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Five reasons to swing by Willesden Green

Holly Friend

Not familiar with this north-westerly spot near Kilburn? Well, there's a lot more to this multicultural hub than the Jubilee line and an easy bus journey to Notting Hill.

1. It offers some of the most authentic sushi, yakitori and saké


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Walking along Walm Lane before it merges with the vibrant High Road, you may notice Sushi Masa, a popular, tiny restaurant more suited to a Ginza back street than NW2.

2. It has inspired modern literary masterpieces


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The neighbourhood has a significant amount of literary connections, the most significant being born-and-raised-in-Willesden author Zadie Smith, who used the melting-pot of her local area as the backdrop for ‘White Teeth’, ‘NW’ and ‘Swing Time’.

3. It has a lovely little oasis behind a row of terraced houses


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Sandwiched between Willesden Green and Cricklewood, the tranquil, community-run Mapesbury Dell has a pond, gardening club and annual free opera evening – which means you no longer need to jump on the 52 to Kensington for some midsummer arias.

4. It’s great for people-watching fuelled by a killer full English 

Lazy weekend? Pull up a chair, browse the newspaper selection, maybe order a cheeky frappé and prepare to spend the day with die-hard Willesdenites at 'the home of coffee at Willesden Green station', Nest, as the Jubilee line rumbles beneath you. 

5. The High Road is a hoarder’s paradise


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Forget overpriced Sunday flea markets. In Willesden Salvage you can pick up anything from vintage road signs to life-size metal horses without the twee yummy-mummy vibe or an overwhelming urge to spend £4.50 on a cupcake. Wander around the magical yard for 20 minutes and you’ll likely leave with at least one of those brown vintage trunks you've always wanted.

Hanging out on the north-west side? Check out our area guides to Kilburn and St John's Wood.

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