5 things you didn’t know about Wormwood Scrubs

Hammersmith london

Known locally as ‘The Scrubs’, Wormwood Scrubs is a large, open space located in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

The area has a degree of notoriety in London and further afield thanks to Wormwood Scrubs men’s prison that is located on the land, but there’s so much more to Wormwood Scrubs than just a penal facility.

Read on to discover five interesting facts about Wormwood Scrubs and why the area is worthy of a visit on your next trip to London.

Wormwood Scrubs

The land now known as Wormwood Scrubs was purchased by the war office in 1879 as a place for military personnel to exercise and take part in training.

During the purchase of the land, conditions were also made that the area be used for the exercise and recreation of London residents, and the ground is still owned by the war office to this day.

A visit to Wormwood Scrubs takes just over 40 minutes from the Montcalm Royal London House by Tube, so its easy to access this large green space with its many leisure facilities.

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Following on from its history of exercise and leisure, Wormwood Scrubs has a purpose-built sports facility named in honour of British athlete, Linford Christie.

With squash courts, tennis courts and football pitches as well as indoor exercise studios, it’s a great place for the health conscious or just those that want to build up a thirst before returning for an ice-cold beverage at the Long Arm pub Montcalm.

Nature Reserve

Nature lovers and bird spotters staying at the Montcalm royal London house won’t want to miss a visit to Wormwood Scrubs to see the abundance of native birds, insects and wildlife that inhabit the common.

Grab your binoculars and head out for a day taking in the splendour of nature in one of the city’s large open spaces.

If birds are a particular favourite, then the Aviary Montcalm is an excellent suggestion for lunch or dinner on your return as the rooftop restaurant has bird themed décor – the perfect end to a day of bird watching.

HMP Wormwood Scrubs

Completed in 1874 using convict labour, you won’t be able to miss this imposing Victorian building during a visit to Wormwood Scrubs.

Still operating as a category B men’s prison to this day, Wormwood Scrubs prison has some notable previous inmates including musicians Pete Doherty, Mark Morrison and Rolling Stone’s lead guitarist, Keith Richards.

Charles Bronson, one of Britain’s most violent inmates also had a short spell at the prison but left after just two weeks after being transferred to another facility.

After just a few moments taking in the spectacle, you’ll be glad that you can return back to the comfort of the Montcalm Royal London House as the prison isn’t exactly known for its comfortable accommodation!

Pony Centre

The Wormwood Scrubs pony centre is a hidden gem and popular family attraction that you wouldn’t expect to find at Wormwood Scrubs, but the vast green space makes it the perfect place for pony treks and lessons for the little ones.

Following a session in the saddle, relax at the Aviary Montcalm or soak up the traditional surroundings at the long arm pub Montcalm and rest those weary joints!

After all, there’s still plenty of places you’ll want to visit in London tomorrow!