Nestled within the confines of Gunnersbury Park is a lovely eighteen hole pitch and putt golf course. It's smaller than the expansive courses that litter the suburbs towards the M25, but has a charm all its own. There are no holes above a par three, but that doesn't stop there being some tricky and challenging holes on the course.
Naturally the sun is required for this to be a perfect day out, but even if it's a little overcast it's enjoyable. In fact a bit of cloud does wonders keeping the crowds at bay, making for a more solitary, peaceful round. Incredible views and scenery are often cited as reason for playing golf. While there are no sweeping vistas in Acton you are surrounded by trees and the sight of buildings poking up over the park's skyline gives the course a unique feel. It's a slice of nature in a heavily built up area.
You can opt to play either the entire eighteen hole course or just go for the first nine. Playing the entire thing takes around two hours if the crowds are light. The course is cleverly constructed so that you find yourself back at the pay kiosk after the ninth, meaning that whether you play the full course or not you'll always end up back at the starting point. All you'll need is a putter and an iron.
Just opposite the pay kiosk is a putting practice area, a ring of green-length grass with nine holes dotted around it. It's on a slight slope, allowing it to simulate the different speeds of greens well. This can be used at a cost by itself, or you can practice on it whilst you're waiting to tee off if there are hefty queues.
A short walk away from the golf course is a large café. You can saunter over for a cup of tea or coffee and watch the world go by. If it's particularly warm, you can plump for a can of something fizzy and an ice cream instead. The choice is yours. There are nice views from wherever you sit at the café.
The course is a good introduction for those new to the game. It's unlikely to challenge anyone who plays regularly on larger courses, but it will be an enjoyable excursion for them. If the weather's on your side it's a beautiful day in the park and good exercise too.