Your Guide to London Acton
Where is Acton?
If you’re flying into Heathrow Airport and want somewhere close by to rest your head in, Acton is only a few tube stops away on the tube! This really well connected, vibrant cultural centre is an area in West London, predominantly in the London Borough of Ealing. It’s surrounded by districts including Ealing, Wembley, Hammersmith and Chiswick. You’ll find it within Zone 2 and 3 of the London Underground (depending upon which tube station you travel from) and more importantly outside the congestion charging zone, so you won’t have to pay to bring your car here. There are more stations here than any other area of London – with no less than three train stations and four tube stations providing you with quick and easy access to the city centre.
History of Acton
Acton means ‘oak farm’ or ‘farm by oak trees’ and is derived from the Anglo-Saxon ‘ac’ (oak) and ‘tun’ (farm). It was originally an ancient village, mentioned in the Domesday Book, situated on the main road leading from London to Oxford, providing refreshment for travellers making the journey. During the 17th and 18th Centuries, Acton found favour as a spa and as a country retreat for the wealthy from the City, a number of whom had large houses built for their use.
In the latter part of the 19th century, due to the favourable water found there, a considerable number of laundries opened, serving the needs of the hotels and the wealthy living in the West End. Heavy industry came in the early 1900’s due to good transport links to raw materials and space in which to develop, but by the 1950’s this process was reversed. With easy access to central London and Heathrow Airport, Acton remains a popular place to live with new housing being built across the district. Although this means that Acton is a predominantly residential area, it’s still an interesting, well connected and above all cheap place for you to stay!
The Positives of Acton
As Acton is largely residential, you can rest assured that this will be a more laid back district for you to rest your head in, rather than the hubbub of the city centre. It’s still a vibrant area though, with diverse ethnic origins and a wonderful variety of restaurants and pubs to suit all tastes and budgets. You’ll also find a wide range of independent shops selling innovative goods here for you to browse and pick up a bargain. The huge plus to staying in Acton is its fantastic transport links to central London. You can travel by car as the A40 is so close by (a road which also offers you easy access to the Cotswolds, Oxford, Birmingham and the north-west of the UK). You will also find that there are three railway stations and four tube stations to choose from to get you into the city centre with ease. There’s even a direct tube link to Heathrow Airport from here!
Need to Know Acton
As Acton has a high residential population, you won’t find many tourist attractions here, but after action packed days spent exploring the city centre and places like the houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, you will probably welcome Acton as a place to retreat to with open arms! The fantastic transport links far outweigh the lack of attractions anyway. Also, due to the vibrant nature of the area, visitors should not expect a quiet break. While tranquil places are easily within reach, Acton takes pride in its bustling, loud attitude.