Living in Hammersmith
By Esmerelda Khalil
Hammersmith is located between High St Kensington and Chiswick and is a fairly nice area to live in. It has a decent night life, excellent food shops and very reliable links to Heathrow airport, central London, Ealing and Richmond.
The closer you are to Olympia and High St Kensington the more expensive things get ranging all the way up to 200 pounds a week and beyond. Gravitating more towards Ravenscourt Park, Baron's Court, or West Brompton will bring lower rents The popularity of this end of Hammersmith can be judged by the number of rental ads in convenience stores and estate agents in the area. The popularity of this area can be judged by the number of rental ads in convenience stores and estate agents Hammersmith has to offer. Properties size and types vary considerably and there are a mixture of terraced houses, detached houses, and blocks of flats. Hammersmith as a whole is still much more expensive than places further out like Acton and Ealing.
Pubs, Clubs and Entertainment
Hammersmith is a good place for night out as you can comfortably avoid West-End prices and crowds alike while still being a lively area. There are pubs all along King Street but the main hangout on a summer's day is down by the river. The Old Ship is popular with the Aussie/Kiwi crowd as you can take your pint out onto the big grassy area. It's also a great (although very crowded) place to watch the annual boat race. If you like your pubs small and full of history then check out The Dove which is also right on the river.
For live entertainment, Hammersmith is great. It is the home of Carling Apollo, a major London live music venue that plays host to some major international acts. Then there are the Riverside Studios, once an old water pump factory converted into a BBC recording studio that showcases experimental theatre and international films. The studios are augmented by a good bar, lively dining area, moody lighting and very comfy sofas. In the summer visitors can use the outdoor terrace overlooking the river with a fantastic view of Hammersmith Bridge. There's also the Lyric Theatre along King Street, which always has an exciting program of experimental classical plays and musicals. Provided you either live or work in the borough it is possible to get free first night seats for Lyric Theatre own productions. There are some fringe venues in Baron's Court which specializes in classical plays, Brooks Bar known for some great comedy line-ups on a Friday night.
Parks and Recreation
Hammersmith is covered in concrete and doesn't have much in the way of parks but more than makes up for this as it is close to the river. There's an excellent path along the Thames that stretches from the city into Richmond. There are plenty of grassy areas along the path as well. Ravenscourt park is the largest in the area with tennis courts, flower garden, a children's play area and plenty of open space.
The London Wetland Centre is nearby across the river which has 105 acres of wetland inhabitants and over 180 bird species, with and interactive Discovery centre, children's farm-yard, art gallery, observatory activities and many events.
Shops, Restaurants and Takeaways
Every Thursday the Hammersmith farmers market is a delight to visit as it has marvelous fresh and cooked food from farms around the area. Good home-cooked food from the West Indies, China, India, Scotland and English can be bought at affordable prices. Hammersmith has the usual major chain stores like Marks&Spencers, Sainsbury's, Tescos, Iceland and Waitrose.
This part of the capital takes its consumption of alcohol and eating out very seriously and at last count there were over 100 restaurants to prove it. Jamie Oliver began his career at the River Cafe developing a peerless cuisine which earned him his reputation as a celebrity chef.
Hammersmith is one of the best connected areas in all of London. Three tube lines go through here (Hammersmith & City, District and Piccadilly) and there's a huge, central bus garage that seems to have buses going everywhere. If you can get yourself to the Hammersmith bus station, chances are good you'll be able to find your way home somehow, even late at night. There are too many good bus routes to mention serving all of West London and beyond. The wait for either buses or tubes is never very long. The Piccadilly line is fast and reliable but very crowded. The District line is old, crap, slow and always packed as well. If you're heading into the city you'd be better off taking the Piccadilly and swapping over to another line when you get into the centre.
AREAS OF LONDON