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Havering Visitor Centre

While it's probably true to say that most people have heard of Romford, with its lively mix of traditional market, excellent high street shopping and vibrant nightlife, fewer know anything about the borough that surrounds the town.??? But Havering has plenty to offer visitors.

Havering includes the main centres of Romford, Hornchurch and Upminster. It is well served by road, rail and air, with excellent transport links offering easy access to the rest of Great Britain and Europe.

Central London is half an hour away, Stansted, Gatwick and City airports only an hour, and the Channel Tunnel is easily accessible. Havering really is the gateway to Europe.

Havering is one of the largest boroughs in Greater London, with a population of around 225,000 and an area approaching 40 square miles - half of which is in the Green Belt.

To the north and east the borough is bordered by the Essex countryside, to the south by a three mile River Thames frontage, and to the west by the neighbouring boroughs of Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham?.

The name 'Havering' devolves from the Royal Liberty of Havering, to which Edward IV granted a charter in 1465. Edward the Confessor was the first notable person to have a connection with the area. He occupied the royal house in the village of Havering-atte-Bower.

The London Borough of Havering was created in 1965 as a result of the merger of the former Romford Borough and Hornchurch Urban District Councils.

From village life in Havering-atte-Bower to market day in Romford, our communities - both large and small - are alive and kicking. We believe this makes the borough a great place to live. But don't take our word for it. Recent research by MORI has shown that 66 per cent of Havering's residents are satisfied with the borough as a place to live.

Havering has an enormous range of shopping, and Romford Town Centre alone draws over 250,000 visitors every week. Here you'll find a vibrant metropolitan centre which has attracted more than 500 million of public and private investment in retail, leisure, housing developments and environmental improvements in recent years. But we've not forgotten our history and the focal point of the town's shopping area remains the traditional Romford Market which dates back to 1247.

And if you ever tire of the hustle and bustle of town centres, our many attractive parks and countryside areas mean you're never far from tranquil, green, open spaces to relax in.


For history, you could do worse than head to the Upminster Tithe Barn, a 15th Century thatched barn filled with 13,500 domestic and agricultural items dating from Roman times to the 1950s. The handsome National Trust property Rainham Hall is also worth a visit, while a stroll through the Romford Garden Suburb of Gidea Park affords views of some stunning early 20th century domestic architecture - the product of a competition that drew the finest architectural talent of the time.

If you're looking for culture, the borough's varied scene centres on the Fairkytes Arts Centre and the many performances at the Queen's Theatre. There's also plenty on offer for those seeking leisure.

Green spaces

Who to contact

Contact Name
Havering Visitor Centre
01708 434343

Where to go

Mercury House

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
0-5 years
16-25 years
5-11 years
11-16 years
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