Make the most of your stay in Hendon

We’ve done the homework for you, so you can go out and make the most of your stay

Brent Cross shopping

Fancy a spot of window (or actual) shopping? Open all week long, with 150 shops and eateries – that’ll make you go ‘mmmm’ – Brent Cross is a popular shopping hot spot, and is right next to Topsy Turvy. With outlets like All Saints, Apple and Gap, and department stores John Lewis and Fenwick, Brent Cross is the perfect go-to for your shopping-basket desires. It’s open seven days a week (10am-8pm Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm Sat and 12pm-6pm Sunday) and there are 120 outlets and 30 restaurants – all housed under one convenient roof – so you can get the upper hand on the ‘predictable’ nature of the English weather.

And, like any good shopping centre, they put on events throughout the year – like the Drive In Film Club and visits from Chaplin’s Circus – which you can check out here.

If you’re at a loss of what to do with the young of your pack (from babies up to under 12s) there is Topsy Turvy World – a large (and air conditioned) hub of soft play, equipped with tunnels, slides and ball cannons – just behind the centre. Like Brent Cross, it’s open throughout the week (see opening times here) and entry prices range from £1.25 (adults) to £7.95 (4-11 years olds), depending on age, with a family registration fee of £15.

Brent Cross is accessible by bus, train, tube or car (it has plenty of parking, but watch peak travel times to avoid getting yourself in a jam) – but for more detailed info of how to come and go see here: Getting to Brent Cross.

RAF Museum

Take in all the gubbins (equipment) that the Sooties (engineers), Scopies (fighter controllers) and Rear End Charlies (rear gunners) have grappled with during the lifetime of the RAF, spanning almost 100 years. It’s the only place in the world that displays a life-sized model of the F-35 Joint Striker Fighter Jet, and it has lots of immersive experiences on offer, like hearing the immortal words “Never was so much owed by so many to so few” of Winston Churchill during the Battle of Britain.

The museum has two flight simulators (one in the new Milestones of Flight exhibition, which seats up to six people, and the other in the Historic Hangars, which seats 12), with a number of rides to choose from and each trip soars through the skies for four minutes, costs £3 and will board all passengers over 1.2m. And, if you love that, head over to the 4D Theatre (with 3D animation and seats which respond and come along for the ride) afterwards for a choice of three trips (lasting between four to ten minutes), for the princely sum of £4 per passenger, or £12 for a family of four. *All information correct at time of publishing, please check the RAF Museum Website for more info. http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/

Open 10am until 6pm most days (though times can change during term times, so check them out here Plan your visit), with last admission at 5.30pm, and with on-site parking (£3 for up to three hours and £4 for all day) this really is a convenient and all-year-round attraction.
And, with a restaurant, café and picnic area, feeding your fleet won’t break the bank.

Nearest tube: Colindale (on the Edgware branch of the Northern [black] line). Also sccessible by bus, train and car – see here 

Wembley Stadium

Welcome to Wembley! The stadium is a Great British institution, with a sporting history dating back to the 1920s. Opened in 1923 by King George V for a two-year-long exhibition (to promote trade throughout the Empire), the stadium was named the British Empire Exhibition Stadium. It was the first ever stadium in the world to be deemed the ‘Hallowed Turf’. 

It closed its gates in 2000 – being demolished and rebuilt – opening as Wembley Stadium in 2003. It cost £798m and seats 90,000 people who come for big matches and concerts of a lifetime. Today, you can take a 75-minute Wembley Tour (free for the under 5s, £9 for seniors and kids and £16 for adults – or £41 for a family), paying a visit to the England changing rooms, the players tunnel, and climbing the 107-trophy-winner steps, among other highlights. It’s open all year round and available seven days a week – book here. You can also now be a part of Wembley Way having your own engraved stone installed in the stadium. The likes of Chris Eubank, Geoff Hurst and Vinny Jones have all done it, and who doesn’t love Vinny Jones?

Nearest tube: Wembley Park Stadium (on the Jubilee [grey] and Metropolitan [purple] lines)

Stephens House and Gardens

Find serenity in the grounds of this Grade ll listed house and finely-pruned gardens, gifted to the people by Henry Charles 'Inky' Stephens. Henry Charles Stephens was the son and heir to the famous Stephens’ Ink company – founded on an indelible blue-black writing fluid, invented by his father (also, confusingly called [Dr] Henry Stephens). 

Stephens House and Gardens (newly named in 2014) comprises of Avenue House, gardens and a boutique museum (with artifacts telling Inky’s life story). The property was purchased by Inky in 1874 and he soon set about making his indelible mark – bringing in renowned landscaper Robert Marnock to design the garden in his signature ‘Gardenesque’ style.

When Stephens died, he left the house and grounds to ‘the people’ and today you can enjoy the gardens (7am-8pm seven days a week), the museum (2pm-4.30pm Tue-Thur), the house (9am-5pm Mon-Fri, but by arrangement only) and Bothy Gardens (10am-1pm Fridays only, but look out for their Open Sundays on the events page, under the What’s On section of the site, where the ‘bothy gardeners’ open the grounds one Sunday of every month). It’s best to double-check for any variations before you visit here 

With 10 acres (the equivalent of 7.5 football fields) of grounds to explore, including a pond and playground – and with bikes and dogs allowed (see here) Stephens House and Gardens is a perfectly chilled, family-friendly destination. For those into dendrology (the study of trees) the garden also boasts a rare and unique collection of trees, a full list of which can be seen here

Nearest tube: Finchley Central (on the High Barnet branch of the Northern [black] line)

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