We are sure you will have a guidebook to the main London places to go and see. So we will concentrate on the places in the Queens Park/North West London area that we think are worth a visit.
However just for the record here are our top 12 Must See things in London:
1. The Tower of London & Tower Bridge
2. London Eye, South Bank and Festival Hall (with a chance to see lots of street performers)
3 The South Kensington Museums (Science, Natural History and V&A)
4. The British Museum
5. Tate Modern (a large permanent collection plus many temporary exhibitions in the famous Turbine Hall.
6. The National Gallery, National Portrait gallery and Trafalgar Square (there is an excellent bar/restaurant upstairs at the Portrait gallery)
7. Greenwich National Maritime Museum (very quick by Bakerloo & Jubilee line from the flat)
8. London Zoo
9. St Pauls Cathedral
10. Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard.
11. Hampton Court Palace
12. Windsor Castle
There is a free ATM outside the Sainsburys local which is 100metres from the flat
Sainsburys local is about 100 metres from the flat and sells a good range of food, drinks (including beer and wine) newspapers and fresh bread and croissants. It is open from 7am – 11pm every day.
You can buy bread and croissants in Sainsbury’s or if you prefer something more Artisanal try Gail’s further down Salusbury road at no 75.
There is a farmers market held every Sunday morning at Salusbury Primary School 150 metres from the flat. The famous Portobello Road market is also within walking distance of the flat. The best and busiest day to go is Saturday (8am to 6.30pm) but it’s also open on Monday to Wednesday and Friday and sells everything from clothes, antiques and bric-a-brac to fruit and vegetables.
Camden Market held on Saturdays and Sundays is also close by at Chalk Farm tube station. It’s particularly known for clothes and crafts but also has a large antiques/bric-a-brac section.
You can’t miss the excellent selection of shops on Salusbury road. However it’s also worth visiting Kensal Rise on the other side of the park. It is only about 10 minutes walk but has some interesting shops including delis and some cafes and restaurants.
The West End and Covent Garden are great places to go shopping. But if you like Malls or if it’s pouring with rain, the brand new Westfield shopping centre is spectacular, vast and has a huge selection of shops and restaurants including top luxury brands in The Village section. It’s only a couple of miles from the flat. See uk.westfield.com/london/
The whole of the West End is just half an hour away. However there are also two excellent local theatres:
The Tricycle Theatre (www.tricycle.co.uk , 269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 7JR) is about 20 minutes walk.
The Hamptead Theatre (Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage, London NW3 3EU, 020 7722 9301 is a little further next to Swiss Cottage tube and has an international reputation for new plays by new writers www.hampsteadtheatre.com/
Again the whole of the West End is available. But there are several excellent local options:
1. The Tricycle Theatre also has a cinema (www.tricycle.co.uk)
2 The Lexi cinema, Kensal Rise, NW10 3JU www.thelexicinema.co.uk/ is about 10 minutes walk. It shows alternative movies but has a state of the art digital screen and projection system, a very friendly atmosphere and often has special events such as screenings with the director present to answer questions:
4. The Electric Cinema, 191 Portobello Road, W11 2ED. This cinema lets you book large comfortable seats where you can enjoy a bottle of wine while you watch a movie. www.electriccinema.co.uk/
5. There is also a big and brand new multiplex at the Westfield shopping centre uk.westfield.com/london/
There are thousands of restaurants in London to suit every budget and many of them change very rapidly. However here are a few restaurants local to the flat that have survived the test of time. We’ve visited all the restaurants below numerous times and all except Js and Pompodorio & Baco have been around for over 10 years.
1. Sushi-Say, 33 Walm Lane, NW2 5SH, Tel 020 8459 2971. One of the best Japanese restaurants in London and one of the best value. You need to book for this restaurant and people travel from miles around to visit it. It’s close to Willesden Green tub and about 15-20 minutes walk from the flat or a short minicab or bus ride. Approx £30-£50 per head
2. VJs Indian restaurant, 49 Willesden Lane, Kilburn, NW6 7RF
020 7328 1982. An Indian restaurant specialising in South Indian cuisine. Very popular with people from Queens Park and approx £15 per head. They also do takeaway and it’s about 7 or 8 minutes walk.
3. Penks, Modern British, 79 Salusbury Rd, NW6 6NH, 020 7604 4484. Probably the best restaurant in Queens Park & booking is advisable Around £25-£50 per head.
4. Pomodori e Baci, 16 College Parade, Salusbury Road, NW6 6RN, 020 7372 1404. Good value pizza and Italian restaurant. From the flat just walk up the hill away from the tube for about five minutes and it’s on your right. Around £12-£20 per head.
5. Small and Beautiful, 351 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6 7QB. Cheap and cheerful with generous portions of food. About 15-20 minutes walk from the flat close to the Tricycle Theatre. £10-£15 per head.
6. Js, 218 West End Lane, West Hampstead, NW6, 020 7435 3703. Good value Italian food at round £15-£30 per head. About 15-20 minutes walk from the flat or two stops from Brondesbury Station. West End Lane also has many other restaurants to choose from including some of the better British chains such as Pizza Express (319 West End Land, 020 7431 8229), Nandos (Portuguese style spicy chicken, 252-254 West End Lane, 020 7794 1331 ) and Gourmet Burger Bar (331 West End Lane, 020 7794 5455)
The Salusbury Tavern, 50 Salusbury Road, 020 7328 3286 which you pass on the way to the tube is very popular with locals. They also do good food. Paradise is another gastropub about 15 minutes walk away on the other side of Queens Park (19 Kilburn Lane, W10 4AE, 8969 0098)
The pub closest to the flat is a more traditional Irish type pub the Corrib Rest.
A little further but still walkable in 25 to 30 minutes are some of the popular bars on Westbourne Grove. The Westbourne (101 Westbourne Park Villas, Westbourne Grove, W2 5ED) can get incredibly crowded on a summer evening with a young fashionable crowd but still has a great atmosphere. If the Westbourne is too crowded try the Bonaparte (80 Chepstow Road, Westbourne Grove, W2 5BE). For better food and a slightly older clientele try the Cow across the road from the Westbourne (89 Westbourne Park Road, Westbourne Grove, W2 5QH).
Walks and Parks
You will no doubt visit Queens Park just yards from the flat while you’re staying in London. This Victorian Park is where the famous Queens Park Rangers football team first started playing. However now it has a wide range of facilities including: a childrens zoo, a large playground, a sand pit playground for toddlers, a paddling pool, tennis courts, pitch and putt golf, a petanque/boules court, space to play football or go for a run and a cafe with outside tables.
Regents Park is also close to the flat. In the summer there are lots of special events including outdoor Theatre. Regents Park is also where London Zoo is located (http://www.zsl.org/). A pleasant day out is to travel to Regents Park and then walk down the Regents Canal which goes through the north end of the park to Camden Market.
Hampstead Heath is also very nearby and well worth a visit. Sights in the Hampstead area include Kenwood House (www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/kenwood-house/ NW3 7JR) a stately home with a cafe where concerts are held in the summer, the Freud Museum (20 Maresfield Gardens, NW3 5SX) and Keats House (Keats Grove, Hampstead, NW3 2RR) where he wrote the famous poem ‘Ode to a Nightingale’. There are also some excellent pubs such as The Holly Bush (22 Holly Mount, NW3 6SG), Spaniards Inn (Spaniards Road, Hampstead NW3 7JJ).
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are very easy to get to from the flat (www.kew.org/). You just continue up Salusbury road for about 5 minutes until you come to a station called Brondesbury. From there the train to Kew takes around 15 minutes.
Tennis courts and pitch and putt golf available in Queens Park. There’s also plenty of space to play football. The UK’s biggest indoor rock climbing facility is just a couple of miles away at the Westway Sports Centre (www.westwaysportscentre.org.uk/, 1 Crowthorne Road, London, W10 020 8969 0992).
Willesden swimming pool is about 20 minutes walk from the flat (Willesden Sports Centre, Donnington Road,Willesden, NW10 3QX, 020 8955 1120