5 reasons to visit Enfield

PUBLISHED: 16:18 01 May 2012 | UPDATED: 21:20 20 February 2013

Whitewebbs Museum of Transport, a transport museum housed in a Victorian pumping station, home to an array of  vintage vehicles, motorbikes to delivery vans, classic cars and fire engines. Whitewebbs Road, Enfield

Whitewebbs Museum of Transport, a transport museum housed in a Victorian pumping station, home to an array of vintage vehicles, motorbikes to delivery vans, classic cars and fire engines. Whitewebbs Road, Enfield

With the lure of London right on its doorstep and homely Hertfordshire in its back garden, there are plenty of reasons to visit Enfield as Damion Roberts finds out...

1. Classic cars

Whitewebbs Museum of Transport, in Whitewebbs Road, is a transport museum housed in a Victorian pumping station and is home to an array of old motor vehicles. From vintage motorbikes to delivery vans, classic cars and fire engines, the museum is normally open on Tuesdays between 10am and 4pm.

In May, Whitewebbs will host a weekend of classic cars, vintage bikes and live music at the Enfield Pageant of Motoring 2012. The event takes place on the weekend of May 25, 26, 27 at the playing fields on Great Cambridge Road.

2. Reach for the stars

Star Wars, in many ways, reshaped modern cinema going and the film and its sequels and prequels is, for its fans, a way of life.

A rather unique exhibition is on show at the Dugdale Centre. An exhibition of Star Wars memorabilia explores the impact of the film and how it led to changes in cinema going, the rise of the multiplex and the boom in film merchandise thereafter.

The changing fortune of cinemas in Enfield is also looked at in the exhibition, which is open on weekdays and continues until May 4. Call 020 8379 1468 for more details.

3. Gorgeous gardens

If horticulture tickles your fancy, Enfield has a large number of beautifully manicured green spaces for you to discover including Capel Manor Gardens, on Bullsmore Lane.

With 30 acres to explore, Capel Manor has a number of crafted gardens and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

These include the Manors Family Friendly Garden, which is a 2010 Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner, a 17th-Century walled garden, the Georgian Manor House and Victorian stables and an Italianate Maze.
Why not visit the Manor, enjoy its sumptuous scenery, picnic by the lake or take in one of its annual activities including art exhibitions and garden shows?

Among the other houses and gardens in which to enjoy fresh air and dazzling green spaces are Myddelton House Gardens, at Bulls Cross, and Trent Country Park, which has entrances off Cockfosters Road and Hadley Road.

Described as Enfields Jewel in the Crown, Forty Hall will re-open its doors at the end of June following a major restoration project funded by Enfield Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Among the changes are the installation of a replica Jacobean-style staircase and the refurbishment of the Long Gallery. For information about Forty Hall, which is located on Forty Hill, call 020 8360 7779.

4. On the stage

When it comes to entertainment there is plenty of choice for a night out at the theatre or a place to entertain the children. The Dugdale Centre in London Road offers theatre, dance, workshops and films.

Highlights in May include Shylock from May 9 to 12, Boat 13 from May 15 to 18, Swing Spectacular with ENJO Jazz Orchestra and Singers on May 24 and more music with Ziggys World Jazz Club featuring Tina May on May 27. Skewbald Stories, interactive storytelling for children, also runs until May 26.

In nearby Edmonton, the Millfield Arts Centre caters for theatre goers and music lovers alike. Among the musical shows taking place in May are The Blues Band on May 3, Hermans Hermits on May 4, and The Johnny Cash Story on May 5. Other shows include The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on May 6, Angie Le Mar from May 9 to 20, and Much Ado About Wenlock from May 29 to 30.

Also, keep an eye out for the Mimetic Festival 2012 which runs from June 6 to 21 with a variety of shows taking place.

More information and ticket details at www.millfieldartscentre.co.uk

5. Retail therapy

Located at the heart of Enfield, Palace Gardens has more than 40 retail stores including Ernest Jones, Holland & Barrett and Marks & Spencer.
The shopping centre was opened in 1982, and is open seven days a week and on Bank Holidays.

Shoppers at Enfield have plenty of stores to choose from, and in addition to the Palace Gardens there is also the Palace Exchange which opened five years ago.

Housing 22 of fashions top names including Ginger Group, Jane Norman and Champneys, the 160,000 square-foot shopping centre is also open all week and hosts events throughout the year.

Visit www.palaceexchange.co.uk for more details and opening times.

Places to eat

Like most cosmopolitan places, Enfield has a large number of restaurants and cafes offering a wide range of English and foreign dishes.

Beautiful South, on Windmill Hill, serves up traditional French and Mediterranean cuisine, Enzos, on Chase Side, is an Italian eatery which offers an a la carte menu as well as a party menu, and The Poppadom, established in Enfield in the 1970s, is an Indian restaurant whose dishes boast authentic homemade tastes.

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