Best of the suburbs



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    Kew Gardens

    10 Kew Gardens

    Of course you know about them, but how often do you go? This World Heritage Site covers 300 acres, and is home to over 30,000 plant species. Also nearby are Syon House (originally a medieval abbey) and Hogarth’s House (the former home of the legendary artist, closed for winter). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Rd, Richmond, Surrey (020 8332 5655/ Kew Gardens tube or Kew Bridge rail. Open daily 9.30am-4.15pm, last adm 3.45pm. Adm to gardens £9.50, concs £6.50, accompanied under-17s free.
    Syon House, Syon Park, Isleworth, TW8 (020 8560 0882) Brentford rail. Open Sat, Sun 10.30am-4pm. Adm free.
    Hogarth’s House, Hogarth Lane, Great West Rd, Chiswick, W4 (0871 716 2140) Turnham Green tube. Open afternoons only from Feb. Adm free.

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    Harrow Arts Centre

    11 Harrow Arts Centre

    This boasts a calendar featuring a wide range of events covering classical music, dance, spoken word and theatre. On December 15 there’s a workshop by the Jiving Lindy Hoppers. Harrow Arts Centre, Uxbridge Rd, Hatch End, Middx (020 8428 0124/ Hatch End rail or Harrow-on-the-Hill tube then H14 bus.

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    Royal Air Force Museum

    12 Royal Air Force Museum

    There are more than 80 aeroplanes on display in the main hangar, plus a simulator ride, a multimedia account of the Battle of Britain and the chance to take a pilot aptitude test. Royal Air Force Museum, Grahame Park Way, Colindale, NW9 (020 8205 2266/ Colindale tube or Mill Hill Broadway rail or 303 bus. Open daily 10am-6pm. Adm free.

    13 Myddelton House

    Home to the botanist EA Bowles, who lived there from his birth in 1865 to his death in 1954. It fell into decay but was restored in 1984 as an example of a twentieth-century plantsman’s garden – including a carp lake and the national collection of bearded irises.Myddleton House, Bulls Cross, Enfield, Middx (01992 702 200/ Turkey St rail. Open Mon-Fri 10am-4.30pm, Sun and bank holiday Mon 2-5pm.Adm 30pm. £1.80, children £1.20.
    For more ideas see Time Out’s ‘London for Londoners’ (Ebury £12.99).

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