What's it all about?
With more stations than any other place in the capital, and regeneration projects galore, Acton is stepping into the limelight as a real destination of choice. Acton means ‘oak farm’ in Anglo Saxon and the motif is everywhere, from the Oaks Shopping Centre to a huge mural of oak trees in the high street. It was also where most of the Capital’s laundries were based in the 17th century, earning Acton the nickname ‘Soapsuds Island’. Now it has fantastic transport links, with four Tube and three railway stations, and the prospect of a link to the Crossrail and HS2 networks at Old Oak Common. The area retains much of its Victorian terraced housing which, along with newly refurbished leisure facilities, diverse shops and a good choice of schools, makes Acton a magnet for families and young professionals alike.
- By the 1700s, Acton was a favoured country retreat for the rich, with many hoping to boost their health by drinking the mineral water from Acton Wells. As a result of its soft water, Acton became famous for its laundries, which would serve the West End and at one point there were at least 600 of them. The last one closed in the late 1970s.
- Waitrose started in Acton, as Waite, Rose and Taylor, in 1904.
- Harlech Tower in South Acton is the site of the housing estate where the sitcom Only Fools and Horses was filmed, although the script described the Trotters as living in Peckham.
Architecture and property
Once considered a country retreat for the rich, in 1859 land in Acton was released for building to house London's rapidly growing population. Consequently many Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses and flat conversions can be found in Acton. There are also pockets of classic 20th century suburbia, most notable of which is Hanger Hill Garden Village. Now a conservation area, the mock Tudor houses and flats were built between 1928 and 1936, and the area includes ornamental gardens and open spaces. Additionally there are some interesting 1930s apartment blocks in Ealing Village. During the last century Acton was also a major industrial centre employing tens of thousands of people in the motor vehicle industries, although much of this history was erased by post war redevelopment. The terraced houses and factories were replaced with large tower blocks, and this continued throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in a variety of styles. Today there is a wide variety of property available in Acton, including these ex-local authority homes and some stunning modern developments made available through a £560 million scheme to regenerate South Acton.
For house price information please visit the sold data tab.
Eating: There are lots of restaurants clustered around the Acton High Street and Churchfield Road area. Locals flock to North China for its shin of beef and dumplings, and Fed and Watered for a high-end dining experience. Towards Ealing is Persian Nights, offering live music and belly dancing, or those with a craving for spice could head for Anokha.
Drinking: The Rocket is a classic British pub that has earned a good reputation for food, with the nearby Station House also popular with locals. The Aeronaut Pub is anything but traditional, with a circus themed garden, its own brewery, swing dance lessons, and aerial acrobatics shows at the weekends. The Belvedere caters for sports fans, and The Dragonfly at the beautifully refurbished George & Dragon pub should hit the spot for beer lovers with its own microbrewery.
Culture: Head over to Questors Theatre, five minutes away in the other direction in Ealing, the biggest amateur theatre company in the country.
Events: The Acton Carnival takes place in July and celebrates blues and jazz. The London Transport Museum uses its depot in Acton for storage, but guided tours of the historic vehicles are available.
- Currently, there are two Sainsbury’s Locals and a large Morrisons nearby.
- Head to The Oaks, a newly refurbished shopping centre with ample parking, home to Boots and Lidl.
- Basil & Toms is a traditional, family-run greengrocers offering the highest-quality, fresh, seasonal produce.
- Gentlemen after a little grooming should head for Arthur Razor, while ladies can indulge themselves at Nara Simone Medispa.
- Acton Town Hall has been redeveloped to the tune of £14 million, creating the Everyone Active centre, which has a 100 station gym, two pools, two dance studios and a library.
- There is also a David Lloyds which offers an array of racquet sports, gyms, swimming pool and places to relax.
- Twyford Sports Centre offers a four court sports hall, floodlit tennis courts, netball and football areas and two group exercise studios.
Acton Park offers a playground, ponds, bowling green, tennis courts and a cafe. Gunnersbury Park has two play areas, a cricket square, 20 football pitches and 15 tennis courts. Between East and North Action Tube stations lies Wormwood Scrubs, home to more than 200 acres of common land, including nature reserves, a sports stadium and a pony centre.
Between North and East Action Tube stations, the 155 hectare Old Oak Common is one of the biggest regeneration projects since the Olympics. There are plans to build ‘the Canary Wharf of West London’, creating 24,000 homes, 55,000 jobs and a Crossrail/HS2 railway hub. A redevelopment of the South Acton Estate is ongoing, as part of L&Q’s £800 million scheme to create 3,463 new homes in the area. The Oaks Shopping Centre has been newly refurbished and is home to a number of high street names including Boots and Lidl.
Rail: Acton Central and South Acton are on the Overground and trains from either will drop you at Highbury & Islington in about half an hour. Acton main line station has trains to Paddington that take just 10 minutes.
Tube: The newly refurbished Acton mainline station can take you to Liverpool Street on the Elizabeth line in just 12 minutes. East Acton, North Acton and West Acton stations are all on the Central Line, with journey times to the West End of about 20 minutes and to the City of half an hour. Acton Town is on the District and Piccadilly Lines, serving the City, Holborn and Victoria.
Bus: Routes 95 (Southall), 260 (White City), 266 (24 hour Brent Cross), 440 (Stonebridge Park) and 487 (Willesdon Junction) all run through Acton.
Road: Ease of access to the M4 means that Bristol is only two hours away and getting to the M25 is simple.
Cycle: TfL has proposed a continuous, segregated cycle superhighway between Acton and Tower Hill as part of their Cycleways project.
Getting away: At just 20 minutes to Heathrow Airport by car, or half an hour by public transport, it’s easy to escape by plane.
Of the many primary schools in the area, Ark Priory Primary Academy and John Perryn Primary and are popular choices. At secondary level, Twyford CofE High School, Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls (specialising in science and maths) and Arch Acton Academy all have good reputations.
Please see our schools tab for more information on schools in this area.
If you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or let in Acton, contact the KFH Acton branch today.
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