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Friday, 8 February 2013

Living in Kilburn

As you walk up along Kilburn High Road, assailed by the waves of traffic and coffee aroma, there is an unmistakeable air of briskness that is typical of north-west London. Sandwiched between West Hampstead to the east and Queen's Park, Kensal Rise, and Brondesbury opposite, the town is well served by public transport in the metropolis. Trains, the tube, and buses take you along the many routes, traversing the town from Maida Vale up through Cricklewood.


People have settled in Kilburn for millennia, but Roman outposts have been replaced by a humongous council development overlooking an otherwise leafy neighbourhood. Detached and terraced houses dot the streets, with prices which can only be described as affordable for London. A bedsit or a room would set you back lb70 a week, whereas a whole flat starts at lb175. Unless you are fond of corner shops and chippies, that is: flats above shops usually command a lower price.

The People

Gone are the days when you are bound to rub shoulders with an Irishman on the High Road: the few Irish pubs have now made way for yet another group of newcomers. Eastern European and Afro-Caribbean communities have found their ways into an easy co-existence with locals, and Muslims in the southern side of the town mingle with the rich and poor alike.

A Night Out

No guides necessary here: Brondesage, The Black Lion, and The North London Tavern are amongst the residents' favourite pubs. Whereas Brondesage has embraced the modern trend of roomy designs in contrast to that 70's frosted-glass feel, The Black Lion is a different beast altogether. The Grade 2 listed ceiling encompasses an eclectic mix of fireplaces, mirrors, and assorted furnishings with a rich ornament of gold and burgundy, beyond which lies hotel-like boarding and a dining room that rivals the poshest of restaurants.


When you have had your fill, pop over to The Tricycle for some entertainment. An art gallery, a theatre, and a cinema boasting pay-what-you-can Tuesdays for lb1.50 should cover your needs. Live music fans will not be disappointed at regular gigs in the nightclub Luminaire, and those looking for a flutter can pop by Meccas' vast bingo halls.

Green Kilburn

In average-sized Grange Park, lawns surrounding its tennis courts, children's play area, and a netball court turn into a fairground for Kilburn Festival every July. Pop in one of the stalls to the sound of Irish, reggae, and jazz music - often all at once.


Kilburn has a big selection of restaurants and kebab joints for every client`ele. Pubs generally serve good food, and African, European, and Asian cuisines are on offer at restaurants.

Getting Around

Kilburn and Kilburn Park tube stations offer a frequent service to central London. London Overground now runs trains every 15 minutes from Brondesbury and Kilburn High Road as well. Richmond upon Thames is a mere 20 minutes away on public transport; take 16, 316, 28, 31, 98, 32, or 189 to the West End and beyond, although it can be a bit of a squeeze during rush hour.

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