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More Than Just a London Suburb
Ilford benefits from a train station on the fast line between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. Since Stratford, site of the Olympic Park, is only a few stations away, Ilford rose in international popularity during the build-up to the 2012 Games. However, location isn't all it has going for it.
The Borough of Redbridge is run from its Grade II-listed Victorian town hall, on a pedestrian precinct which includes the Ilford Exchange shopping centre. To the west is another Grade II-listed building: the 12th-century Hospital Chapel of St Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury.
The UK’s only complete mammoth skull was found underneath the high street and is now displayed in London’s Natural History Museum. Redbridge Museum houses more archaeological finds, and the 17th-century Valentines Mansion features a Victorian kitchen and beautiful gardens.
Actually outside of the capital when built, the mansion is now firmly within Greater London and is surrounded by Valentines Park with its boating lake and cricket pitch where Essex County once played.
The diverse cuisine of Ilford’s restaurants reflects its multicultural population, and there are also several good bars and a club near Gants Hill Tube station that is popular with reality TV stars. Nearby Ilford accommodation on Booking.com includes hotels with parking and cheap guest houses.