Trying to decide on a place to live in London is almost as difficult as deciding which university to attend. I knew that I wanted to live in student accommodation for my first year in London so I could learn more about the city and the areas I liked. I also wanted to be around people my own age with similar academic situations and deadlines. By being in a student hall I knew that I would always have something to talk about with fellow students. At some point during my searching, I came across Wembley Park in Zone 4.
Wembley Park – A Student Village
I didn’t know much about the area other than it was home to Wembley Stadium and the London Designer Outlet. After I moved into my flat at Scape Wembley, I truly started to learn more about the Wembley Park area and fell in love with it even more. There are a variety of student accommodation sites in Wembley like Scape, Unite, Host, Felda House, and even Westminster’s Raffles House which is operated by IQ. Thanks to the high number of students, cafes, bars, and restaurants in the area, Wembley Park truly feels like a “Student Village”, all within 15 minutes from central London.
I will admit that I was worried about being in Zone 4, away from the centre of London. However, I find that I really enjoy the commute into Zone 1. I feel like a local and the excitement of going back into the city every day reminds me of how lucky I am to get to live in London!
Wembley is perfectly accessible by the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines at Wembley Park Station, by the Bakerloo line, London Overground, London Midland and Southern lines from Wembley Central Station, and Chiltern Railways at Wembley Stadium Station. It also has a great network of day and night buses. Having this kind of transportation was important to me since Wembley seemed far away, yet is 15 minutes from Baker Street. This is faster than most of my classmates living in Zone 1.
Part of the local London community
One of the main things I love about Wembley is that there is always something going on. Almost every night there is either a game, concert or another local event to attend. As a new Londoner, this was very important to me. I knew that in Wembley I could get involved in my local community almost every day. Also, my student accommodation has many events to bring the building together.
Wembley also has a great community centre called The Yellow where they have tons of activities and events to attend. They normally have yoga classes, fitness classes, and open mic nights. The community centre serves all of Brent. This means that you can meet new people every time you attend a class or event. Having the Yellow so close to my home was important for me. It gave me the opportunity to go out and meet new people while being in a familiar area.
Another important factor for me was the amount of stores and supermarkets in the area. Within walking distance there is a Lidl, ASDA, Tesco Extra, Sainsbury’s Local, JD Sports, Curry’s PC World, and the Scape favorite, Butler’s. The London Designer Outlet is also a great place to eat, shop, or watch a movie. They have a variety of restaurants and it’s not uncommon to find me and a friend at Treatz for a late-night dessert. The area is less expensive than what you would find in Zone 1, making it ideal for anyone on a budget.
Eating out and shopping
A new favorite of mine is Boxpark Wembley. They always have great events going on and are comprised of street food vendors from around London. My personal favorites are The Athenian and Cut + Grind. They also have Movie Mondays which is a great thing to do when bored on a Monday night. They have celebrities come to events, host afterparties for concerts and sporting events, and even have student night and discount deals. Boxpark was the first place my family ate at when moving me into Wembley so it has something for everyone.
Let’s not forget about Wembley Central. On the occasions that I go, I always like to eat at JJ Moon’s or pick up a cake from Cake Box. This area also has great shopping like Primark and T.K. Maxx. It also has many places to eat and shop. It is a 15 minute bus ride from Wembley Park or can be walked on a nice day. Either way, you will get to see the side of Wembley that is still unique and popular to the locals.
One place I accidentally found was the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple. I ended up on the wrong bus and got off at the Temple’s stop. I was extremely surprised to find this beautiful (and entry free) temple in the middle of Neasden, which is a few bus stops away from Wembley Park. The temple is home to amazing festivals and is an all-around welcoming place to end up.
My accommodation advice
The best advice I can give is to go out and explore your neighborhood. You never know which coffee shop may become your new go-to place or which local restaurant may become your new favorite. Also, if you are searching for a new place to live, research the area. Find out where the closest transportation stops are, where the stores are, the best places to eat, and so on. And don’t be afraid of exploring a place that is not in Zone 1. You may end up finding you enjoy the commute back into the city.