Home to some of the city’s most sought-after postcodes and renowned for rows of white-terraced houses, west London is full to the brim with stylish suburbs and fashionable streets. From the Caribbean flavour of Notting Hill carnival and the charming canals of Maida Vale to the luxury shopping of King’s Road and the trendy restaurants of Chelsea, west London sufficiently fuels its regal reputation. Also, with Holland Park and Hyde Park close by, you are never far away from a place to perch amongst lush greenery and picturesque ponds.
Stroll along the aptly named Exhibition Road and you will encounter the grandeur of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National History Museum and the Science Museum. Exuding a cosmopolitan allure, this trendy area is populated with chic restaurants, delicatessens and cafes; most notably, one of London’s best beloved cupcake cafes, the Hummingbird Bakery. Also overlooking the edge of Hyde Park, and beautifully illuminating the London skyline, sits the Royal Albert Hall - one of London’s most significant concert halls.
Tube: South Kensington
Famed for its iconic railway station and a fictional travelling bear, Paddington’s surrounding areas are packed with hotels due to its direct links to London Heathrow and its close proximity to the West End.
The King’s Road is one of Chelsea’s most popular haunts. With shops such as Cartier, Tiffany’s and Hugo Boss all within the reaches of Sloane Square and Duke of York Square, not to mention the cutting-edge Saatchi Gallery, it is unsurprising that Chelsea has become renowned as one of the most stylish districts of London. Also, encompassing the neighbouring affluent areas of South Kensington and Knightsbridge, glistening department stores (Harrods and Harvey Nichols), chic cafes and exciting exhibits are all regular features of Chelsea.
Tube: Sloane Square, South Kensington and Knightsbridge
Victorian and Georgian mansion blocks line the pleasant boulevards of this residential neighbourhood of West London. There are a handful of delis, cafes and pubs on and around Elgin Avenue as well as a street market selling a range of fresh produce, which has opened on the corner of the Harrow Road.
Tube: Maida Vale
On first meeting Hammersmith, it appears as a large round-about, containing a shopping centre and bus station, leading off in one direction to the cheap and not-always-cheerful King Street shopping area and in others - ultimately to nicer parts of town. However, it is right on the Thames and the stretch along the river is a summer haven, with a stretch of lovely pubs with outdoor space to enjoy as you watch the rowers go by.
Far more than just a movie set location, Notting Hill is notable as a quirky location full of fashionable streets, trendy bars, shops and restaurants. However, by far the biggest draws to the area are the abundant treasures found at Portobello Market and the colourful Caribbean displays of the annual Notting Hill Carnival. A patchwork of picturesque backstreets, pretty gardens, charming cinemas and a cutting-edge arts clubs, Notting Hill is a great place to while away the hours in true bohemian bliss.
Tube: Notting Hill Gate
A popular place to live for young Londoners, particularly those of Antipodean origin, Shepherd’s Bush is now almost entirely overshadowed by the mighty Westfield Shopping Centre, stretching all the way from the Green to White City and offering shoppers from far and wide some 300 shops, including the luxurious Village, which gives Bond Street a run for its money with a cluster of designer clothing brands and jewelry shops.
Tube: Shepherd's Bush
Managing to maintain its reputation as a wealthy residential area, despite the cluttering of cheap bars and the standard high street atmosphere of the Broadway, Fulham is still, on the whole, attractive, making it a popular area with London’s newcomers, as a place to live and play.
Tube: Fulham Broadway, Parsons Green