Disc Golf in London: Horsenden Hill and Beyond

Calling all disc golfers! Are you looking to tee off amidst the iconic landmarks of London or explore hidden gems tucked away in its parks? The disc golf scene in London is thriving, offering a captivating blend of urban adventure and natural beauty. From the historic fairways of Horsenden Hill to the easily accessible greens of Lloyd Park, there’s a course perfect for every skill level waiting to be discovered. So, pack your discs, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable disc golfing adventure in the heart of London!

Horsenden Hill Disc Golf: Where Dreams Meet Reality

Discover the vibrant disc golf scene in London, where Horsenden Hill Disc Golf stands out as a beloved destination for enthusiasts like me. I’m a disc golfer who has been fortunate to witness the growth of this beautiful course. Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting on International Disc Golf Weekend during the LDGC Summer League 2023. As I stepped onto the fairways, I was warmly welcomed by the London Disc Golf Community, making me feel right at home. Today, I invite you to join me on a journey through this picturesque course and the unforgettable memories it holds.

The Journey of a Sport:

Back in 1996, my friends and I were among the early adopters of disc golf in the UK. Together, we founded the Bongos Disc Golf Club and designed long-since forgotten courses in Hanwell and Greenford in West London. It was an exciting time, but we had no disc golf baskets. Improvisation was our forte, and we creatively used specified trees and objects as targets. Among our disc golf endeavours, Horsenden Hill stood out, almost becoming the venue for our dreams of hosting a tournament there in 2001.

A tiny photo of me on a disc golf reconnaissance mission to Horsenden Hill in 2001

Back in 2001, we were on a mission to share the joys of disc golf with the world. Excitedly, we held discussions with the Ealing Council, dreaming of organising a fantastic tournament at Horsenden Hill Golf Club. But as fate would have it, our dreams were dashed, leaving us with nothing but a tiny photo from that spirited reconnaissance mission.

Little did we know that destiny had other plans in store. Unbeknownst to us, the London Disc Golf Community took up the challenge we once embraced. With unwavering determination, they embarked on a journey of their own. Fast forward to 2019, and there it was. Horsenden Hill had been transformed into a breathtaking disc golf course.

Isn’t it amazing how life works out? While we may have faced setbacks, the London Disc Golf Community turned Horsenden Hill into the disc golf haven it was always destined to be. Their passion and dedication made it happen, and we couldn’t be prouder to witness this remarkable transformation. Cheers to the London Disc Golf Community for making Horsenden Hill a true disc golf paradise!

An Enchanting Reunion:

Fast forward to International Disc Golf Weekend in 2023, and Horsenden Hill has transformed into a disc golfer’s haven. The course now features baskets, ready to challenge players of all levels. On that day, I had the privilege of being guided around the course by David and Jack, both skilled players who were neck and neck throughout the round.

The 18th at Horsenden Hill

On the 18th tee, a playful moment of “housery” ensued when David, who was scoring, temptingly asked Jack if he “wanted to know the scores.” With a friendly exchange of banter, they both playfully attempted to psych each other out. There was only one shot between them, leading to 2 slightly wayward throws that found their way into the bushes on the left of the fairway. In the end, they both bogeyed the 18th, keeping David slightly ahead in the friendly competition. The camaraderie and good-natured spirits on display exemplified the essence of disc golf, where the love for the game and the joy of playing with fellow enthusiasts takes precedence over individual achievements.

Parakeets in West London:

As we navigated the fairways, the sight of parakeets flitting around the course caught my attention. These vibrant, green-feathered birds have indeed become a common sight in West London, but they aren’t native to the region. Their presence can be traced back to the 1950s when a few parakeets were introduced to the area. Over the years, their population has thrived due to the favourable climate and abundance of food sources, making West London a vibrant habitat for these delightful birds.

A Symphony of Nature and Adventure:

Nestled amidst the urban hustle and bustle of London, Horsenden Hill Disc Golf offers a delightful escape into a world of natural wonders and adventure. The course’s unique charm lies in its unlikely location within the bustling city, where green spaces are often a rarity. Embracing this unexpected oasis, players are greeted with the allure of hilly and sloping terrain that adds an exciting challenge to each throw. The surroundings come alive with the calls of red kites, woodpeckers, and the playful chatter of parakeets, providing a symphony of nature’s melodies. As I explored the fairways, the irresistible temptation of delicious blackberries found along the way was nature’s sweet reward for those immersing themselves in this captivating journey. Horsenden Hill Disc Golf stands as a testament to the unexpected beauty that thrives amidst London’s urban landscape.

A Feast for the Senses:

The Horsenden Hill Activity Centre has thoughtfully provided a cafe and bar, a rarity on a disc golf course in the United Kingdom. During the round, I found solace in sipping my favourite Lipton iced tea, energising myself for the challenges ahead. There are also toilets and a very well-stocked disc shop, adding to the overall convenience and enjoyment of the experience.

An Odyssey of Disc Golf Wonder:

As we teed off, the grandeur of the central London skyline and the iconic Wembley Stadium unfolded before us, adding a touch of splendour to the round. The course layout carefully incorporated these scenic views, enhancing the overall disc golfing experience.

Embracing Nature’s Surprises:

As with any adventure, nature had its surprises in store. Brambles and stinging nettles added an element of jeopardy, a reminder that disc golf is as much about skill as it is about embracing the unexpected. These natural hurdles added excitement and made every throw an exhilarating challenge.

Course Signage and Safety:

Navigating the course was a breeze, thanks to the well-placed tee signs and clear directions. Despite multiple baskets being visible from certain tees, the clever layout and clear signage eliminated any confusion, making for an enjoyable and hassle-free experience.

My visit to Horsenden Hill Disc Golf was a celebration of the sport’s journey, the enduring spirit of the London Disc Golf Community, and the triumph of turning dreams into reality. From our early days of creative disc golfing to witnessing the fulfilment of a long-cherished tournament dream, Horsenden Hill remains a symbol of perseverance, camaraderie, and triumph.

As the London Disc Golf Community continues to thrive, Horsenden Hill stands tall as a testament to the love for disc golf and the unwavering passion of its players. It’s a place where memories are created, friendships are forged, and the harmony of nature intertwines with the thrill of the game.

So, whether you’re a disc golfer with a love for the sport’s history or someone curious to explore the world of flying discs, Horsenden Hill Disc Golf welcomes you with open arms and a fairway filled with adventure. Experience the magic of this charming course, and let the journey begin. Disc golf awaits, and Horsenden Hill is ready to show you the way.

London disc golf course

Expanding Your Disc Golf Adventure Beyond Horsenden Hill

Now that you’ve conquered (or at least enjoyed) Horsenden Hill, you might be itching to explore other disc golf options within the city limits. While Horsenden Hill, Greenford remains a top choice, there are a couple of disc golf courses closer to the heart of London waiting to be discovered:

Lloyd Park Disc Golf Course: A South London Gem in Croydon

Head south of the River Thames to find this acclaimed 18-hole (or technically 21-hole) course nestled within Lloyd Park. They offer a variety of layouts to suit all skill levels, including a dedicated championship layout for experienced players and a beginner-friendly 9-hole red course. Boasting a high rating on UDisc, players praise its good course conditions, with the caveat that the course leans towards a more “natural” aesthetic due to environmental considerations. Make sure to employ spotters as the grass grows high. This means slightly less manicured fairways compared to some courses, but also a chance to connect with nature as you play. Plus, the course is easily accessible by public transport, making it a convenient option just 30 minutes from central London.

Disc golf London can be reached by public transport

Finding Disc Golf Options in Greater London

Venturing slightly further into Greater London opens up a another possibilitiy:

Morden Park Disc Golf: A Hidden Oasis in Greater London

This recently established (2022) 9-hole course offers a great introduction to the sport for beginners. Located in beautiful Morden Park, the course utilizes rubber tee pads and permanent baskets. While tee signs are still in the works, the course layout is easily navigable, making it a relaxed and enjoyable experience. Similar to Lloyd Park, this course is situated within a public park, allowing for encounters with friendly dogs and fellow park users.

Exploring the Disc Golf Scene Beyond London

Remember, disc golf’s beauty lies in its accessibility. With a bit of planning, you can easily explore courses beyond the immediate London area. Websites like UDisc can help you discover courses throughout Greater London and beyond.

Disc Golfing Straight from the Plane in London

Picture this: you step off the plane at one of London’s bustling airports, your mind buzzing with anticipation. But instead of heading straight to your accommodation, you’re itching to hit the disc golf course for a round of play. Or perhaps you find yourself with a layover and want to squeeze in a quick game before your next flight. In London, a major transport hub, these scenarios aren’t just fantasies—they’re entirely feasible with careful planning.

Disc Golf Courses Near London Airports

Disc Golf Courses Near London Airports

And with options near major airports like Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted, you can turn transit time into tee time with ease.

Are there any disc golf courses near Heathrow Airport?

Yes, while there are no disc golf courses directly adjacent to Heathrow Airport, Horsenden Hill Disc Golf Course is accessible within approximately an hour using public transportation. You can use the excellent CityMapper app to navigate easily via the subway or metro. However, accessing Morden Park Disc Golf Course from Heathrow via public transport can be challenging due despite its apparent geographic proximity.

Are there disc golf courses near Gatwick Airport?

Absolutely! Lloyd Park Disc Golf Course in Croydon is located approximately 45 minutes away from Gatwick Airport by train and tram. You can use the superb CityMapper app to navigate easily. This course offers a convenient option for disc golf enthusiasts looking to enjoy a round of golf before or after their flight.

Are there any disc golf courses near Stansted Airport?

Yes, Lee Valley Disc Golf Course is situated approximately 80 minutes away from Stansted Airport. You can reach this course by taking two trains, with a need to change trains during the journey. You can use the remarkable CityMapper app to navigate easily. Despite the travel time, Lee Valley offers a rewarding disc golf experience for travelers willing to make the journey.

Are there disc golf courses in Central London?

While there are no disc golf courses located directly in Central London, several courses are accessible within an hour’s travel time. Horsenden Hill Disc Golf Course, Lloyd Park Disc Golf Course, Lee Valley Disc Golf Course, and Morden Park Disc Golf Course are all within this range. Of these options, Horsenden Hill is likely the easiest and most cost-effective to reach, offering a convenient option for disc golfers exploring Central London. Get the first-rate Citymapper app to navigate around London and the surrounding area.

Navigating Transport Turbulence

However, it’s essential to factor in potential delays that can occur on London’s public transport, so be sure to allow ample time for travel. While London’s transport network is extensive and efficient, unexpected delays can throw a wrench into even the best-laid plans. Whether you’re hopping on the tube, catching a train, or navigating tram lines, allowing for flexibility ensures you can arrive at your destination stress-free and ready to tee off.

Making the Most of Your Disc Golf Adventures

But the journey doesn’t end when the discs stop flying. To maximize your disc golf adventures in London, check out our ‘Traveling with Golf Discs: A Disc Golfer’s Guide‘ blog post. Packed with tips and insights, it’s your ultimate companion making sure your discs travel safely.

Finding Your Disc Golf Niche

Whether you’re drawn to the championship-level challenge at Lloyd Park or seeking a relaxed introduction at Morden Park, London’s diverse disc golf scene caters to all preferences. With the wealth of disc golf courses near London and the vibrant London disc golf community waiting to welcome you, it’s time to grab your discs, hop on the tube/tram/train/bus, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the dynamic disc golf scene in the Big Smoke!

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