Skip Navigation

London/West

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom England London London/West

edit

Introduction

Kensington Palace Gate Detail

Kensington Palace Gate Detail

© All Rights Reserved licibird

West London is the area on the west side of London, on the north bank of the River Thames. The boroughs in this unofficial sub-division are Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, and Kensington and Chelsea.

The Boroughs of West London are traditionally affluent and leafy, particularly in Ealing, Fulham and Chelsea. Kensington and Chelsea houses some of London's more famous museums, and Hammersmith is a good place for a stroll by the Thames.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Museums

  • Victoria & Albert Museum is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design.
  • Science Museum has a collection of over 300,000 items, including the famous Stephenson's Rocket, Puffing Billy (the oldest surviving steam locomotive) and the first jet engine.
  • Natural History Museum includes some of the finest collections of animals, stuffed and skeletal, past and present, in the world - including some spectacular dinosaur skeletons.
  • Leighton House Museum is an interesting 19th Century house including a display of artworks collected by Frederic, Lord Leighton.
  • Linley Sambourne House is a well preserved 19th Century townhouse.
  • The National Army Museum houses collections, models and reconstructions taken from Britain's military history.
  • The Royal Hospital Museum.
  • Gunnersbury Park Museum houses the Ealing collection in a Regency manor built by the Rothschilds.
  • The London Motorcycle Museum - London's largest collection of motorcycles.
  • PM Gallery and House combines a Sir John Soane designed house, dating from 1800, with a contemporary arts venue.

Parks and Gardens

  • Ealing Common is a large area of parkland in the Borough of Ealing.
  • Kensington Memorial Park is a small park including an area of formal garden in the heart of Kensington and Chelsea.
  • Horsenden Hill in Perivale is the highest point in South West London with views over London and the Home Counties.
  • Harrow Weald Common is an area of heath and ancient woodland on the border with Hertfordshire.
  • Gunnersbury Park is one of the most significant historic parks in London, with a boating lake, a temple folly and an orangery.
  • Chiswick House Grounds is a pleasant formal garden in the grounds of Palladian Chiswick House.
  • Hounslow Heath is a large open space and nature reserve, linked in history to the Highwaymen of the 18th Century.

Buildings and Architecture

Other Activities

  • Visiting Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea FC.
  • Walking alongside the River Thames or the Grand Union Canal.
  • Wandering around the villages of 17th Century Pinner or Victorian Harrow on the Hill.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

  • Notting Hill Carnival - The world's largest celebration of Caribbean culture, and the best attended public event in London. August Bank Holiday weekend, every year.

Top

edit

Getting There

West London is well connected to the Transport for London network for access to all of London's transport connections. See 'Getting There' in the main London article for more detail.

By Train

Paddington and Victoria are the most convenient mainline stations for West London. The are is also connected to the rest of London by the Overground and Underground rail networks.

By Car

It's usually best to avoid driving in London, but providing you're armed with an A-Z and plenty of patience there isn't anywhere that you can't drive to.

By Bus

Victoria Coach Station is conveniently located for West London, offering connections to the rest of the United Kingdom.

By Boat

It is possible to arrive in West London by boat. The most convenient route links Chelsea Harbour with Embankment and Blackfriars in the City, though this service only runs at peak travel times.

Top

edit

Getting Around

West London is well connected to the Transport for London network for access to all of London's transport connections. See 'Getting Around' in the main London article for more detail.

By Car

Travelling by car isn't really necessary, but is possible. Be prepared to hunt for a parking space.

By Public Transport

Public Transport links are excellent. West London is well connected by Bus, Underground, Overground and even commuter boat services. It is useful to be aware that South Kensington is the station for the Science, Natural History and Victoria & Albert museums.

By Foot

Some areas are compact enough to explore on foot - particlarly Kensington, Ealing and the riverside at Hammersmith.

When travelling between areas it's best to take a bus or tube as distances can be long and routes confusing.

By Bike

Cycle facilities across London are generally adequate and improving - this is no different in West London. Some good routes exist, including the traffic free National Cycle Network routes at Chelsea riverside and from Paddington to Perivale.

Top

edit

Eat

Just about every eating possibility is catered for somewhere in West London. At the budget end, there's a string of cheap Chinese places in Bayswater, thought by many to be superior to their Chinatown rivals. Most pubs will serve up some kind of food too, from cheap and traditional to expensive gastropub style.

Other interesting budget to mid-range options include:

  • Azou - award-winning North African food in Hammersmith.
  • Paradise by way of Kensal Green - a particularly highly regarded gastropub. Saturday Brunch and the Bar Food menu are the best value.
  • Mr India (6A Beaconsfield Terrace Road, Olympia, London, W14 0PP; Tel - 020 7603 8145) - smart but not expensive modern Indian eatery in Kensington.
  • Maxim Chinese Restaurant (153 - 155 Northfield Avenue, West Ealing, London, W13 9QT; Tel - 020 8567 1719 ) - Probably Ealing's top Chinese place, serving fairly inexpensive Beijing cuisine.
  • Le Vacherin (76 - 77 South Parade, Chiswick, London, W4 5LF; Tel - 020 8742 2121) - A French Bistro in Chiswick, sister restaurant to the more famous Le Cassoulet.

Kensington and Chelsea are busting at the seams with expensive food options. You're unlikely to be disappointed by the following:

  • The Ledbury - Exquisite Michelin-starred, 3 AA-rosetted modern French food with prices to match.
  • Launceston Place - Top quality modern British food served in a traditional Kensington restaurant.
  • Babylon at the Roof Gardens - Posh food in a slightly surreal setting high above Kensington High Street.

Top

edit

Drink

There's a sprinkling of decent boozers distributed liberally across the area, plus a few noteworthy smart bars in the more affluent districts towards the city. Options include:

  • The Dove Inn - a proper old pub right by Hammersmith riverside, with a wide range of Fullers ales on tap.
  • The Prince Edward - in Bayswater, another genuine pub with a good range of beers, retaining 19th Century features.
  • Ealing Park Tavern - Nice Ealing pub with nice but pricey food.
  • The West London based Eclipse chain of bars have venues in Chelsea, Notting Hill and South Kensington. Expensive, but good cocktails.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Internet caf├ęs can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00

In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.

Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.

Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.

Post

The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

Contributors

as well as Sander (3%), Hien (3%)

Help contribute to this article to share the ad revenue.

London/West Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for London/West

This is version 22. Last edited at 8:07 on Aug 27, 13 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License