Culture & Life in Redbridge
With over 1,200 acres of forest within its boundaries and many parks, walks and open spaces, Redbridge is one of the greenest London Boroughs. Explore the wildlife attractions and enjoy stunning panoramic views of Valentine Park, the largest green space in Redbridge, which is situated next to the beautiful Valentines Mansion, a Georgian country house and gardens. The park, which is just a short walk from Gants Hill tube station, is the perfect setting for a fun family picnic day out. Featuring a walking and cycling path alongside a large pond, where couples and families can spend quality time on the boat rides available. Alternatively, families can also indulge in a game of tennis by taking advantage of the free tennis courts situated in the park.
Hainault Forest Country Park has 300 acres of countryside including adventure play areas, cafe and petting zoo. Roding Valley Park, a wildlife sanctuary boasts a wide range of flora and fauna and woodland areas to explore.
Many other attractions include; Redbridge Drama Centre in Churchfields, South Woodford, offers young people aged 5 to 21 the chance to take part in a professional performance and gives the public a year-round opportunity to see live shows. Since opening in 1975, Kenneth More Theatre in Oakfield Road, Ilford, has served up a diverse programme of amateur and professional performances to the local community with new shows most weeks.
Located on the second floor of Redbridge Central Library in Ilford is Redbridge Museum, exploring the many places, people and events throughout the borough's history. There are new exhibitions on display regularly and the museum features interactive displays, family trails and touch displays to help bring the past to life.
Redbridge has a number of sports and leisure facilities including the fantastic road and off-road cycling tracks at Redbridge Cycling Centre, top-class water sports including sailing, windsurfing and kayaking facilities at Fairlop Activity Centre, in Fairlop Waters and sporting facilities at Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre, in Forest Road, Fairlop. Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre, in Barkingside, features a swimming pool, dance studio and spa.
There are also a number of outdoor gyms in the Borough's parks:
- Ashton Playing Fields
- Claybury Woods and Park
- Elmhurst Gardens
- Forest Road Playing Fields
- Goodmayes Park
- Ray Park
- Valentines Park
There are over 10 libraries across the borough and each town has a thriving shopping centre, popular bars, clubs and restaurants. The two most popular shopping centres are The Exchange in Ilford and East Shopping Centre in Forest Gate. The Exchange is home to nearly 100 restaurants and shops, including popular high-street brands and also offers a large car park and late-night shopping hours on specific days. You’ll find Europe’s first dedicated Asian Mall with boutiques offering everything from designer couture and bridal wear to everyday garments at the East Shopping Centre.
You can also enjoy a full London shopping experience, all under one roof, by heading to Westfield Stratford, which is known for sheltering some of the most famous high-end and high-street retailers, offering visitors a wide selection to choose from. Also included in the mega mall is a state-of-the-art cinema, a lavish spa and a combination of fast-food and stylish and modern restaurants.
Its administrative headquarters is at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford. There is a wide range of events happening in Redbridge all the time, for more information visit Redbridge Council.