TOP THINGS TO DO IN & AROUND WILLESDEN
If you are thinking of moving to Willesden Green, have just recently arrived in the area, or are looking for fun things to do locally, you’ll want to know about the spaces and places that will keep you entertained. Here are the top things to do in and around Willesden Green – for newcomers and long-time residents.
Sometimes the best things come in small packages and that is definitely true of the Lexi Cinema. Tucked away in Kensal Rise this independent cinema puts on the latest releases so you can keep up-to-date with the world of film. In the back you’ll find a wonderful little bar to enjoy a tipple or two. And perhaps the best thing about Lexi is that all profits go to the eco village Sustainability Institute in South Africa.
The Paradise in Kensal Green is widely recognised as being one of the best pubs in and around the Willesden Green area. Customers can choose from a wonderful selection of food cooked by a head chef who worked as a sous chef alongside Marco Pierre White on Hell’s Kitchen. The Chamberlayne (on Chamberlayne Road) serves up a great steak with a great drink’s menu whilst The Whippet Inn is the place to go if you prefer to take your time with a delicious craft beer.
There are few better places to start your day than at Parlour. Their smoked salmon (done in-house) is delightful and they even have an infinite bread bar for anyone who loves their wheat. Fans of Caribbean cuisine should pop along to The Island in Kensal Rise, while Neapolitan pizzas at Sacro Cuore always prove to be a hit. Another popular place to eat out is Shishlique, which sees people coming from all over to chow down on their famous Turkish barbecues..
There are plenty of fantastic green spaces and parks in and around Willesden Green. Roundwood Park is one of the most popular, covering an impressive 26.5 acres with wildlife areas, children’s playgrounds and football and basketball courts. King Edward VII Park is enjoyed by many locals, along with Mapesbury Dell and Gladstone Park which covers 97 acres. You can also nip down to Queen’s Park where children can explore the animal farm, or work on your gold handicap on the pitch-and-putt course.
Willesden Green also has a number of local art galleries to enjoy, putting on exhibitions for both upcoming and established artists. The Gallery from Brent Artists Resource is one of the most popular and can be found in the Willesden Green Library Centre – prices for purchasing the art are pretty reasonable too. Kingsgate Workshop Trust is located in a restored Victorian factory, with access available Thursday to Saturday.
Willesden market has been around for over three decades and features 50 stalls selling everything from household items to clothing and more. Foodies in search of a local market should head down to Queen’s Park Farmers’ Market which takes place on Sundays at Salusbury Primary School. There you’ll find local sellers offering a range of organic treats, from breads and juices, to cakes and freshly cut sausages.
Kiln Theatre (formerly known as Tricycle Theatre) in Kilburn doubles up as both a theatrical and cinematic space, putting on plays while also showing films. Many of the shows incorporate current affairs with performers from the local community. In 2018 it underwent a major renovation and changed its name to Kiln and can now accommodate up to 292 people inside the theatre section and 300 in the cinema. There is also a bar, café and restaurant to enjoy, which has made it one of the most important venues in the area.
Other things to do
Wembley Stadium is close by and plays hosts to everything from England home matches, FA Cup and play-off finals, to NFL games and big-name concerts. You can also get involved with the Transition Town Kensal to Kilburn that encourages local residents to donate home grown fruit and vegetables to help the environment. There’s also some amazing architecture to enjoy, with BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple being a standout example, located just off the North Circular on Brentfield Road.