Parks and Recreation areas
A total of 1,800 acres (730 ha) of green space are maintained in the borough. One of the least densely populated London boroughs in 2008, because much of the area is within the Metropolitan Green Belt. It has a wide variety of open spaces, from the Colne Valley Regional Park by the River Colne in the north to the Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens and Lake Farm Country Park in the south.
Under the leadership of Raymond Puddifoot, Hillingdon's green belt would be safe: 'I can assure you categorically that under this administration the green belt will never be threatened'. However, Puddifoot announced plans to build on Lake Farm, a longtime common land site in the south of the borough, in August 2012. The Conservative majority of the council's planning committee rejected residents' discontent in March 2013, rubber-stamping the plans without hesitation.
A park owned by the borough is administered by British Airways on its behalf. When British Airways planned to build a new headquarters in 1992, the airline agreed to convert a former landfill into Harmondsworth Moor.
In the Borough, the Grand Union Canal passes through Hayes, Yiewsley, Cowley, and Uxbridge. Ruislip Lido was originally built as a feeder reservoir, but was eventually disconnected and turned into a recreational lido. The London Wildlife Trust manages Frays Farm Meadows and Denham Lock Wood, two sites of special scientific interest nearby.
Children's centres and recreational areas are also run by the borough for children under five years old and their families. Among these centres are Barra Hall, Belmore, Cherry Lane, Colham Manor, Cornerstone, Cowley St. Laurence, Harefield, Hillside, McMillan Early Childhood Centre, Nestles Avenue, Oak Farm, and Uxbridge College (Hayes Campus).
At present, the borough owns four theatres: Beck Theatre in Hayes (which is operated by HQ Theatres Limited), Compass Theatre in Ickenham, Winston Churchill Theatre and Hall (part of Manor Farm site) and Open Air Theatre in Barra Hall Park.
Sport and Leisure
There are seven non-league football clubs in the Borough:
- A.F.C. Hayes, who play at Farm Park, Hayes.
- Harefield United F.C., who play at Preston Park, Harefield.
- Hayes & Yeading United F.C., who play at Skyex Community Stadium, Hayes.
- Hillingdon Borough F.C. who play at the Middlesex Stadium, Ruislip.
- Northwood F.C. who play at the Northwood Park Stadium.
- Uxbridge F.C. who play at Honeycroft, Yiewsley.
Wealdstone F.C. who play at Grosvenor Vale, Ruislip.
Additionally, Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Center (HOAC) houses a number of independent sports clubs, including:
- Queensmead Sailing Club
- Hillingdon Rowing Club
- Hillingdon Junior Canoe Club
- Harrow Angling Club
In terms of its economy, Hillingdon is ranked 14th out of 408 local area districts in Britain and fifth among London boroughs.
Located in Harmondsworth, Hillingdon, British Airways' headquarters opened in 1998. Prior to the opening of Waterside, the airline had its headquarters at Speedbird House at London Heathrow Airport. The Orient House within Waterside contains an office of American Airlines.
Cadbury Schweppes announced in 2007 that it would be moving from Mayfair to Uxbridge to cut costs. Eventually, Cadbury plc split and moved to Cadbury House at the Uxbridge Business Park in June 2008.
Guoman Hotel Management (UK) Limited is headquartered at the Thistle London Heathrow in West Drayton.
Stockley Close, West Drayton, was the location of British Midland International's training center. Hellenic Imperial Airways occupied the Axis House in Harlington in the London Borough of Hillingdon and China Airlines occupied a building in Hayes in the borough called Hyde Park Hayes 3.
The Speedbird House served as the headquarters of British Overseas Airways Corporation, another predecessor organisation of British Airways. There was another predecessor airline, British European Airways, located in South Ruislip, as did BEA Helicopters. British Eagle had its headquarters at Heathrow Airport during its existence.
Trust for London and New Policy Institute studies from 2017 found Hillingdon to have a poverty rate of 22%, slightly lower than London's 27%. It also found that 24% of Hillingdon's local employees are low-paid, slightly higher than the London average of 21%.