Top 10 things to do in Brent

Crowned The Mayor's London Borough of Culture for 2020, the previously under-the-radar area of Brent enjoyed a well-earned place in the spotlight.
Golden gates in front of Neasdon Temple with a cloudy sky overhead
Entrance to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir ©

Famous for being home to Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena, the Mayor's London Borough of Culture for 2020 also boasts some top shopping and cultural attractions. Easily reachable from the West End via the Bakerloo and Jubilee lines, find out why the London area of Brent deserves your attention.

1. Hang out at the Ace Cafe London

Petrolheads should stop by Wembley’s legendary Ace Cafe London, a popular hangout for bikers and rockers. Established in 1938, this roadside transport cafe on London’s North Circular Road offers a packed schedule of car and bike-related events and live music shows. With a relaxed vibe, it's the perfect spot to listen to the jukebox, enjoy a game of table football and have a bite to eat.

On the menu are British classics, including fish and chips, bangers and mash, and a knickerbocker glory. Not just for drivers and motorbike riders, the cafe is also accessible via public transport; it’s a six-minute walk from Stonebridge Park Tube station on the Bakerloo line.

2. Explore a traditional Hindu temple

Marvel at one of the largest Hindu temples outside India at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (also known as Neasden Temple), an architectural gem that’s admired for its exquisite workmanship. Constructed from more than 5,000 tons of stone and marble from Bulgaria, Italy and India, this opulent temple is free to visit.

Take a tour and tuck into a vegetarian Indian meal in the temple’s Shayona restaurant.

3. Find a secret garden

Discover a magical garden tucked away behind a row of houses at Cricklewood's Mapesbury Dell. One of Brent’s best-kept secrets, this award-winning park has a pond teeming with wildlife, picnic tables and manicured lawns. It's also perfect for families, featuring a children’s play area complete with a rustic wooden pirate ship. 

Annual events hosted in the pretty park include the open-air Midsummer Musical Evening and a summer Wild Day, where visitors can enjoy a barbecue, an animal show and face painting.

4. See a play at the Kiln Theatre

See a play or film at Kilburn’s Kiln Theatre (formerly the Tricycle Theatre), which has a reputation for showing plays that provoke debate and reflect the diversity of its community.

5. Visit the home of English football

Cheer on your favourite football team or see a top band perform at the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium, home to English football and the FA Cup. Go behind the scenes of the UK’s largest stadium on a Wembley Stadium tour, where you can take a peek inside the dressing rooms, players’ tunnel, press room and royal box.

6. Find designer bargains

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Rummage for bargains at the London Designer Outlet in Wembley, where more than 50 designer outlets vie for your attention, including Superdry, Nike, Lee, Hamleys, Clarks and M&S. Refuel at one of the shopping mall’s many restaurants and coffee shops, serving up burgers, dim sum, pizza, bubble tea and more.

This designer outlet can be found within Wembley Park, which is also home to Wembley Stadium, Wembley Arena and foodie hub Boxpark Wembley.

7. Catch a movie at the local picturehouse 

See a movie at Lexi Cinema, a digital picturehouse where every penny you spend goes to charity. Run by volunteers, this indie cinema shows a mix of blockbusters, arthouse and foreign films, while also hosting Q&As and movie seasons. Enjoy a tipple in the cosy bar, which stocks craft ales, micro-distilled spirits and wine.

8. See a band at Wembley Arena 

Enjoy a showstopping performance by your favourite musician at Wembley Arena. The venue has seen numerous musical icons grace its glittering stage over the years, including Prince, Madonna, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, The Who, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. 

The arena also plays host to comedy shows and major sporting events, such as wrestling, snooker and darts.

9. Discover a tranquil reservoir  

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Soak up the fresh air at Welsh Harp Reservoir, a 170-hectare (420-acre) wildlife sanctuary comprising of open water, marshes, trees and grassland. Within walking distance of Wembley Stadium, this verdant reservoir offers a tranquil spot in the heart of Neasden in Brent.

10. Shop at a farmers' market

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Stock up on fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables every Sunday at Queens Park Farmers' Market, home to more than 40 stalls selling garlic dumplings, free-range chickens, juice, eggs, farmed trout, coffee and much more.

Hotels and parking

Base yourself at one of these hotels near Wembley and explore the incredible area of Brent.

Find out more about parking in Wembley Park, which has 3,000 spaces. Plus, discover all you need to know about parking at Wembley Stadium.