Harrow is a historic market town in the borough of Harrow. It’s famed for its association with William Shakespeare, who was born in nearby Stratford-upon-Avon and spent much of his adult life there. Yet it’s also a modern London commuter suburb that has grown rapidly over the past century with new housing developments. This guide to Harrow will tell you all you need to know about this fascinating area of north-west London. Its history, sights, amenities and things to do, as well as information on commuting from Harrow to central London and beyond.
A Brief History of Harrow
Harrow has been a settlement since at least Anglo-Saxon times. The name Harrow is derived from the Anglo-Saxon heger-ro, which means ‘the heathland where herbs grow’. The first recorded mention of Harrow is found in a charter of 966 when King Edgar granted 10 hides of land by the River Paddington to his brother, Ordgar, who founded a monastery there. This monastery was probably a minister of the East Saxon (i.e. Essex) church, which was founded by Cedd (672-674), the first bishop of the East Saxons. The monastery was most likely a minster, serving a large area, and would have included a ‘minster church’, a small building in which the monks said daily prayers and a ‘minster hall’, where the villagers brought their produce for a service in return for being granted the right to use the common land.
Commuting from Harrow to Central London
Harrow is just 17 miles (27km) northwest of central London, but lies well outside the boundaries of the city. Despite being a long journey, the best way to commute from Harrow to central London is by train. The Metropolitan line is the most direct way into London, operating between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Baker Street. Peak journey times take around 40 minutes, while off-peak will take around 45 minutes. The Jubilee line is another direct route into London, though it is slightly further out. Peak journey times take around 40 minutes, while off-peak will take around 50 minutes. The Piccadilly line is a slightly longer route into London, with peak journey times taking around 50 minutes, while off-peak will take around 55 minutes.
Things to do in Harrow
William Shakespeare’s Birthplace If you’re a Shakespeare fan, you must visit his birthplace. It’s a beautiful Tudor timber-framed house dating back to the 16th century. Visitors can explore the house, including the room where Shakespeare was likely conceived. – Harrow Museum and Gardens This stunning heritage site houses over 6,000 artifacts, including an Egyptian mummy and an ancient Chinese bronze figure. It also features a charming walled garden, which is open year-round. – The Harrow Arts Center is the main performing arts venue in the area. It hosts a varied program of touring shows, as well as hosting local amateur groups. – Harrow Park Golf Club This large park is home to two golf courses. The Jubilee Course is a challenging 18-hole course with stunning views, best played during the spring and autumn. The shorter Pippin Course is ideal for beginners and children. – Harrow on the Hill Church This historic parish church dates back to at least Saxon times. You can explore the medieval stained-glass windows, as well as the stunning tower, which offers panoramic views of London.
Where to eat in Harrow
Aylesbury Fish and Chips Aylesbury Fish and Chips is a local South Indian fish and chips shop. It serves incredibly cheap and delicious food, including masala fish and chips, fish in banana leaf and banana chips. – The Old Horn This traditional British pub is located at the historic St Mary’s Church. It serves hearty pub grub, including daily specials, fish and chips and Sunday roasts. – El Chico Mexican Restaurant Located in the Harrow and Wealdstone High Street. El Chico is a family-friendly Mexican restaurant. This serves delicious margaritas, as well as a range of authentic Mexican dishes. – The Crown and Scepter This traditional British pub is located in the village of Edgware. It serves classic pub grub, alongside an excellent selection of real ales. – Patara Thai Restaurant Located in the Village Center of Harrow, Patara is a family-run Thai restaurant. It serves delicious Thai cuisine and features an extensive vegetarian menu. – Mappin and Webb This award-winning British restaurant serves fresh, seasonal food in an elegant setting. It’s renowned for its creative dishes, such as cauliflower, crab and leek soup and sea bass with Jerusalem artichoke.
Where to stay in Harrow
The Harrow Hotel This luxury boutique hotel is located in the heart of Harrow. It offers a range of modern rooms, including family rooms, as well as an excellent on-site restaurant. – The Rose and Crown Hotel This award-winning pub hotel is located in the village of Edgware. It offers a range of traditional British rooms. Some with en-suite facilities, as well as a superb restaurant. – The Linden Hotel This modern hotel is located in the heart of Harrow. This offers a range of affordable rooms, some with en-suite facilities, as well as an excellent on-site restaurant. – The Howard Hotel. This luxury boutique hotel is located in the heart of Harrow. It offers a range of luxurious rooms, as well as an excellent on-site restaurant.
Final words: Is Living in Harrow Worth It?
It’s a great place to live, work and visit. It’s a vibrant area that is well connected to central London, so you can be there in under an hour. It’s also home to some stunning architecture, as well as a rich history. If you’re looking to move to the Harrow area, you’ll find a wide range of properties to suit all budgets. You’re also well connected to the British transport network, providing easy access to central London and the rest of the UK.
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