Whether you have never before visited London, experienced it on more than a few occasions, or even lived there at some point, there’s a lot of merit in centring your next London break on a specific part of the city.
After all, you’ll be able to enjoy a holiday of concentrated brilliance, moving from one attraction to the next without wasting a lot of your precious time simply trying to get to the key sites.
But what makes the western part of the British capital an especially rewarding focal point for a city break? Here are the key reasons…
It includes many household-name attractions
First of all, it’s important to set out that there isn’t really an exactly defined ‘West London’ – it’s simply a term referring to the western area of the city.
‘West London’, then, doesn’t merely consist of parts of London that aren’t usually considered to be part of the tourist trail, such as Uxbridge, Harrow and Hounslow.
That’s because it also covers truly iconic districts like the West End, Knightsbridge and Westminster, which serve up such instantly recognisable sights as Piccadilly Circus, the Harrods department store and Westminster Abbey respectively.
But West London has no shortage of hidden gems, too
Now, as enticing as all of the above attractions are for most visitors to London, those aforementioned comparatively ‘unglamorous’ boroughs also have their charms, including interesting shops, pubs, historical landmarks, museums and arts venues.
Uxbridge, for instance, offers the Battle of Britain Bunker, which houses the operations room from which the Royal Air Force (RAF) coordinated most of the Battle of Britain in 1940. Meanwhile, Hounslow has The Arts Centre, which hosts theatrical performances, foreign language cinema screenings, and dance and fitness classes.
Mix them with some of the more ‘obvious’ West London sights, and you’ll have a rewardingly varied break on your hands.
Whether you’re into open spaces, shopping or museums, there’s something here for you
True, this is something that you could say of the northern, central and eastern ends of the city, too, but it’s also absolutely true of West London; this part of the British capital really does have something for every preference and taste.
Reserve a room in a West London hotel such as Dorsett Hotel, Shepherds Bush, and you won’t just be excellently placed for a spot of retail therapy at the nearby Westfield London shopping centre – you’ll also be able to take advantage of strong transport links to the likes of Notting Hill, the West End and Kensington.
South Kensington, for instance, offers what has become known as ‘Museum Mile’, consisting of such world-leading attractions as the Science Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and Natural History Museum.
As for open spaces… again, West London provides plenty of them. So why not follow Time Out’s advice to explore the 300 acres of Kew Gardens, or keep an eye out for deer in London’s largest royal park, the 2,500-acre Richmond Park?
Finally, as must always be said in these strange times, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to rage, if you are planning a visit to West London – whether from elsewhere in the UK or abroad – it is important to inform yourself about the latest British government and local guidelines.
Also be sure to check with individual attractions whether they will actually be open, as well as when and how they may be open, in order to avoid disappointment. Good luck with your (safe) travels!