With a wide variety of residential areas, Acton offers affordable housing options that are close to the city centre.
Once known as Soapsud Islands thanks to the soft local water and abundance of laundries, Acton London is now a buzzing, cosmopolitan area that is home to a vibrant mix of residents (including a disproportionately large number of antipodeans).
Acton is a big place – there is north, south, east, west and central Acton, plus Acton Town, Acton Green, and Acton Vale. While in the past, Acton has been seen as a less desirable place to live, recent developments and growth within the area has seen Acton become a safe and secure place in London to visit. There are historic buildings, beautiful parks, modern retail zones, cafés, bars and an active nightlife.
On a Map
History of Acton
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Acton goes back a long way as signs of prehistoric settlements during the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Iron Ages have been discovered. However settlement in the area was slow and the area didn’t really take off until the late 19th
century. In the meantime, the area was largely rural and wooded, hence the name Acton meaning ‘oak farm’ in old English.
Acton has significant soft water sources resulting in around 170 laundries being established here in the 1850s. During the 20th
century it was heavily industrialised and saw the first Waitrose store open on the high street (then known as Waite, Rose and Taylor.)
The area is now a mix of residential and local commercial areas and is becoming an increasingly popular place to live.
Transport in Acton
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Apart from London, coming up with an impressive total of seven, Acton has the most train stations bearing its name within the UK. If that’s not a claim to fame, I don’t know what is.
As a result, it is particularly easy to get to Acton from central London. Acton is well covered with the London Overground, District, Piccadilly and Central lines.
It’s location in West London bordering Earling, Chiswick and Shepherd’s Bush means you’re always close to the action.
Cost of Living in Acton
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South Acton estate is the largest housing estate in West London and is currently going through a 15-year regeneration. North and West Acton are more comfortable residential zones with leafy streets and therefore a higher rental price.
In 21015, the average rental price for a home in Acton is £2,000 per month.
Restaurants and Bars
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Why fly all the way to Prague when you can have a refreshing Czech beer in Acton? The George & Dragon pub is part of the Remarkable Restaurants group who brought Livotel lager to Chiswick before distributing it further afield. This cosy yet atmospheric bar on Acton’s High Street is popular with the locals serving quality American-style food to go with their seriously great beer.
Address: 183 High Street, Acton, W3 9DJ
Phone: 0208 992 3712
While no one really wants another Walkabout ‘Australian’ pub being set up around the corner, you can’t say no to a true-blue Aussie barbecue and that requires meat. And some of the best meat in Acton is delivered to you by Tim English, an Australian butcher, whose small, local store sells some of the best cuts in town. He doesn’t advertise, use Twitter – he doesn’t even have a website. But what he does have is some seriously good beef.
Address: 39 Churchfield Road, Acton, W3 6AY
Phone: 0208 992 6789
Your perfect local hangout with gastro pub quality – the Princess Victoria is stylish, fun and has one of the best wine stores in the area that you just have to pop in and have a look. The food menu is full of classics with a contemporary twist and you can’t go past the Dingly Dell pork belly for Sunday lunch. Have an after dinner drink in the herb garden and fill your senses with the fresh smells of mint, basil and thyme.
217 Uxbridge Road, Acton, W12 9DH
Phone: 0208 749 5886
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Take a brewery and add some cabaret and what do you end up with? The Aeronaut pub. This unique pub offers more than you can ever imagine with live cabaret, burlesque and circus performances from Thursday to Saturday nights, and entry is a steal at just £5. They also have swing dance lessons, quizzes, comedy nights and table tennis. Oh and they do a mean Sunday roast and brew their own beer. Is there anything this pub doesn’t do?
Address: 264 Acton High Street, W3 9BH
Phone: 0208 993 4242
Things to do in Acton
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From 10am to 5pm Friday to Sunday each week, you can come and explore the Acton market and find yourself a bargain or two. There are art and craft stalls as well as organic food, preserves and bread. On Saturdays from 9am-1pm there is an additional famers market where you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables and other delicious treats straight from the suppliers.
The Mount / King Street, Acton Town Centre, W3 9NW
On Acton High Street are the recently renovated Victorian swimming baths. You can reminisce about the times when Acton was a destination for medicinal bathing as you splash around in the two swimming pools. While the water may not cure all ailments, it is definitely an enjoyable space in which to swim, relax and get a bit of healthy exercise. There is also a gym, sauna and tennis courts should swimming not be your thing.
High Street, Acton, W3 6NE
Phone: 0208 825 9001
Photo credit: www.ltmuseum.co.uk
Get behind the scenes of the London Transport Museum by visiting the Acton depot. This is where they store over 370,000 items such as uniforms, trains and buses. You can visit the depot on selected dates throughout the year and see some of the items that haven’t made it to the big displays in Covent Garden.
Address: 118-120 Gunnersbury Lane, Acton Town, W3 9BQ
Once the estate of Princess Amelia and the Rothschilds, Gunnersbury Park is a beautiful parkland with a 19th
century mansion, ponds and playgrounds. The mansion is home to a local history museum (which is currently closed for renovation until 2017) and has a formal Italian style garden. The park is the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon picnic or stroll with the family.
Address: Gunnersbury Park, Acton, W3 8LQ