Your Guide to London Ilford
Where is Ilford?
Ilford is a lively district of North East London, where you can shop ‘til you drop, be entertained, eat great food, and relax! It’s one of the largest retail centres in London and boasts a huge choice of restaurants, cafes and pubs. Located in the London borough of Redbridge, Ilford is really close to Stratford, home to the 2012 Olympics, as well as Wanstead that contains the woodland of Wanstead Park (part of Epping Forest). It’ll only take you 15 minutes to get into central London via Ilford Train Station, or 25 minutes from Gants Hill Tube Station that’s in tube zone 4. As Ilford is outside the congestion charging zone and really accessible via road you can drive here with ease!
History of Ilford
Ilford was first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Ilefort, which means ‘ford over the Hyle’. Hyle was the old name for the River Roding, which runs to the West of the district. Ilford’s certainly got a fascinating past - the only complete skull of a mammoth to be discovered in the UK was unearthed in 1860 in the High Road. This skull is now in The Natural History Museum so be sure to take a trip there!
By 1653, Ilford was a small village of 50 houses and the area was mainly rural. When the Great Eastern Railway arrived in 1839, services like steam laundries and collar-making emerged for the commuting class. The population in the area then started to climb. Ilford has steadily grown into a bustling urban centre and a truly vibrant, multi-cultural part of Redbridge. You’ll find it a fascinating place with a great mix of the old and the new. Some shops such as Bodgers, Harrison Gibson and Fairheads have been around since the late 18th and early 19th centuries but they’re as popular as ever today. Make sure you pay them a visit during your stay!
The Positives of Ilford
llford is one of the largest retail centres in London with over 1.7 million square feet of shopping space for you to explore! Just south of Ilford centre is Ilford Lane - a unique shopper's paradise waiting to be discovered with wares from every corner of the globe (and the added attraction of generally lower prices). You’ll also find the price of hotels really reasonable, so you can stay in Ilford without spending a fortune on accommodation. As Ilford is only seven miles from central London and has its own mainline station it will only take you 15 minutes to get to London Liverpool Street. You can also get around London really easily from Gants Hill Tube Station which is on the Central Line. If you don’t want to travel much, Ilford is an exciting, cosmopolitan town in its own right.
Need to Know Ilford
Ilford can be an extremely busy, hectic area and you’ll find yourself in a place where nothing stays still for long. Having said this, it’s the ideal location to experience the true atmosphere of North East London. There’s no pretentiousness here and Ilford gives off lively, friendly vibes that make you feel welcome. It’s an intriguing place and there’s always something to do and always something going on. With the great accommodation deals available in Ilford, you’ll find it a fantastic, affordable base for exploring London as a whole.