West London's obvious popularity with travellers and short- to mid-term residents (backpackers, working holiday makers, etc.) can be explained by a number of factors, not least its proximity to Heathrow Airport, London's largest airport, and its multiple, easy transport connections with the West End and Central London.
Many outer areas of West London were once part of the county of Middlesex which no longer exists for administrative purposes. However, Middlesex is sometimes used as part of the postal address for these areas.
West London is itself made up of numerous suburbs, villages and satellite towns. Several areas of West London are particularly popular with travellers and backpackers, for their attractions, their facilities and their many accommodation options.
West London consists of the following boroughs:
Ealing — The Borough of Ealing includes the following areas:
Ealing,known as the "Queen of the suburbs", transport hub and home to the famous Ealing Studios.
Acton, an area popular with visiting Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans. Popular with travellers on account of its entertainment options, relatively cheap accommodation (short stay and rental) and excellent transport links with the rest of London and further afield. Although part of the London Borough of Ealing, Acton very much has its own identity.
Southall is also known as 'Little India', and a must-visit if you have the time to venture out of Central London. If you do only one thing when here, make sure you have a curry in one of the many authentic Asian restaurants.
Hillingdon — the westernmost Borough of London includes:
Uxbridge, the administrative centre of Hillingdon borough. A vibrant area on the edge of London, good shopping experience and good transport links to the West End.
Hayes, industrial and housing areas with good access to the airport.
Ruislip, a residential area with some woodland areas.
Hounslow — The borough includes the following areas:
Hounslow, a largely working class area with many of the residents employed at nearby Heathrow airport
Brentford, situated on the main transport links from Heathrow airport to central London, this is a mainly commercial area. The riverside area on the north bank of the Thames has a number of new housing developments and hotels.
Chiswick, a leafy district, well-known for its wide variety of quality food outlets and venues.
West London is well served by Tube connections from Central London:
Piccadilly Line (blue) - Runs through Chiswick, then divides at Acton Town with branches to Heathrow and Uxbridge.
District Line (green) - Runs through Chiswick, then divides at Turnham Green with branches to Richmond and Ealing Broadway.
Central Line (red) - Divides at North Acton with branches to Ealing Broadway and West Ruislip.
Metropolitan Line (purple) - Runs through North London, then divides at Harrow-on-the-Hill with one branch joining the Picaddily line to Uxbridge. This is a quicker route to Uxbridge from Central London.
The Overground line to Richmond runs through Acton Central, South Acton and Gunnersbury where it connects with the Richmond branch of the District Line. It provides fast and efficient connections with North London.
Boston Manor House, around a mile from the centre of Brentford along the Boston Manor Rd, ☎ +44 845 456 2800, . A Jacobean manor house (built in 1622), it is a pleasant and informative place to while away an hour or two, particularly during the summer when the extensive open parklands to the rear of the building make for a delightful stroll.edit
Chiswick House and Gardens, Burlington Ln, Chiswick (Bus 190 (Hammersmith-Richmond)), . W-Su and bank holidays 1 Apr-31 Oct 10:00-17:00, Sa until 14:00. Maintained by English Heritage, Chiswick House is a famous and fine example of the 18th century Palladian style of British architecture. The third Earl of Burlington (1694-1753), who designed this elegant Classical villa close to the Thames, drew inspiration from his grand tours of Italy, while William Kent was employed to create sumptuous interiors to contrast with the pure exterior. The classical gardens, although much reduced from their original size, are the perfect complement to the house.£4, children £2, concessions £3, family £10, EH members free. edit
The Civic Centre, Uxbridge. Opened in 1979, The architecture of the sprawling, red brick building has attacted a lot of comment.edit
Ealing Studios, . Not open to the public. The oldest film studio in the world.edit
Ealing Town Hall, 5 New Broadway, Ealing, W5 2BY, ☎ +44 20 8579 2424, . Victorian gothic building built in 1888 still in use as town hall.edit
Windsor Street, Uxbridge. Take a stroll along this historic street.edit
Gunnersbury Park, between Chiswick and Ealing (tube: Gunnersbury or South Ealing), . A large park between the boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow. Its size makes it a favourite with joggers and dog owners. It includes a duck pond, a fish pond, a miniature golf course, a plant nursery, a café and a museum. It hosts the London Mela every year.edit
Osterley Park, Osterley Park House, Isleworth, TW7 4RB (tube: Osterley), ☎ +44 20 8232 5050 (email@example.com, fax: +44 20 8232 5080), . House 4 Mar-1 Nov W-Su 13:00-16:30, gardens 3 Mar-1 Nov W-Su 11:00-17:00, park 29 Mar-24 Oct 08:00-19:30, 25 Oct-28 Mar 08:00-18:00. House and gardens £8.40, children 5-16 £4.20, children under 5 free, family ticket (for two adults and up to three children) £21; gardens only £3.70, children 5-16 £1.85, children under 5 free; park free. edit
Ruislip Lido, Ruislip (Off the Ruislip to Northwood Rd). A man made lake surrounded by woodland, the Waters Edge Pub/Resturant, a sandy beach (No swimming allowed), narrow guage railway rides around the lake.edit
Syon Park, Brentford, ☎ +44 20 8560 0881, . House: 24 Mar-31 Oct W Th Su, bank holiday Mondays, Good Friday, Easter Saturday 11:00-17:00 (last entry 4:15PM), gardens 10:30-17:00 daily or dusk if earlier except 25-26 Dec. The stately home of the Dukes of Northumberland for 400 years, Syon House and its 200-acre estate are located between Brentford and Isleworth. The main house was built to a design by the English architect Robert Adams, the grounds laid out by Capability Brown. The Great Conservatory, commissioned to be built in 1826, was featured in the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore film Bedazzled, and is a popular local wedding venue; Syon House itself has appeared in a vast number of period dramas. Well worth a visit.Syon House & Gardens & Great Conservatory £7.50, concessions/child £6.50, family £17.00; Gardens & Great Conservatory £3.75, concessions/child £2.50, family £9.00. edit
Walpole Park, Ealing (Just east of the town square). Relaxing experience. There is a small pond and an ice cream stall. There are also great playground facilities, and even a miniature zoo!edit
Gunnersbury Park Museum, Gunnersbury Park, Popes Ln, W3 8LQ, ☎ +44 20 8992 1612 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +44 20 8752 0686), . Apr-Oct 11:00-17:00, Nov-Mar 11:00-16:00. Local history museum for Ealing and Hounslow, housed in the former home of the Rothschild family.Free. edit
Kew Bridge Steam Museum, Green Dragon Ln, Brentford, TW8 0EN, ☎ +44 20 8568 4757 (email@example.com, fax: +44 20 8569 9978), . Tu-Su 11:00-16:00. This museum of London's water supply is well worth a visit for anyone with an interest in the industrial revolution. Housed in the former Kew Bridge Pumping Station (a fascinating building in its own right), the Steam Museum possesses the finest collection of steam pumping engines in the world. Different engines are to be seen working on different days, so it is worth checking the website before visiting if a particular engine is of interest. Themed days are a feature of the Steam Museum's calendar, and purchase of an entry ticket permits limitless further visits throughout the following year.Multi visit ticket £9.50. edit
The Musical Museum, 399 High St, Brentford, TW8 0DU, ☎ +44 20 8560 8108 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +44 20 8847 9383), . Tu-Su 11:00-17:30. Something of an undiscovered gem. The recently reopened museum houses a vast collection of working automatic musical instruments, from barrel organs to player pianos and beyond. Tours with knowledgeable and highly enthusiastic guides are highly recommended, as is the opportunity to listen to the Mighty Wurlitzer (which rises from the floor in the main auditorium). In addition to its function as a museum, the venue also hosts occasional cinema screenings of classic films (preceded by music from the Mighty Wurlitzer, or - in the case of silent film - accompanied by it) and houses a popular cafe with Thames views. Among the unusual (and hard-to-find) items usually available in the gift shop are clocks made from 78 rpm shellac discs, and original player piano rolls.£8, concessions £6.50, children under 16 accompanied by an adult free. edit
PM Gallery & House, Walpole Park, Mattock Ln, Ealing, W5 5EQ (tube: Ealing Broadway), ☎ +44 20 8567 1227. Tu-F 13:00-17:00, Sa 11:00-17:00. Houses Pitzhanger Manor House and an art gallery.edit
For Arts Sake, 45 Bond St, Ealing, W5 5AS, ☎ +44 20 8579 6365 (fax: +44 20 8566 2974), . M-F 10:00-17:30, Sa 10:00-18:00, Su 11:00-16:00. Modern British printmaking as well as ceramics and jewellery.edit
Brentford Dock. Fans of British TV may be interested to know that the riverside area to the south of Brentford High Street is frequently used for outdoor filming by popular series such as ITV's 'The Bill'. The backdrop of the estate (sited on the former Brentford Dock, the terminus for GWR trains transferring goods to the Thames) appears frequently in shows requiring a 'gritty', urban atmosphere. The northern aspect of the Brentford Dock estate belies its extremely picturesque marina (filled with a variety of narrowboats, Dutch barges and pleasure craft) and waterside views, however. Indeed, for connoisseurs of post-war architecture, Brentford Dock is often mentioned in the same breath as the Barbican estate in the City of London, and cited as an example of a successful and aesthetically-pleasing social housing development from a period most commonly characterised by its failures.edit
Ealing Comedy Festival, Ealing. Ealing hosts an annual comedy festival in the summer. Speaking of comedy in Ealing, in the late 1940s and 1950s Ealing was famous for a series of comedy movies filmed there.edit
Questors, Mattock Ln, Ealing. The cinema is currently under reconstruction, said to include over 10 screens!edit
London Mela, Gunnersbury Park, Ealing, . Music festival inspired by South Asian culture, it typically occurs on a Sunday in August.Free. edit
Watermans Centre, Brentford. The Watermans Centre is one of West London's finest arts and cultural venues. Watermans is especially noted for its promotion of Asian arts, particularly in the fields of visual arts, theatre and comedy. It also houses a leading independent cinema, gallery spaces and a noted Indian restaurant.edit
Brentford Football Club. Known for being one of the more family-friendly London football clubs, with a loyal local following and deep roots in the community. Uniquely, there are (good) pubs on all 4 corners!edit
Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, Ealing (Moments from Ealing Broadway Station). Was opened by the Queen in 1987 and is home to many shops and a library. The enormous assortment includes WHSmith, Tchibo, Marks and Spencer, Tesco Metro, Boots and Argos.edit
Arcadia Centre, Ealing (Opposite Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre). edit
The Chimes Mall, Uxbridge. Among the the top 100 shopping destinations in the UK.edit
The Pavillions, Uxbridge. Home to many high street names including Marks & Spencers and Argos to name but a few.edit
Hippy Heaven, Ealing. Sells nice trinkets, jewelry, incense, and stones. There is also a tattoo/piercing shop, with skilled artists.edit
The square in Ealing Broadway, Ealing. Often eventful, with beautiful decorations at Christmas time and musicians performing in the Summer. Christmas and Easter markets also take place in the shopping centre square.edit
Chiswick is an area of West London with a wide range of options. There are at least 30 restaurants in Chiswick. Chiswick High Road has the usual wide selection of fast food outlets and supermarket food. For the more discerning, an extensive range of restaurants and eateries exists for all tastes and budgets that makes Chiswick a definite destination for the gastronome.
Coco's Noodle Bar, 70 The Mall, Ealing, W5 5LS (tube: Ealing Broadway), ☎ +44 20 8840 8525. M-Sa noon-23:00, Su noon-22:00. Oriental restaurant serving delicious food from all over East and Southeast Asia.edit
Edwards, 28-30 New Broadway, Ealing, W5 2XA, ☎ +44 872 148 4921. Breakfast and dinner-serving.edit
The Green Cafe and Bar, 9 The Green, Ealing, W5 5DA, ☎ +44 20 8579 7493. Has an extensive burger menu.edit
The Okawari, 13 Bond St, Ealing, W5 5AP, ☎ +44 20 8566 0466 (fax: +44 20 8566 2010), . Su-Th noon-15:00, 18:00-23:00, F Sa noon-15:00, 18:00-23:30. Famous for its wonderful Japanese food, and with Takara plum wine on the menu it is worth a trip.Boxes from £9. edit
Caffè Uno, Ealing. Breakfast and dinner-serving.edit
The Devonshire by Gordon Ramsay, 126 Devonshire Rd, Chiswick, ☎ +44 871 961 1418, . Gastropub revamped by Gordon Ramsay. Simple food, well cooked with friendly staff. Note that parking in the area can be difficult.£25-35. edit
High Road Brasserie, 162-164 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, ☎ +44 20 8742 7474, . M-Th 07:00-midnight, F 07:00-01:00, Sa 08:00-01:00, Su 08:00-23:00. A recent addition to the High Street restaurant scene, highly reviewed in the local and national press. Menu includes brasserie classics, seafood platters, and fancy sandwiches.Daily set menu a real bargain at £15 a head for three courses. Three courses à la carte with wine averages £30-45. edit
Sam's Brasserie and Bar, Barley Mow Centre, 11 Barley Mow Passage, Chiswick (Just off the High St and adjacent to Turnham Green), ☎ +44 20 8987 0555, . 09:00-midnight. Trendy, relaxed, foody eatery popular among locals.Two course menu £15. edit
La Trompette, 5-7 Devonshire Rd, Chiswick (tube: Turnham Green 418 m, Chiswick Park 821 m), ☎ +44 20 8747 1836, . Probably the best restaurant in West London, great value French cuisine, excellent wine list.Prix fixe at £23.50 lunch, £29 dinner, although an a-la-carte meal would generally be over £50. edit
The Moon on the Square, (In The Centre). A Wetherspoon's chain pub.edit
Red Lion, (On the corner of the High St and Browell's Ln). Used to have a giant boot in the beer garden for children to play in, but it has been removed. Has a new chef since summer 2009 and the lunchtime and evening food menus are good, as is the quality and price of the meals.edit
Historically (and perhaps unsurprisingly, given its roots as an industrial working-class area) Brentford has been known as a "drinker's town". Indeed, it was long reputed that in the Victorian terraces surrounding the football ground, there was "a pub on every corner". To an extent this is still true today, with a sizable number of small drinking establishments still eking out a living in the backstreets to the west of the Ealing Road. Most are perfectly friendly to outsiders, while maintaining a core clientele of local drinkers, primarily men.
For the visitor to Brentford seeking a more eclectic drinking culture, pubs such as the Magpie And Crown (on the High Street, opposite the Magistrates' Court) offers a fine selection of real ales and imported beer (including fruit beer on draught), while the Old Firestation (also on the High Street) appeals to a younger, more affluent crowd with its contemporary 'bar' vibe and award-winning cocktails. The Weir (on Market Place) offers waterside al fresco drinking in its attractive beer garden, while the Brewery Tap (to be found hidden at the end of Catherine Wheel Road - don't give up looking!) is a tiny two-room pub offering traditional food, live jazz and a highly quirky clientele to those with a desire to discover something of Brentford's true character.
Visitors might to note that pubs such as the Albany Arms and Beehive are most heavily patronised by locals who might be less welcoming to outsiders than in the pubs noted above.
Beer-lovers with a taste for sampling local brews should note that many of Brentford's pubs are 'tied houses' (owned by the brewery rather than the landlord) serving Fuller's ales. Fuller's are a local brewers based in Chiswick (although serving a country-wide market for beers such as London Pride), less than 2 miles along the Thames. Drinkers can thus be assured that their pint of Fuller's is, if nothing else, both local and fresh.
With its proximity to Heathrow Airport, Uxbridge has some good hotels. There is a recently opened (2009) travel lodge in the bus stations and numerous independent pubs offering accommodation in the local area.
Travelodge, Feltham (Very close to Feltham train station and the shops). Doubles from around £30. edit
Ibis Budget London Hounslow (previously Etap hotel), ☎ Tel. +44 20 8577 9137, . Ibis budget Hotel London Hounslow is a low-cost hotel just 4km from London Heathrow Airport. This Hounslow hotel is close to central Hounslow, with easy access to the M4. edit
Ibis London Earls Court, ☎ Tel. +44 20 7610 0880, . The hotel Ibis London Earls Court is located between Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Fulham and Hammersmith just opposite the International Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The London Hotel has 504 en-suite rooms.. edit
Ibis London Shepherd's Bush, ☎ (+44)207/6600836, . Ibis London Shepherd's Bush is located 5 min away from Westfield Shopping Centre with easy access to public transport. The hotel offers 128 inviting modern rooms with comfortable beds.. edit
Novotel London West, ☎ (+44)207/6600836, . The 4 star Novotel London West hotel is located in Hammersmith, West London. Local attractions include the Hammersmith Apollo.. edit
Ibis London Heathrow Airport, 112 Bath Road, London Heathrow Airport, Hayes Middlesex, UB3 5AL, ☎ Tel. (+44)208/7594888, . Ibis Hotel Heathrow Airport is 1 km from Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3 & 4. Hotel Hoppa Buses H6 (T1, 2 ,3) and H56 (T4, 5) run every 20 min from 05.30 to 23:00; £4 each way.. edit
Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Uxbridge Rd, Ealing (btwn Ealing Broadway and Ealing Common Stns), . Upmarket hotel.Doubles from £78. edit
St. Giles Hotel, Feltham (Very close to Feltham train station and the shops), . Doubles from around £75. edit
Novotel London Heathrow, Cherry Lane, West Drayton, (H1551@accor.com), . The 4 star Novotel London Heathrow Hotel is 1.5 km from the airport. There are 178 stylish rooms, and guests at the Novotel London Heathrow Hotel can use a fitness centre and indoor heated pool.. edit
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