It’s no secret that Wembley Park is packed with shopping, dining, and entertainment options. But did you know that there are plenty of other things to see and do around Wembley Park, some of which are true hidden gems?
In fact, the borough of Brent has a long and storied history, and plenty of unique ‘off-the-beaten-track’ attractions. From a thriving Hindu community and a kitschy diner to a stunning nature reserve and culture hotspots, the area around Wembley Park is home to plenty of interesting places that will pique your interest. Lace your trainers up or tune your bike – it’s time to explore some of the best things to do around Wembley Park.
Visit the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Often regarded as the first authentic Hindu temple in Britain, the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a welcoming and fascinating place to visit. Remarkably, in 1995 it became Europe’s first purpose-built traditional Hindu temple.
You’ll marvel at this stunning white marble complex – it’s a true architectural marvel, and it’s free to visit. When the Neasden temple opens again to the public, book a tour to learn all about its wonders. Make sure you come hungry - the fresh and vibrant Gujurati food at the on-site Shayona restaurant is mouth-watering, authentic, and affordable.
Stroll Through the Welsh Harp Nature Reserve
Victorian Londoners loved to visit the Brent Reservoir, often called the Welsh Harp because of its shape, drawn by the fresh air and sparkling water. It was initially created in the 1830s by damming the Brent River to supply the Regent’s and Grand Union Canals with water. The peaceful lake atmosphere was just a lucky by product of commerce and industry.
Today, it’s home to a sailing a rowing club, and is surrounded by a 23-acre recreational area. It’s the perfect place for bird watching, dog walking, and jogging, or just as a peaceful place for a stroll with friends.
See a film at the Lexi Cinema
There’s something magical about visiting a unique cinema, allowing you to discover arthouse movies, cult classics, and world films. The Lexi Cinema is one such cinema, showing digital films in a comfortable and inviting space. All of their proceeds fund a sustainable living charity in South Africa, so this is entertainment you can feel good about supporting. It’s one of our favourite Wembley things to do.
Have a Picnic at Gladstone Park
See a play at Kiln Theatre
We’re all champing at the bit for some in-person arts and culture when lockdown finally comes to an end. The Kiln Theatre, formerly known as the Tricycle Theatre, is a 300-seat theatre committed to staging shows that highlight Brent’s cultural diversity. While they don’t have any shows scheduled as of yet, keep an eye on their ‘What’s On’ page for upcoming shows once lockdown is over.
Discover Mapesbury Dell
If you’re looking for a true bit of wonder and delight, Mapesbury Dell is ‘one of Brent’s best-kept secrets.’ You’ll find this park hidden away behind the houses in Cricklewood, and you’ll soon be enchanted by its pond and whimsical children’s playground. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Mapesbury Dell has reduced its opening hours to daylight only and has temporarily halted picnics, so Gladstone or Welsh Harp would be better if you’re in the mood for a snack.
Explore History (and Diner Classics) at the Ace Café London
Hungry? If you’re a motorist who loves the history of motorcycles and cars, you can’t miss the Ace Café. This landmark eatery opened in 1938 as a roadside café for drivers on the A406, similar to the US's highway diners. In the ’60s, it drew a crowd of rockers, hot rod enthusiasts, and greasers before closing down in 1969. Thankfully, the building escaped demolition and was reopened in 1997. It’s now a pilgrimage for anyone who loves the history of the automobile, making it one of the coolest Wembley things to do.
Shop for Gorgeous Food at the Queens Park Farmers’ Market & Lates
Looking for some ingredients to add some pizazz to your home cooking? The Queens Park Farmers’ Market is open every Sunday, rain or shine - even throughout lockdown. You’ll find fresh and prepared food guaranteed to delight your palate, with award-winning vendors and food trucks on-site each week. Resuming April, their beloved Friday Lates (from 6pm – 9pm) is the perfect place to wind down the week with some killer street food.
There’s plenty of things to do around Wembley Park
Brent is home to such a flourishing and diverse community of artists, artisans, and local characters, as well as stunning nature and spectacular architecture. The next time you’re at a loose end, just remember our list of things to do around Wembley Park and let us know all about your experiences in the comment section below.