Brixton Windmill is looking pretty good, considering it’s 200 years old.
You may have heard about the new Eurostar route to Amsterdam and sighed wistfully, knowing that you simply can’t afford a jaunt to the continent right now. Well, we’ve found a little slice of Holland at the end of the Victoria line to soothe your woe. It’s called Brixton Windmill, a really rather lovely spot that opens to the public again on April 14th.
Despite being in Zone 2, Brixton Windmill feels more than a little like the countryside. It was built in 1816, when this part of South London was mostly fields, and it’s retained a lot of the country charm. Officially known as Ashby’s Mill, after the family who milled here way back when, Brixton Windmill survived several years of ups and downs until milling ceased in 1934. After a series of false starts, and a proper restoration project, the windmill opened to the public again in 2011.
Brixton Windmill, whilst not as prolific as it used to be, is still a working mill. In fact, it’s London’s only working windmill, and the flour they mill here is available to buy. During the spring and summer months, you can take a tour on selected weekends. Lucky punters who book in advance will get to go up inside the mill and learn about the inner workings, but the ground floor is open to all.
They also run special events, including tai-chi classes in the gardens (chill) and occasional bat-spotting walks (decidedly not chill). Brixton Windmill is also home to the carb-heavy Beer and Bread festival, which attracts microbrewers and artisan bakers for a celebration of all things wheat. Best of all, you can get there on your Oyster card, which is more than you can say for Amsterdam. And windmills really were the only reason you wanted to go to Amsterdam, right?
Location: Blenheim Gardens, Brixton, SW2 5EU. Nearest station is Brixton. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: Brixton Windmill opens on the second weekend of each month between April and October, and on other miscellaneous dates too. See the full list of dates.
Entry: tours are free, and come in two types. A short tour takes you round the gardens and ground floor, whilst a full tour shows you all the sights of the mill. You’ll need to book in advance to go inside – and spots usually fill up very quickly.
More information: from their website.
Featured image: @nikoutsss
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