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Points of Interest: Ilford
Until its early industrial expansion in the 19th century, Ilford was once a rural town. This expansion introduced coal yards, brick/cement works and other businesses focused around the banks of the River Roding.
In 1839, a railway was opened from Romford to Mile End giving businesses further access to new industries, including the likes of paper-making and collar-making.
This particular expansion also put Ilford on the map and it became a haven to a new line of commuters and consumers.
It’s now hard to believe that tigers, rhinos, wolves and elephants ever occupied this area. Yet one of the best specimens of mammoth known to man now sits in the National History Museum.
The nearest tube station to Ilford is Gants Hill, Fairlop or Barkingside and the nearest train station sits in the town’s heart, which makes it an easy place to get to and from, especially for those commuting into central London on a daily basis.
The region is home to various shopping centres, including the Exchange Shopping Centre, Ilford High Road, Barkingside High street and Chigwell Road. There are also an abundance of restaurants, cafes and bars in the wider area.
Other local attractions include the Kenneth More Theatre, Valentines Park and Valentines Mansion & Gardens. The locals often visit the latter two when the weather is particularly nice.
South Park is another area of open space in Ilford and is often described as one of the best parks in London, which makes it a great place to catch a few rays and walk the dogs.
Redbridge Museum is a great spot to visit if you’re local – regardless of whether you have children or not. It’s free to the general public and boasts an abundance to look at, as well as an array of regularly changing displays.