains so today although on my last visit in 2008 much of the raised wooden walkway constructed to protect the woodland floor was in disrepair leaving a feeling of neglect about the place. Although as I have mentioned Springtime is a good time to visit, Summer is better in my view as the wetland area bursts into pungent, aromatic, decaying delight. Whatever the time of year Long Wood is worth a visit, it can take only a few mnutes to walk through but if you pause a little, look around you and feel the place, you will be impressed! The M4 buzzes past just above you, yet down in the wood amongst the small hills, in the stream and bogs another world carries on obliviously.
Long wood is part of Brent River Park and is sometimes looked after by a warden from that body, although sometimes not. The wood is a beautiful place and feels perhaps a vunerable one too. Spring is coming get on down there!
There is no parking on Windmill Lane anywhere near Long Wood but you could do worse than park at the Hare and Hounds pub on that road and walk the few hundred metres (in the direction of the motorway) perhaps take a designated driver and have a couple of pints afterwards? If travelling by public transport Boston Manor Piccadilly then an E8 or 195 bus towards Ealing and get off at the stop after Elthorne Park, take your 1st left after the shops down Trumpers Way, walk to the bottom of this road and cross the railway line at the crossing point turn left again and you are at the bottom of the Horse Field keep on keeping on and you get to Long Wood, phew!