City Guide: Neasden

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

The London Borough of Brent includes areas such as Dollis Hill and Neasden which sit in zone 3 on the Jubilee Line. With public transport links into the City and West End, Neasden is also served well by major routes such as the A406 and A5. With the Olympics just around the corner, travel from this location to the Olympic park and Wembley stadium has been much improved in recent years.

Neasden is in the heart of Brent, and is home to the first ever UK McDonalds drive-thru which opened in 1988 – which also marked the year that an IKEA outlet arrived in the area.The Neasden Temple, Neasden’s Swaminarayan Mandir, is the largest temple outside of India and is said to be Britain’s first authentic Hindu temple and cost c.£12 million to build. Although the temple is obviously used for prayer first and foremost, visitors are welcome and there are opportunities and exhibitions throughout the year which are very informative.

Gladstone Park in Neasden offers great views of London and the surrounding area, if you are lucky enough to visit on a clear day and bag a good spot you can get a view of Wembley Stadium. Wembley Stadium will host the Olympic football matches from 29th July 2012. The stadium is one of the most expensive ever built and has the largest roof covered seating capacity in the world. The Wembley arch also has the world’s longest unsupported roof structure. When the new stadium was opened local residents were invited to view first – one of the perks of living in the borough.

Brent Cross opened in the mid 1970’s and was one of the first stand alone shopping centers in UK. Despite being located in the London Borough of Barnet, it is easily accessible from Neasden as it is located off of the A406. The shopping center offers an array of shops to bag all of your festive treats and you can park there for free all year round – be sure to remember where you leave your car as there are 8000 spaces!

With a great mix of cultures in the area you will be sure to find many tantalising cuisines. The most popular is likely to be Indian cuisine, followed by European, African and Middle Eastern. Mesopotamia is a firm favourite in the area – traditional Arabic cooking and reasonably priced. The fixed menu is the perfect excuse to try some new food and relax with friends.

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