Get Out Of Zone 1: North West London

By Londonist Staff Last edited 89 months ago
Get Out Of Zone 1: North West London

Done all the usual tourist attractions? Want to escape the centre of London and leave zone 1 for a few hours? Don't shoot us down just yet — take a look at what north east London has to offer (or browse south east London's offerings here, south west London's gems here or north east London's attractions here).

Photo by Andrea Pucci in the Londonist Flickr pool

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Or Neasden Temple if you prefer.

A hand-carved marble masterpiece, this is the biggest Hindu temple outside India — and a sight to behold. The building is open to the public to peruse, and sometimes there's a guide on hand to lead you round.

For the full experience though, attend one of the traditional Hindu prayer ceremonies. Remember, this is a place of worship and there's a strict dress code.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, 105-119 Brentfield Road, NW10 8LD. Free entry

The Musical Museum, Kew

Stumble into a wonderland of pianolas, mechanised orchestras, 19th-century jukeboxes and flashing Wurlizter organs that shoot up out of the floor.

The Musical Museum has charm and eccentricity in spades, especially when you take one of the guided tours. Stretch your experience into a whole day by getting lost among the pipes and pistons of the nearby Museum of Water and Steam.

The Musical Museum, 399 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DU. £10 adults, £7.50 concessions, £4 children

Ace Cafe

Mod scooters, muscle cars, Porsches and motorbikes are some of the vehicles pulling up at Ace Cafe.

Photo by Nigel Bewley in the Londonist Flickr pool

Though you can admire the array of shiny chassis and the choir of purring engines to your heart's content, this isn't just an experience for petrolheads; order a chilli burger and apple pie with ice cream and boogie the evening away to Eddie Cochran on the jukebox.

Ace Cafe, Ace Corner, North Circular Road, NW10 7UD. Free entry, although some events are ticketed

Kensal Green Cemetery

Tick off one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries and get lost among 72 acres of decadence and decay.

Kensal Green is the final resting place of the great and the good, including Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Wilkie Collins and Harold Pinter.

Photo by Nick Richards in the Londonist Flickr pool

The bones of many a ne'er-do-well rest here too — make a list of people you'd like to visit before you come.

It's fun weaving in and out of the ostentatious tombs of your own accord, but to learn more, you can take one of their regular two-hour introductory tours.

Kensal Green Cemetery. Free entry, guided tours £7, concessions £5

RAF Museum

Walk under the wings of a Lancaster bomber and clamber aboard a Chinook helicopter at this free museum cluttered with more than 100 aircraft.

Photo by Mac Spud in the Londonist Flickr pool

Plus kids will be kept entertained with the likes of a hands-on air traffic control display. The time will fly by.

RAF Museum London, Grahame Park Way, NW9 5LL. Free entry

Osterley Park and House

Who'd have thought there's such Georgian splendour in Hounslow?

This neoclassical country pile was designed by the reputed Robert Adam and is stuffed with portraiture, silverware, porcelain, and all the other expensive gimcrack you'd expect from a National Trust property.

Photo by Andrea Liu in the Londonist Flickr pool

The real treasure though is the sweeping grounds — an Eden of herbaceous borders, rose beds and ornamental vegetable patches. Take a stroll and seek out Adams's summerhouse.

Osterley Park and House, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB. £11.50 adults, £5.80 children (with Gift Aid)

Also in this series:

Last Updated 24 October 2016