Ilford started out as a small rural community in the mid-1600’s, but when the Great Eastern Railway was established in 1839, it paved the way for its continuous growth. The town eventually became part of the London Borough of Redbridge in 1965.
Fast forward to the present, Ilford is often considered as one of the most beloved tourist destinations in the eastern side of the country. So if you want your visit to be truly memorable, then let this list assist you. Here are the 8 best things to do in this lovely district.
1. The Vortex
At the Gants Hill Roundabout, prepare to be astounded by the 16-meter (52 feet) artwork called The Vortex. It was created by award-wining English artist Wolfgang Buttress, and it symbolizes the modernity of the area. Take as many photos as you want of the egg whisk-like masterpiece or just admire its unique design from different angles. The Vortex is often regarded as one of Ilford’s most famous landmarks. After enjoying the sights, make sure you visit one of the nearby restaurants for a delightful meal. You can also check out the various bars and pubs.
Address: Gants Hill Roundabout, Ilford, England
2. Valentines Park
The 130-acre (52.6 hectare) Valentines Park in Cranbrook Road is the perfect place to visit with the family. You can go for a stroll through the gardens or take a boat trip on the lake to enjoy the lush scenery and tranquil atmosphere. At the huge pond, you will have an opportunity to see ducks and other adorable water birds up-close. The park is also an ideal spot if you’re into sports. Enjoy a game or two on the basketball court or football field, both of which are well-maintained. In 2015, Valentines Park was voted as one of the best green spaces in the United Kingdom at the Green Flag Award. Now, it continues to attract both locals and tourists.
Address: Cranbrook Road, Redbridge, Ilford IG1 4UA, England
3. Ilford Hospital Chapel
It was built in 1140 on the southern side of Ilford Hill to serve as a chapel and a shelter for the sick. Join the free tour of Ilford Hospital Chapel to admire its well-preserved architecture and learn more about its eventful history. Be sure to check out the official website for the tour schedule. If you visit on a Thursday during lunch time, you will have an opportunity to witness the ministry of healing from the chaplain. Ilford Hospital Chapel is a Grade II listed building, which simply means it’s a historical gem.
Ilford Hospital Chapel
Address: 48 Ilford Ln, Ilford IG1 2AT, UK
Website: Ilford Hospital Chapel
4. Redbridge Museum
This museum in Clements Road will give you an opportunity to learn more about The London Borough of Redbridge’s rich history in the most fun way. Redbridge Museum is on the second floor of the Central Library, and it consists of different sections. At the Moving Stories, you will meet the different residents of the borough from the 1940’s to the present. The March of Bricks and Mortar will enlighten you about how Redbridge became a modern suburb in the early 20th century. All Sky and Turnips is where you can see the rural culture and traditions during the 1800’s. There’s also the Time Zone, which houses interactive displays about the 150,000-year old history of some of the most famous sites.
Address: Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, lford IG1 1EA, UK
Facebook: Redbridge Museum
5. South Park
South Park may be known all over the world as an animated comedy show, but in Ilford, it’s an award-winning green space. Go for a stroll or ride a bike through the 33-acre (13.35 hectare) park and admire the picturesque trees such as oak, lime, and horse chestnut. Afterwards, you can head to the lake and wildlife center to see the swans, ducks, moorhens, and many other fascinating birds.
If you’re in the mood to work out, then go shed those extra pounds in the outdoor gym. There are also well-maintained basketball courts, tennis courts, and a field for football or cricket. Indeed, South Park is another ideal spot for the family.
Address: South Park Road, Ilford, IG1 1XU IG1, United Kingdom
6. Kenneth More Theatre
Opened on January 1975, Kenneth More Theatre is the perfect place to appreciate the arts. The theatre hosts of a wide variety of shows from amateur and professional companies. Relax on the comfy seat and let the performances leave you in awe. You can choose from musicals, plays, concerts, dance numbers, and many more. Most of the events held here are suitable for all ages, so don’t hesitate to bring the whole family. Snacks and drinks are also available to make your visit much more delightful. For the complete schedule of programs, be sure to check out the official website.
Kenneth More Theatre
Address: 142 High Rd, Ilford IG1, UK
Website: Kenneth More Theatre
7. Seven Kings Park
Here’s another park in Ilford that you can visit with the family. Seven Kings Park in Epsom Road not only offers lush scenery and tranquil vibes, but different kinds of activities as well. Unwind on one of the benches or go for a stroll to see the beautiful trees and rose beds. If you’re into football, then go play a game in one of the three fields. There’s also a skate park, basketball court, cricket pitch, and two tennis courts, all of which are well-maintained. As for the kids, they will surely have a fun time at the adventure playground.
Seven Kings Park
Address: 21 Epsom Rd, Ilford IG3 8QP, UK
8. Gurdwara Karamsar Ilford
If you’re into temples, then Gurdwara Karamsar Ilford in High Road is something you shouldn’t miss. The gurdwara, which is the term for a place of worship in Sikhism, will surely astound you with its unique architecture. It’s a brilliant combination of traditional and modern designs. Marvel at the pink sandstone exteriors and then, head inside to explore the various pure white halls. Apart from admiring the sights, you can also take part in the ceremonies. Even if you’re not a follower of the religion, you’re still welcome here.
Gurdwara Karamsar Ilford
Address: 400 High Rd, Ilford IG1 1TL, UK
Website: Gurdwara Karamsar Ilford
See you in Ilford
When it comes to accommodations, Ilford won’t disappoint you as well. Spacious and affordable rooms await you at the Premier Inn London. At St. Georgio, you won’t just have a clean and cozy unit, but you will also be close to Valentines Park and some of the most popular shopping centers.
The town definitely has a lot to offer, and thanks to this list, you can now begin your adventure. Come see the many wonders of Ilford.
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