Areas

Area Guide

Shepherds Bush

Shepherds Bush is an area in west London that falls into the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. The name Shepherds Bush can be found in records dating back to the Iron Age, 704, and there are many stories as to how it found its name, the most popular being that the Common ground was a resting place for Shepherds on their way to Smithfield Market in the city. The area remained mainly rural until the middle of the 19th century and the 8 acre common land is a reminder of its history. Many an Australian and Kiwi have flocked to the area while it is also home to a strong Polish community.

Property in Shepherds Bush dates back to the mid nineteenth century and is dominated by three to four storey buildings that are generally divided up into flats. There's also plenty of terraced properties from the mid nineteenth century. Hammersmith and Fulham benefits from a 3% cut in council tax prices, which doesn't seem a lot, but it comes at a time where the majority of the country have upped prices by up to 10%, every little helps.

Culture & Development:

Shepherd's Bush Empire: It began its chequered life as the beacon of Stoll Moss's chain of Empire variety theatres. The BBC turned it into a studio for live audiences in the 1950s; without it, TV history might lack Crackerjack, That's Life and Wogan, but it gained some credibility with the Old Grey Whistle Test. The BBC departed in 1991, and it lay unlisted for two years until the McKenzie group bought it, along with the Brixton Academy, for pounds £5.4m. Director Ian Howard claimed that the live-music industry was not living up to its potential, with some venues no more than "black boxes with a stage", and aimed to create a more thrilling, aesthetically pleasing environment. The 2,000 capacity Empire is now one of London's most popular venues and has been the British Music Industry's Best UK Venue for the past three years.

Shepherd's Bush Theatre: The Bush Theatre is also based in Shepherd's Bush. It was established in 1972 and has since become one of the most celebrated new writing theatres in the world. The Bush strives to create a space which nurtures, develops and showcases the best of new artists and their work.

A seedbed for the best new playwrights, many of whom have gone on to become established names in the industry, the Bush has produced hundreds of ground breaking premieres, many of them Bush Theatre commissions, and hosted guest productions by leading companies and artists from across the world.

Shepherd's Bush Market: Shepherd's Bush Market is a street market in Shepherd's Bush, London. The market is located on the east side of the railway viaduct for the Hammersmith and City Tube line and is bordered on the north side by the Uxbridge Road, and on the south by the Goldhawk Road. The market sits on land owned by Transport for London and is the subject of a regeneration plan by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

The market dates back to the early part of the twentieth century, when the present layout of the Hammersmith and City tube line was fixed. The market opened for business in around 1914, with shops lining the railway viaduct.

Individual market vendors sell a wide variety of goods, including fresh produce, cooked food, music CDs, household goods and clothing. Individual vendors rent their stalls from Transport for London, who own the land on which the market sits.

Westfield Shopping Centre: Westfield Shopping Centre cost £1.6 billion and at 150,000 square metres is the second-largest shopping centre in the UK. It can be found in White City and has four stops nearby; Shepherds Bush, White City, Wood Lane and Shepherds Bush Market.

Eating:

There are plenty of great places to eat in the local area with some of the best outlined below:

  • The Meat Co
  • Princess Victoria
  • Jamie's Italian
  • Tatra
  • Aroma

Acton

It may have more stations than any other place in the Capital, but Acton has long played second fiddle to its more well-known neighbours, Chiswick and Ealing. Now it's stepping out of the shadows and into the limelight, with regeneration projects galore set to transform the area into a real destination of choice. Acton means 'oak farm' in Anglo Saxon and the motif is everywhere, from the Oaks Shopping Centre to a huge mural of oak trees in the high street. It was also where most of the Capital's laundries were based in the 17th century, earning Acton the nickname 'Soapsuds Island'. Now it has fantastic transport links, with four Tube and three railway stations, and the prospect of a link to the Crossrail and HS2 networks at Old Oak Common. The area retains much of its Victorian terraced housing which, along with newly refurbished leisure facilities, diverse shops and a good choice of schools, makes Acton a magnet for families and young professionals alike.

Culture & Development:

Eating: There are lots of restaurants clustered around the Acton High Street and Churchfield Road area. Locals flock to North China for its shin of beef and dumplings, and Ting Tong Thai for some spicy noodles. Towards Ealing is Persian Nights offering live music and belly dancing, or those with a craving for spice could head for Anokha. If a freshly cooked kebab is what you hanker after, then Woody Grill is the place to seek out.

Culture: Five minutes away on the Tube in Turnham Green is the Tabard Theatre, which produces theatre of all types, as well as being a regular comedy venue for some of the biggest names on the circuit. Or, if you're thinking of being more hands on, head over to Questors Theatre, five minutes away in the other direction in Ealing, the biggest amateur theatre company in the country. For movies, head to the nine screen Vue Cinema in Park Royal.

Events: The London Mela takes place in nearby Gunnersbury Park each summer and in 2014 attracted more than 90,000 visitors. This free Asian festival features music, dance, theatre, children's events and a huge food market. The Acton Carnival takes place in July and celebrates blues and jazz. The London Transport Museum uses its depot in Acton for storage, but guided tours of the historic vehicles are available.

Schools:

Primary schools: All but one of Acton's state primary schools are rated "good" or better by the Ofsted education watchdog. "Outstanding" primary schools include Ark Priory Primary Academy in Acton Lane and Holy Family RC in Vale Lane.

Comprehensive: The picture is more mixed at state secondary level, with the local co-ed comprehensive, Acton High, put into "special measures" last year. The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls (ages 11 to 18) in Queen's Drive is rated "good".

Private: Private primary and preparatory schools are: Greek Primary School of London (co-ed, ages four to 11), run by the Greek Government and following the Greek National Curriculum, in Pierrepoint Road; London Bunka Yochien (co-ed, ages two to six) a Japanese school in Horn Lane; Orchard House (co-ed, ages three to 11) in Newton Grove in Chiswick, and Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory (co-ed, ages three to 11) in Priory Avenue, Chiswick.

The Japanese School in London (co-ed, ages six to 15), a fee-paying school run by the Japanese Government, in Creffield Road; Barbara Speake Stage School (co-ed, ages four to 16) in East Acton Lane; The Eden School (co-ed, ages two to 18), a Seventh-Day Adventist school in Park Place; the International School of London (co-ed, three to 18) in Gunnersbury Avenue, which teaches the International Baccalaureate; and King Fahad Academy (co-ed, ages three to 18) in Bromyard Avenue, an Islamic school, also teaching the International Baccalaureate.

Hammersmith

At the restless heart of Hammersmith where you're surrounded by busy shopping centres, transport hubs and office developments, it's surprising to remember that within a few minutes' stroll you'll find attractive riverside walks, tranquil parks and village like enclaves to explore. And for many, the appeal of the area lies in this heady contrast of the convenient and the cultivated. Unsurprisingly, this contrast has lured residents from all walks of life. Whether you're a family looking for a period property within walking distance of some of the Capital's most popular schools, or a young professional couple trying to get their foot on the West London property market, Hammersmith is sure to satisfy even the most niche request. Hammersmith has a multicultural population, partly owing to the French School at Brook Green. This has lent the area a buzzing cosmopolitan vibe, but it's comforting to know that it's easy to escape if the bustle gets too much, with the nearby A4 and excellent transport connections to Heathrow.

Culture & Development:

Eating and drinking: The Grove is an award-winning gastropub. Among a scattering of riverside watering holes, The Dove is the most atmospheric with a history going back to the 17th century. Low beamed and with reputedly the tiniest bar in Britain, it is a popular spot from which to view the annual Boat Race as it heads towards Mortlake. Also, by the Thames is the world class River Cafe, which launched the career of Jamie Oliver. Nearby Brackenbury Village has a thriving social scene and lots of lovely places to eat and drink.

Culture: The Riverside Studios is an arts centre with cinema, theatre and gallery. Currently undergoing a three-year redevelopment, the studios began life as a Victorian factory. As well as an imaginative programme of performance, the Lyric Theatre has a roof garden where you can enjoy a sandwich and a contemplative moment high above the bustle of King Street below. For live entertainment from international stars, you can't beat the Hammersmith Apollo.

With its central location, playing fields and picturesque lake, Ravenscourt Park provides a tranquil oasis amidst the activity of busy Hammersmith. Just a short walk from the station, it's a popular spot for an after school walk or weekend picnic. Just across the river in Barnes, the London Wetland Centre is home to several important species of wildlife and is beloved by West London locals.

Head down to the river at The Mall, a waterside stretch featuring grand old merchants' homes, including Kelmscott House, which was once the home of 19th century designer and artist William Morris. It's a very fetching spot for a waterside wander, with views across to Barnes. Hammersmith's riverside location allows locals to enjoy beautiful views as they stroll along the Thames, and there are several popular parks that stretch along the riverbank, including Furnival Gardens and the acres of Bishop's Park.

Ealing

Ealing is an area in West London that falls into the London Borough of Ealing.

Ealing - Ealing is one of the largest outer London boroughs with easy access to central London. Ealing has long been known as the queen of the suburbs and home to the world's oldest continuously working film studio. Ealing was historically a rural village in the county of Middlesex and formed an ancient parish. Improvement in communications with London, culminating with the opening of the railway station in 1838, shifted the local economy to market garden supply and eventually to suburban development. As part of the growth of London in the 20th century, Ealing significantly expanded and increased in population,becoming a municipal borough in 1901 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965. It now forms a significant commercial and retail centre with a developed night time economy. Ealing has the characteristics of both suburban and inner-city developments.

Culture & Development:

Eagling's town Centre is often colloquial with Ealing Broadway, the name of both a rail interchange & a shopping Centre. Ealing Broadway shopping centre is really close to the railway/tube station and there are a large variety of stores to choose from.

There are your regular chain stores as well as some smaller shops too. There's places to eat and have a coffee and even outside the shopping centre there are more shops.

There is a large open space/square, so you can sit down and watch people go by.

Eating:

Charlotte's Place: Seasonal and sustainable produce has been the focus of this family-run neighbourhood restaurant since 1984. Menus change monthly but you're sure to see clever techniques and quirky pairings whatever the time of year.

Limeyard: In the heart of Ealing Broadway, you will find an unexpected offering from Mark Askew, former executive chef of Gordon Ramsay Holdings. The concept is all-day American diner.

Ealing park Tavern: This restored coaching inn has received regular praise from critics, most notably from a recent mention in the Michelin Guide 2016. The bustling dining room is light and welcoming, with a fire lit during colder months, and wood panelling and taxidermy asserting a modern country manor feel. The menu is 'new traditional' and centres around seasonal produce With many neighbourhoods in Ealing, there are several hotspots for food shopping. Head to Northfield Avenue or Pitshanger for an old-fashioned high street experience, with butchers, delis, fishmongers and greengrocers all thriving.

Culture:

Ealing's rich history of the arts, culture and heritage has inspired a diverse range of arts and cultural organisations, formal and informal opportunities for getting involved and a year-round calendar of festivals and events as well as a mature cultural business sector. Ealing Studios which has occupied the same site on Ealing Green since 1931. It continues today as a thriving centre for film related businesses, including the Met Film School. Ealing's contribution to the development of the British film industry is an important part of the history of the area. It continues to inspire local celebration of film including; Ealing Classic Cinema Club, Pitshanger Pictures and the University of West London Small Screen at the Dr William Barry Theatre and the newly established Ealing Music and Film Festival. The reinstatement of a multiplex cinema in central Ealing will further provide opportunities for audiences to see and enjoy the very best of international cinema.

With its central location, Ealing has 19 major open areas designated as green belt or Metropolitan Open Land and a total of 8.5 square kilometres of parks and green spaces, 14 sports facilities, 13 libraries, 22 community centres, over 25 conservation areas and a significant number of listed heritage buildings and sites.

Head down to Warpole Park with Impressive and tranquil grounds that belonged to the architect Sir John Soane in the early nineteenth century.

Fulham

Fulham is an area of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London, it lies on the north bank of the River Thames, between Hammersmith and Kensington and Chelsea, facing Putney and Barnes.

Fulham has a history of industry and enterprise dating back to the 15th century, with pottery, tapestry-weaving, paper-making and brewing in the 17th and 18th centuries in present-day Fulham High Street, and later involvement in the automotive industry, early aviation, food production, and laundries. The Fulham of today is a firmly established upmarket location, packed with shops, bars, boutiques and restaurants. Fulham is a leafy corner of London and its attractive properties and kid friendly nature have also lured numerous families to the area.

Architecture and Property:

For much of its history, Fulham's property market consisted of just one building, the impressive Manor House. Now known as Fulham Palace, this estate was bought by the Bishop of London in around 700AD and used by his successors as a summer residence for over eight centuries.

Culture & Development:

Eating: When it comes to food, there is a vast array of restaurants available in Fulham, Claude Compton with updated British classics. Claude's canteen and Italian influenced institution The River Cafe is also close by.

Culture: Hammersmith & Fulham already boasts world-class venues for theatre, music and dance, including Lyric Hammersmith, Bush Theatre, Fulham Palace, the Eventim Apollo, the Bhavan Centre, Bush Hall, the Irish Cultural Centre, the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, LAMDA, the Carne Studio Theatre, Sainsbury Theatre and Under the Bridge. Millions of people visit every year Fulham Broadway Shopping Centre for its shops, cinema, health club and choice of restaurants. Fulham also has little streets that are packed with antique shops selling vintage furniture and homewares. Wandsworth Bridge Road and Fulham Road are also home to some unique boutiques.

Green spaces: Snuggled between Fulham Palace and Craven Cottage, Bishop's Park attracts all sorts of visitors, from families enjoying the lake, tourists marvelling at the Grade I listed Palace, or football fans heading to see their team in action. Eel Brook Common is also conveniently located for the restaurants, bars, shops and transport along the Fulham and New Kings Roads and Fulham Broadway.

Fulham on the river: Numerous gastro pubs, line the river in Fulham, with The River Caf located on Thames Wharf. Stretching along the river, Bishop's Park combines the Thames's natural beauty with pretty gardens and is great for a picturesque stroll. The park also boasts a Grade II listed, manmade urban beach, playgrounds, a skate bowl and sculpture garden.

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