Harlesden Area Guide

UK Area Guides

Harlesden, North West London


Living in Harlesden

Harlesden is one of London's most multicultural neighbourhoods, and attracts a wide range of people. In addition to a truly diverse, cosmopolitan atmosphere, the area has lovely tree-lined Victorian streets, an array of independent shops and restaurants, and good schools. Although it has had a somewhat difficult reputation as far as safety is concerned, there have been recent and ongoing improvements to the town centre intended to improve perceptions of the area and make it a safer and more pleasant place to live. 




Harlesden is a truly multicultural and diverse neighbourhood with a reputation for warmth, friendliness, and a creative spirit. Those who live in Harlesden seem very fond of it, and are willing to defend its reputation. There is a community Facebook page for Harlesden, as well as a community Blogspot site. The area has staying power.


Crime in the wider area is average, but there are some crime hotspots in the area. The 2014/2015 crime rate and violence against the person rate were both higher in this area than the London average. Harlesden has received some bad press for instances of violence in the area, but members of the community will defend the neighbourhood's reputation, and it has been improving. 


Parking in this area is fairly average. Fewer people own cars here than the London average, with about 1 car for every 2 households. The area has good road links to the North Circular and the A40. 


Harlesden has a good mix of pubs, restaurants, bars, and a few clubs. It also has good transport links for exploring nightlife in other areas of London. 

Family Friendly

Harlesden is an attractive area for families. There is a very high percentage of children in the area - more than a quarter of residents are aged 0-15. Schools in this area are typically good, and are another draw for families, who tend tostay in this area for secondary school even if they opt to send their children private schools in Hampstead. There is fairly good access to green space, with Roundwood Park and Wormwood Scrubs Park nearby. There are a number of family homes with decent gardens available in the area. The only drawback is the concern some people feel about the area's relative safety, though this is improving, and many residents feel safe here.

Pet Friendly

There are some larger homes available in this area, though the majority of accommodation is purpose-built or period conversion flats, and a lot of homes have decently sized gardens. There is fairly good access to green space, with Roundwood Park and Wormwood Scrubs Park nearby. 


Harlesden station is in Zone 3 and is on the Bakerloo line and the Overground. Willesden Junction is on the border of Zones 2 and 3, and is also on the Bakerloo Line and the Overground, and has additional rail services. Kensal Rise and Kensal Green are both on the Overground in Zone 2, and Kensal Green also offers Bakerloo access. There will be a new Crossrail station at Old Oak, as well as an interchange with HS2 and possibly new links with the Tube and Overground. The area is well-served by local buses. Harlesden has good road connections to the North Circular and the A40.