A once overlooked northwest London neighbourhood, Willesden Green is currently on the rise and matching its NW counterparts at Kensal Rise, Kilburn and Queen's Park.
Large period properties, excellent travel connections and an eclectic mix of restaurants have turned the NW10 postcode into a hotspot. And many professional renters are now casting their eyes in the direction of Willesden Green.
In our latest London guide, we've turned our attention to Willesden Green and have all the details about what it's like to live in this northwest London enclave.
On a map
Willesden Green is located in northwest London and falls under the London Borough of Brent. It's located five miles from Charing Cross and mostly comprises the NW10 postcode — though some parts fall under NW2. Neighbouring areas include Queens Park, West Hampstead and Kensal Rise.
History of Willesden Green
Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Willesden Green was a pilgrimage. This was because of the presence of two ancient statues of the Virgin Mary, which were located at the Church of St Mary's.
One of the statues was believed to be a Black Madonna and was subsequently taken to the home of Thomas Cromwell and burnt on a large bonfire. It wasn't until 1972 that a new statue was resurrected, turning Willesden back into a place of pilgrimage.
In 1963, Willesden became the location of the first restaurant in Britain to serve Pekinese dishes, which were available at the local Chinese eatery. Over the years, it has become a hotbed of different cultures and acts as a microcosm for London.
Who lives there?
Willesden Green has a popularity of just over 15,000, according to the 2011 census. There's an even 50/50 split of males and females, and the median age is 33. More than 75% of residents in Willesden Green are renters.
Renting in Willesden Green
Many of the homes in Willesden Green are period properties in the form of Victorian terraces. Some of them have been converted into apartments, though plenty remain as family homes.
The past decade has seen increased investment in the neighbourhood, with the result yielding a selection of modern apartments. Gladstone Village is particularly popular with its vast areas of green space.
Expect to pay around £1,250 if you're renting a one-bedroom apartment in Willesden Green. A two-bedroom property fetches in the region of £1,600, and a three-bed-and-up home achieves between £2,200 and £2,500.
Willesden Green travel
Willesden Green residents have plenty of travel options that connect them to the rest of London. Both Willesden Green and Dollis Hill feature stops on the Jubilee Line, which has direct services to popular areas like Bond Street, St. John's Wood and Canary Wharf.
Brondesbury Park and Brondesbury are on the Overground line and run services to Highbury & Islington and Dalston Junction. There's also a good local bus network. Willesden Green is located in Zone 2.
Willesden Green eateries
Mezzoroma Italian Restaurant
Mezzoroma is a contemporary Italian restaurant in the heart of Willesden Green. Stop by for a bite from an authentic Italian menu that includes pasta, risotto and a range of pizzas. There's an extensive cocktail menu on hand too.
Beer + Burger
Treat yourself to a takeaway at Beer + Burger and sample jam-packed American burgers with all the trimmings. This family-owned establishment is a Willesden Green hotspot, thanks to excellent burgers and range of beers.
Get your gastropub on at The Queensbury and enjoy a range of beers, ales, wines and spirits. Indulge in classic pub grub to the backdrop of quirky interiors or head out to the large front garden during the warmer months.
Things to do in Willesden Green
As the largest open space in the area, Gladstone Park is ideal for a scenic stroll — no matter the time of year. The park is spread over 85 acres and features a walled garden, Holocaust memorial and sweeping green spaces. Gladstone Park has a Green Flag award.
In nearby Kilburn, you'll find the Klin Theatre — a fringe theatre and cinema screen. There's a 292-seat theatre, as well as a 300-seat cinema. Ever since the 1980s, plays at the Klin Theatre have reflected a diverse range of cultures.
As a new resident of Willesden, you might want to discover the Borough of Brent's history. Brent Museum features objects collected over the past 50 years, with more than 10,000 currently sitting in the museum. Find everything from oil paintings to toys.
Moving to Willesden Green
If you're looking to experience a little slice of northwest London, Willesden Green might just be the neighbourhood for you. There's a strong sense of community in the NW10 postcode, while excellent travel links and local cultural attractions make it easy to see why so many renters are moving to the area.