brentford

Things to See and Do in and Around Brentford

Syon House and Gardens - Adamís classical interiors provoke admiration rather than genuine enjoyment but as a spectacle, some of the rooms are amazing. Described by John Betjeman as 'the Grand Architectural Walk', Syon House and its 200 acre Thameside park is the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, whose family have lived here for 400 years. Originally the site of a late medieval abbey, Syon House has Tudor origins and contains some of Robert Adam's finest interiors, which were commissioned by the first Duke in the 1760s.

Within the 'Capability' Brown landscaped park are 40 acres of gardens which contain the spectacular Great Conservatory designed by Charles Fowler in the 1820s.

As well as the House and Gardens discover the Snakes and Ladders indoor adventure playground, the London Butterfly House and the Aquatic Experience. Housed in the former stables is Wyevale garden centre, an aquatic retail outlet, pet care supplies and needlecraft centre. Nearby is an art centre and a National Trust gift shop. Enjoy a snack or lunch in the Patio Cafeteria, or picnic by the lake in the gardens.

Syon Park, Brentford Map
020 8560 0882/3

Gunnersbury Park Museum - Set in one of West London's biggest parks, Gunnersbury Park Museum is a beautiful early nineteenth century mansion which was once the home of the Rothschild family. It is now the community museum for the London boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow. Here you will find changing exhibitions, family activities and school workshops, bringing history to life. Call 020 8992 1612

Boston Manor - One of the finest Jacobean houses in London is hidden behind the walls of Boston Manor Park. If you can get there during its limited opening hours then itís well worth a visit; the park is very nice too, with the added attraction of the chance to explore under the M4 flyover.

Built in 1622 for Lady Mary Reade, extended in 1670 after being bought by an East India merchant, James Clitherow. A stately brick building, its finest rooms are on the first floor, with an especially remarkable plaster ceiling c.1623 in the great chamber. The house was bought by the council in 1924, and its grounds, leading down to the Brent, became a public park. However the Great West Road separated them from the town proper.

The House is open to the public from the beginning of April to the end of October, on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, 2.30 to 5pm. Admission is free and a 64-page guide book giving a full history of the house and its residents is available for purchase. Map

Brentford Musical Museum - This fabulous collection of mechanical and electronic instruments reopen in 2008 in new premises. Well worth visiting Ė thereís a full Wurlitzer Organ, the synthesizer that Delia Derbyshire wrote the Dr Who theme on, and much more.

Kew Bridge Steam Museum - The museum is open from 11.00 a.m to 5.00 p.m. seven days a week. Not just for engineers. The temporary exhibits are imaginatively chosen and the steam engines on display are awae-inspiring. The Kew Bridge Steam Museum is housed in a magnificent 19th Century Pumping Station and centres around the station's five world famous Cornish Beam Engines, two of which can be seen, in steam, every weekend. Originally used to pump West London's water supply for more than a century, one of them, the "Grand Junction 90", is the largest working beam engine in the world.

There’s also the ‘Water For Life’ gallery showing how water has been provided for Londoners from the Roman era to the present day. At weekends and bank holidays, the special waterworks railways are ‘in steam’, and there’s a host of special events throughout the year.

Things to do for kids in Brentford