Golders Green is historically renowned as an area with a bustling Jewish community. This burrow of North London has a wealth of hidden gems that make it an excellent area for locals and tourists alike. Whether you are looking for a night out at the theatre or to ramble through lush parks and gardens, Golders Green has something for everyone.
The History of Golders Green
This historic area of London first started to be developed in the late 18th century. A number of ‘ornamental villas’ appeared in the area and in 1820 the crossroads that form the hub of Golders Green was created when Finchley Road arrived.
In 1898, London County Council purchased Golders Hill House and its Gardens, bringing the first public park to the area. The House and Gardens still act as a popular tourist attraction and site of historic significance. After this acquisition, rapid suburban development began in the neighbourhood.
In 1913, The Golders Green Hippodrome opened, serving as a music hall, cinema, theatre and BBC recording studio. The historical building was recently purchased by the Hillsong ‘international megachurch’.
Top 5 Things To Do in the Golders Green Area
The first thing to do when you arrive in Golders Green simply takes time to absorb the vibrant local culture. Wandering around the streets of Golders Green you’ll see a wealth of synagogues and churches, local shops, beautiful gardens and parks, and fantastic restaurants and bars. However, there are a few things you might like to do that are a bit more off the beaten track.
1. Visit Golders Hill Park Zoo
Where? London NW11 7QR
One of the most beautiful areas to visit in Golders Green is Golders Hill Park, adjoining the West Heath of Hampstead Heath. This formal Park is sprawling and breathtaking with a huge variety of things to do and see. With a water garden, walled horticultural garden, pinetum, duck ponds and a very popular cafe, there is plenty to take in at this beautiful garden. During the summer months, live music and children’s events are often organised at the bandstand.
One of the more unique features of the park is its small zoo. Housing ring-tailed lemurs, Scottish wildcats, fallow deer, kookaburra, donkey, bantam chicken, red jungle fowl, wallabees and much more, the zoo is a fantastic attraction for London’s animal lovers. The zoo is also completely free making it undoubtedly worth a visit.
2. Visit the Gardens and Pagoda
Where? The Pergola, Inverforth CI, London NW3 7EX
Close by to Golders Hill Park, the formal gardens and pagoda are a stunning attraction for those with a love of architecture and horticulture. Simply referred to as the Hill, this extensive garden is a wonder and a hidden gem of the area. It overlooks West Heath, and was the dream of William H Lever, later Lord Leverhulme, a wealthy idealist, patron of the arts, architecture and landscape gardening; and Thomas Mawson, the celebrated landscape architect.
3. The King Alfred Phoenix Theatre
Where? Ivy Wood, N End Rd, London NW11 7HY
Set in the grounds of Anna Pavlova’s estate, the King Alfred Phoenix Theatre is a modern and impressive little theatre that offers a range of exciting dramatic offerings. Just a 5 minute walk from the Golders Green station, this little theatre also acts as a venue for weddings, parties and conferences. The theatre has seen performances from such luminaries as Sir Ralph Richardson, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Peter Sellers and Dame Helen Mirren.
4. History At Kenwood House
Where? Kenwood house, Hampstead Ln, London NW3 7JR
Kenwood House offers an excellent day out for anyone in the Golders Green area. The historic country home is owned by English Heritage and features 112 acres of glorious parkland designed by Humphry Repton as well as a world-renowned collection of paintings by artists like Vermeer, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner and Constable. The stunning house also offers plenty of activities for children and a quaint cafe for a relaxing cup of tea. Tickets to the house and gardens are completely free and can be booked online.
5. Tennis At the Local Courts
Where? Tennis courts, Golders Hill Park, London NW11 7QP
Right in the heart of Golders Green you’ll find 4 tennis courts, open year-round. For anyone looking for a run around in the sunshine, booking a tennis court is an excellent option. Nestled in Golders Green Park, the courts have beautiful views of the natural surroundings.