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Area Guides   |   Apr 13, 2015,

Acton London - West, North & East Acton Guide

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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 it 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, we're not sure 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 Ealing, Chiswick and Shepherd’s Bush means you’re always close to the action.

As of December 2019, Acton Mainline Station will benefit from a stop on the Elizabeth Line, otherwise known as the Crossrail. The service will reduce times to place like Bond Street from just under half an hour to less than 10 minutes. 

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 2017, the average rental price for a two-bedroom property in Acton is £1,750 per month. You can view the latest Acton rental properties here

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? This cosy yet atmospheric bar on Acton’s High Street is popular with the locals serving quality pizzas 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 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

Woody Grill Acton

Woody Grill does a spectacular job of serving up delicious Turkish delights via some of the finest kebabs in London. Enjoy a vast menu with a selection of mezes, burgers and other traditional Turkish dishes. 

Address:187-189 High Street, Acton, London W3 9DJ
Tel: 
020 8992 9807

Anokha
Exterior of Anokha restaurant Photo credit: Thoroughly Modern Milly

There certainly isn't a shortage of Indian restaurants in London, but Anokha superbly represents Acton with tasty Indian cuisine. You can enjoy traditional favourites, a selection of yummy desserts, and its also possible to book the restaurant for parties and events. 

Address: 15 Churchfield Rd, Acton, London W3 6BD

Phone: 020 8993 3463

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

 

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