Choosing where to live in London can sometimes be tricky, especially if you don’t know a whole lot about the different areas.
West London is a vibrant and thriving area home to more than 1.5 million people across its seven boroughs:
The district has a dynamic mix of nationalities, cultures and ethnicities across its many communities and has recently undergone major regeneration projects following the success of East London since the 2012 Olympics. The area as a whole offers an eclectic mix of green spaces, sites of historical interest, restaurants, cafes, bars and plenty of things to do.
Where to Live in West London
The west side of West London offers property, both for sale and rent, that is suited more to people on a budget. This includes places such as Southall, Hanwell, Ruislip and Ickenham.
On the other end, the east side of West London, closer to Central London, is on the pricier end of the spectrum. This area includes Maida Vale, Notting Hill and Kensington.
The most desirable places to live in West London are the latter, and including Chelsea, which is ranked as the most expensive area to live in the UK.
Similarly, Hammersmith and Fulham offers a prime location and great local amenities across the borough. Ealing is great for those on a budget who don’t want to live too far away from the hustle and bustle of London.
Travel in West London
West London is served by seven of the twelve underground lines in London, meaning it is well connected to the rest of London. The tube is usually used for people commuting into Central London, with many choosing to navigate the region and further afield in their own car or other public transport, such as regular buses, the Overground and National Rail.
Be warned, however, if using your own car, that parking is limited across the whole of London, especially when you get further into Central. Towns such as Notting Hill and Kensington also fall within the Congestion Charging Zone, which can be expensive over time. That said, you will receive a 90% discount if you are a resident within the charging zone.
Two-thirds of people in the region commute to work in a car, meaning you will likely be stuck in queues for most of the journey. The most efficient way of travel is still via public transport or by cycling.
Remember: Using an Oyster Card when using public transport will save you lots of money over time. You can connect your Oyster Card to a railcard too, to save even more.
Shopping in West London
West London is home to many of London’s top shopping streets, including:
- Bond Street – Great for high street boutique shops, as well as the iconic Selfridges department store and Claridge’s. Opposite the station is St Christopher’s Place which showcases a number of men’s and women’s clothing stores, art galleries, home stores and leading names such as Hampstead Bazaar and Reiss
- South Molton Street – More top-name brands, such as Kurt Geiger, Ted Baker and Karen Millen can be found on this prestigious street in the heart of Mayfair.
- Notting Hill – This street is home to some of the quirkier shops in London, including The Travel Bookshop that inspired the style of the bookshop in the blockbuster Hugh Grant Film, Notting Hill. Everything from designer clothing to rare records and LPs can be found in this area.
- Portobello Road – Made famous by the Disney film Bed Knobs and Broomstick, Portobello Road is a stone’s throw away from Notting Hill and features the well-known antiques market.
- Golbourne Road – Found in Kensington, this road features one of the best markets in London. There you will find everything from fruit and veg, posters, clothes, ceramics and music.
- Broadway Shopping Centre – Located in Hammersmith near the Kings Mall Shopping Centre, these two places house all the major names you will normally find in a shopping centre.
Food and Drink
Maida Vale, Notting Hill and Westbourne Park are some of the most popular places to eat out in West London, although everything from these areas can be found across the whole region.
Aside from the usual chain restaurants such as Nandos and Pizza Express, you will find an array of worldly cuisines, from restaurants serving African and Caribbean, British, Oriental and French to gastro bars, pub grub and nouvelle cuisine.
Marble Arch and Marylebone along the north edge of Hyde Park also host a high number of establishments serving a choice of international cuisine.
Further west, you will find a great selection of restaurants and pubs in Bayswater, Ladbroke Grove and Holland Park.
Things to Do in West London
The most notable event of the year in West London is the Notting Hill Carnival which takes place every summer and organised by London’s Caribbean community. The carnival attracts more than 1.5 million people every year from across the world.
For those sporty few, there are a number of sports facilities in the area, including several council-run leisure centres and more than 80 private health and fitness clubs.
Cinemas take up a large part of things to do in the area, with dozens of cinemas specialising in independent film to Hollywood blockbusters.
Even the furthest parts of West London are only a half-hour train journey from the city centre, meaning all the events, shows and gigs are just a stone’s throw away from home.