Acton’s name derives from the Old English words ac and tun, which combine to mean “oak farm”, hinting at the town’s history as a small rural village. It was only in the nineteenth century that Acton started to really grow, as the town’s soft water sources allowed industry to develop there. Now, it is known as an excellent springboard for travellers heading into Central London. Along with Harrow, the town has its name in more train stations than any other location in the UK, with seven – Acton Central, Acton Main Line, Acton Town, East Acton, North Acton, South Acton and West Acton – and will join the Crossrail network once it is completed. The town has recently experienced some major renovation, and now hosts several attractive new developments. Many of these bear the names of the industrialists who helped bring employment to Acton Vale: including Napier House on Bromyard Avenue, Bronnley Court on The Vale, and several of the buildings in Factory Quarter on Larden Road. Alongside these modern developments are charming period properties, including “Mock Tudor” flats on Queen’s Drive and the Grade-II listed cottages on East Churchfield Road known as the Goldsmiths’ Buildings.
Eight miles west of Charing Cross, Brentford is the first non-London postcode that you reach as you head out of London towards Surrey. Located on the banks of the Thames and the Grand Union Canal, Brentford was once dependent on river traffic and as many of its industries were outsourced abroad some areas of the town fell derelict. In the last fifty years, however, Brentford’s fortunes have changed and it is now characterised by its redevelopment. The first area to be renovated was Brentford Dock in the 1970s, followed by Ferry Quays in 2002. As more people saw the attraction of living by the river, more developments continued to spring up along its banks. Many of the factories along the Golden Mile were also converted into apartments, especially in the popular Great West Quarter, while others have been modernised and are now home to around 200 companies, including GlaxoSmithKline and Worley Parsons. The regeneration of Brentford continues today in the form of The Brentford Project, which will complete the transformation of the town centre with new apartments, leisure facilities, shopping areas and green spaces close to the river.
Chiswick is renowned for being an affluent suburb of London with excellent road and rail links and an impressive selection of restaurants, cafes and boutiques. These amenities, coupled with the open spaces of Chiswick House and Gardens and Dukes Meadows, make Chiswick an ideal location for families to settle. The town is unusual, in that the majority of property there is either Victorian or Edwardian with few examples of late 20th-century architecture. A few modern developments are to be found, mainly on the sites which once housed Chiswick’s light industry. Chiswick’s most popular neighbourhoods include Strandon-the-Green, on the riverside next to Kew Bridge; Grove Park, south of the High Road by Chiswick House and Gardens; Gunnersbury, which hosts Chiswick Business Park and is next to Gunnersbury Park; and the Bedford Park Conservation Area, a pretty location filled with Queen Anne-style houses north of Turnham Green. The High Road is Chiswick’s heart, hosting an array of shops and restaurants stretching over two miles from Chiswick Park Underground station to Hammersmith Broadway. At its western end stands Chiswick Business Park, which serves as the headquarters of nearly 50 companies.
Ealing is often known as the Queen of the Suburbs, a title earned as a result of the neighbourhood’s high quality of life. The area is known for its local parks, independent shops, schools and entertainment scene. It is also one of West London’s best-connected locations, with numerous stations providing access to the Central, District and Piccadilly Lines, as well as National Rail links towards Paddington and Heathrow. These transport routes will soon be supplemented by the advent of the Crossrail line, which will stop at both Ealing Broadway and West Ealing. Ealing Broadway is the focal point of the town, featuring most of its shopping and dining opportunities, as well as luxury apartments in the Dickens Yard development. The new Filmworks project will add an eight-screen cinema and more retail spaces to further enhance the area. Ealing’s most popular residential areas include Pitshanger, a pretty neighbourhood with an award-winning high street; the Brentham Garden Suburb, a conservation area whose sports club’s famous alumni include Wimbledon tennis champion Fred Perry and England cricket captain Mike Brearley; Northfields, an affluent area which hosts some of the best of Ealing’s schools; and South Ealing, home to the famous Ealing Studios.
At just over a square mile, the postcode area of W6 is one of the smallest in London, yet within this relatively small area there are many different neighbourhoods containing a variety of property styles. Property hunters can find cottages in Brackenbury Village, grand semi-detached villas in Hammersmith Grove, family homes in the Crabtree Estate, and modern apartments in the new developments taking shape along the riverbank. The area also contains an abundance of leisure facilities. Prestigious venues including The Queens Tennis Club and Kensington Olympia sit alongside theatres including the Lyric and the Apollo, the Thames Path and Ravenscourt Park provide opportunities for outdoor activities, and Hammersmith Broadway is home to a great selection of shops and cafes. Transport links within Hammersmith are excellent too, as the area is served by no less than five Underground stations, offering access to four different lines. Hammersmith Broadway houses a bus terminal, and the A4 passes through the town. Finally, Numerous highly-regarded schools are located within Hammersmith, including Latymer Upper School, St Paul’s Girls School, Godolphin and Latymer School, and the West London Free School.
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