|Ruislip Gardens/South Ruislip
A small leafy suburb of North-West London, lying within the London Borough of Hillingdon.
Ickenham was recorded in the Domesday Book (as 'Ticheha' or 'Ticheham'), and remained a quiet village until it was absorbed into the London conurbation via the extension of the Metropolitan Railway to Uxbridge.
Once away from the main thoroughfares, Ickenham can seem to be little more than endless semi-detached housing. However, there is plenty of tranquil green space hidden behind the houses, and being perched on the edge of some lovely Green Belt land, civilisation can be fully escaped in around half an hour's walk.
Ickenham is neatly bordered by the Chiltern Railways line to the north (extending from West Ruislip tube station), Ickenham Marshes and Yeading Brook to the east, the A40 to the south, and Uxbridge Golf Course to the west. The River Pinn slices the area in two down the middle. The area just south of West Ruislip station is currently undergoing major redevelopment after both the RAF West Ruislip and US Forces bases recently vacated the site.
The tube journey into central London is just long enough to be inconvenient (commuting and day-trips excepted). A relatively static population and the small string of independent shops focused around the old village pump have helped Ickenham hang on to its community spirit. As such, the Ickenham Festival is held every two years, and features a street parade and fete in the grounds of Swakeleys House.
Pubs: the JD Wetherspoon Tichenham Inn (affectionately known as 'The Titch') tends to cater for older locals and families, whilst the sprawling Coach & Horses attracts a younger, noisier crowd in the evenings. The Soldiers Return is primarily a sports pub where ale-lovers may find it hard going.
Restaurants: the Darjeeling Tandoori opposite West Ruislip tube station (approx. 10 minutes' walk from Ickenham tube station) boasts some excellent, reasonably-priced curry with a few 'Nepalese' specials. The Roc Cottage does a good value Chinese buffet on Sunday afternoons. Fry-Days serves proper chunky chip-shop chips but has no seating.
Entertainment: the 'Comedy Bunker' nights at Ruislip Golf Club attract some big-name comedians, but tend to sell out very quickly. The Compass Theatre regularly puts on amateur plays and concerts, but most residents travel to nearby Uxbridge or Harrow for cinema or shopping trips.
Ickenham has its own miniature railway, open to the public once a month, which is popular with younger residents.
Things in Ickenham (view them on a map):