Living in Earl's Court

By Kirsty Henderson

Located in the southwest corner of zone 1, Earl's Court is in a great location with easy access to the city centre as well as west and southwest London. Once referred to as 'Kangaroo Court', the area used to be immensely popular with antipodeans in the 80s but since then the area has been gentrified and rent has risen meaning that most travellers you find here will be living in backpacker's hostels.

Housing

The area is packed with street after street of beautiful four and five story terraced flats. There are loads of hotels and hostels in the area and not much left over for renters, especially if you're on a budget. There are some good choices in the area for backpacker's hostels including Barmy Badger which is known for being a haven for long term guests who are working in London. I stayed here for 5 months when I first arrived in London and would have happily stayed longer had I not found a much cheaper houseshare elsewhere. Some people stay here for years and there are rumours of a guy who stayed for 4 years! If you want to rent your own place you'd better be prepared to spend a lot of money. The area is in zone one, after all.

People

Earl's Court is central and as a result is full of hostels, hotels and their accompanying tourists. There are still plenty of antipodeans around, most of whom live in the many hostels in the area or are just passing through as tourists. Lots of working holidaymakers still call Earl's Court their home while looking for houses to rent but most of the action has moved further west to Acton and Shepherd's Bush.

Pubs, Clubs and Entertainment

Earl's Court has a handful of pubs but there's not much to do in the area once they close. The Prince of Teck has long been an Aussie/Kiwi hang out and still attracts antipodeans. The Hansom Cab is a really good little pub located half way to Holland Park on Earl's Court Road.

The Earl's Court Exhibition Centre is home to concerts and home, ski, travel and wedding shows as well as some pretty big name concerts.

Parks

Being so close to the city centre, there's not much in the way of green spaces in Earl's Court. Holland Park is a 10 minute walk up Earl's Court Road towards High Street Kensington and is a great place to kick back and relax.

Shops, Restaurants and Takeaways

There is a massive Tesco tucked away on West Cromwell Road and a Sainsbury's Local on the main street. There's not much shopping to be done on Earl's Court Road but High Street Kensington is only a 15 minute walk away if that's what you're after.

The greasy spoons and dodgy kebab shops in the area seem to have been replaced by upscale places or chain restaurants such as Wagamama's. There are still a few local places to choose from though.

Transportation

Good Points

  • very central in zone one
  • great transport links to the city centre
  • walking distance to great shopping on Kensington High Street
  • easy to get to Heathrow by tube

Bad Points

  • very expensive to rent a place
  • a bit of a seedy feel after dark
  • limited options for going out after the pubs close

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AREAS OF LONDON


Acton
Cheap rent means more money to spend at the pubs.


Brixton
Gritty, cheap and international with loads of character.


Camberwell
Edgy, gritty and artsy area close to central London.


Camden Town
Full of punks, market stalls and a great canal.


Clapham
Diverse area with everyone from yuppies to yobbos.


Ealing
Decent shopping but the nightlife is a bit uninspired.


Earl's Court
In zone one but expensive and full of tourists.


East Dulwich
A posh area south of the river but still affordable.


Finsbury Park


Fulham
Very nice area but expensive and the District line is crap.


Greenwich
Nice, safe, close to the city but not much nightlife.


Hammersmith
Great transport links and near to the Thames.


Kilburn
Great transport links but a bit dodgy at night.


Putney
Green and pretty but a little bit on the dull side.


Shepherd's Bush
A lively, edgy, multicultural area in West London.


Shoreditch
Edgy, creative and trendy with a great nightlife.


Stoke Newington


Tooting
A bit rough around the edges but a great place for a curry.


West Hampstead
Well connected by transport but a little expensive.


Willesden Green
Cheap, full of travellers and well connected.


Wimbledon
Nice area, decent nightlife and good transport to the city.

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