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Acton London – West, North & East Acton Guide

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Acton London – West, North & East Acton Guide

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 ...

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

Acton London

Photo credit: www.actonhistory.co.uk

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

Acton London

Photo credit: www.wikimedia.org

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

Acton London

Photo credit: www.ealingremovals.org

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

The George & Dragon

Acton London

Photo credit: www.draftedmagazine.com

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

English Butchers

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

Princess Victoria

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. Address: 217 Uxbridge Road, Acton, W12 9DH Phone: 0208 749 5886

The Aeronaut

Acton London

Photo credit: www.timeout.com

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

Acton Market

Acton London

Photo credit: www.wikimedia.org

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. Address: The Mount / King Street, Acton Town Centre, W3 9NW

Acton Swimming Baths

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. Address: High Street, Acton, W3 6NE Phone: 0208 825 9001

London Transport Museum Depot

Acton London

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

Gunnersbury Park

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   Blog beta banner  
As content manager for Movebubble, it’s my job to be an expert on renting and London. Being a writer (Journalism BA Bournemouth University) with a passion for food and the arts, I definitely have my dream job! I love exploring the city and researching the latest information and news to bring to our readers. I love getting recommendations from readers on their favourite spots in London so if you have one, let us know in the comments!

Comments ( 10 )

  1. ReplyAnonymous
    That is so not true... I have been living in Acton for over 3 years now and the area is becoming unsafe to live in by the day. The image above (rainy photo) is the area right I front of big Morrison's (which is the only good thing). You will find soo many dodgy people there.. I am 33 years old and am scared of walking around that area after 9.30. I have often seen men and women peeing in the parking lot and walking around drunk all the time. To add, my bike was stolen from a locked area with CCTV and the police closed the case without even bothering to look at the CCTV tapes (case closed in a weeks time). I am personally looking to move out of this shady place as soon as I can. Aeronaut is brilliant but but other pubs are full of dodgy drunks. Rather I was also offered to buy some weed at this pub once, which is 30metres from the freakin police station! Best of luck moving to Acton :)
    • Carly Klineberg
      Hey Anonymous, thanks for your comment... your experiences of Acton don't sound great at all! Why do you feel the area has changed so much in the last three years? Is there anyone out there who've experienced something different?
    • Anonymous
      Hey... To be honest, I moved to Acton town from Maida Vale and it was a big change of scenery for me. But again, I didn't have much of an option and time to look for something else. Anyhow, I love the fact that there's a big Morrisons nearby and Aeronaut is brilliant. Not really sure where are these bullheaded people coming from. It's true what you wrote in your article about Acton being a very dodgier area in the past. I have heard the same from so many people. I personally live on a quiet residential street but it can get quiet loud at times when you hear drunk people screaming and shouting in middle of the night (2-3 am), so you end up closing your window. Anyhow, that's my personal experience of Acton town. I am sure there must be people out there who love this neighborhood :)
    • Yaza
      Hi anonymous can I ask is southfield road a dodgy area? currently looking at a flat there so need to know asap! Thanks
    • Aidan
      Hello, We think the area is okay but we don't have anyone that knows the area specifically well. Sorry.
  2. ReplyYaza
    Hi does anyone know if southfield road in acton is a dodgy area? currently looking at a flat there so need to know asap! Thanks
  3. ReplyBosh85
    In Southfield Road you're about equidistant from chiswick's amenities, about half way between chiswick Sainsburys and Actons Morrisons. Acton should be getting a Waitrose (where it the company actually originated in 1904) anytime soon, also Crossrail will bring fresh interest into the area which should change the culture entirely. A fine choice for purchasing a property even to rent as existing Churchfield Road is the centre of everything good Acton has to offer IMO. Park and Bridge independant wine shop on Churchfield have opened an idillic wine bar across the road called Vindinista. As mentioned earlier English Butcher is the most out going friendly butchers I've ever used. Acton has a lot going for it and redevelopment in the area is thick and fast, raising its profile to be a serious alternative to over priced Chiswick, overcrowded Shepherds Bush or run down Willesden. In closing Acton like all areas in London has good and not so good places but with the amounts of developments new transport links its popularity is likely to soar.
  4. Replymeganm189
    hi looking to maybe move to acton around Gunnersbury station, is it a dodgy area?
  5. ReplyMoose
    Please note that Princess Victoria is not in Acton but Shepherd's Bush though definitely a great place to eat and not far from Acton. ================= I've lived in South Acton (traditionally one of the worst parts of London or even the UK) for 16 years and it has improved massively. There are slightly worse parts than others in Acton generally but I feel very safe any time day or night. I'm sorry to hear that this person hasn't had the best time in Acton but you can have a negative experience in any area of London no matter how affluent the residents. I have recently moved away from Acton because I found it too quiet and lacking in night life in recent years so I think it can vary by person too. Bike crime is sadly pretty standard across the capital and locking it up in any part doesn't mean it won't get stolen. Same for drunk people making noise, if you are close to a station when last trains arrive or a bar at closing time it will mean noise. To answer a few questions in the comments: - Gunnersbury station is not really Acton but I can tell you that it is residential and quiet certainly not dodgy as this is Chiswick. My reservations will be transport links. I know Overground has improved over the past 2-3 years but I need to be close to a tube station. You can walk to Chiswick Park depending on how far you are but worth considering. - Southfield road is similar actually as I would consider this Chiswick. Mainly very quiet and a good bit of greenery in the area. Same as above, I wouldn't go for it as it is not close to a tube stop the nearest station being South Acton Overground (10mins) and Turnham Green (District) (15-20min walk).
  6. ReplyJulie
    I am all thinking of moving to the new Acton Gardens development. Not sure what I think on the area, thoughts please. Are there any independent restaurants / coffee shops in Acton

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