The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
” Known for its historic terraces, community spirit and high-achieving schools, the area attracts an affluent crowd”
Moving to Hammersmith & Fulham
Nestled between Ealing, Kensington and Chelsea in West London, the borough of Hammersmith is largely known for being home to the Hammersmith Apollo, one of London’s best known events venues, as well as two major football clubs, Chelsea F.C and Fulham F.C. But there’s much more to this underrated area of London than meets the eye – home to the major offices of global brands such as L’Oreal and Walt Disney as well as the BBC Television Centre, parts of the borough are packed with professionals navigating the congested streets and perusing the enormous Westfield shopping centre after work.
North of the borough, however, views turn several shades greener with a family-friendly focus on leafy streets and quaint cafes found in the prosperous area of Fulham. Known for its historic terraces, community spirit and high-achieving schools, the area attracts an affluent crowd who have nonetheless been priced out of neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea.
House Prices in Hammersmith & Fulham
Unfortunately for those seeking a bargain, Hammersmith & Fulham is the 4th most expensive borough in London, with house prices averaging nearly £900,000 as of 2017 and only more affordable than the boroughs of Camden, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea. Properties do vary depending on the area, with more expensive terraced townhouses and detached home to be found in Fulham and Parsons Green, while slightly more affordable apartments are often located in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush.
“Overground services at Shepherds Bush and Imperial Wharf allow for easy and efficient travel to the outer suburbs of London”
Transport connections are good throughout the borough, with Hammersmith station connecting commuters to Central London and beyond via the Picadilly, District, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines on the London Underground, while other stations on the lines are scattered throughout the borough, as well as the Central Line at White City, Shepherds Bush and East Acton. Overground services at Shepherds Bush and Imperial Wharf allow for easy and efficient travel to the outer suburbs of London, while the whole borough is crossed with excellent bus routes too.
This pocket of West London has a superb selection of restaurants for discerning diners, ranging from high-end eateries to high-street favourites. The areas surrounding Hammersmith station and Fulham Broadway are hubs for local restaurants and nightlife, with highlights including gourmet gastropub The Harwood Arms, authentic pizzas from Pappa Ciccia, and Spanish tapas from Los Molinos, as well as failsafe options such as Wagamama, Byron Burger and Eat Tokyo. The affluent neighbourhood of Parsons Green is particularly good for gastropubs, with local favourites including The White Horse and Aragon House, while next to the station champagne bar Amuse Bouche is packed with well-heeled residents on the weekends.
Shopping in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is largely centred around the giant Westfield shopping centre, which covers a staggering 150,000 m2 and offers 255 shops ranging from high-end designer brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci to flagship branches of M&S and House of Fraser. For those seeking a bargain Shepherd’s Bush Market is just a short walk away, while Fulham Broadway is home to its own small shopping centre with the likes of Paperchase, Boots and Accessorize, as well as boutique brands such as Sweaty Betty, Oliver Bonas and Candy Kittens on surrounding streets.
Most major supermarket chains can be found in Hammersmith and Fulham, including large branches of Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, while international produce can be found at Asian Grocery Supplies on Fulham Palace Road and at Shepherd’s Bush Market. The area also boasts a wide range of local delicatessens, butchers shops and fishmongers, such as Barley & Sage on New King’s Road, Stenton Family Butcher’s on Aldensey Road and The Fishmonger’s Kitchen on Shepherds Bush Road.
Health & Sport
Keeping fit is a priority for many Hammersmith and Fulham residents, and as a result there are plenty of gyms in the borough including branches of EasyGym, David Lloyd Gym, Fitness First and Virgin Active as well as boutique studios such as Bootcamp Pilates and Heartcore Fitness. Tennis players will be delighted with the historic Queen’s Club, the UK headquarters for Real Tennis and Rackets, although getting a membership here is much easier said than done.
Hammersmith and Fulham offers a vibrant cultural life for residents, ranging from concerts at the Lyric Hammersmith and Hammersmith Apollo, to events and exhibitions at Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre. Film fans will love the three Vue Cinema’s across the borough in Shepherds Bush, Fulham Broadway and Westfields for all the latest blockbusters, while for budding historians and art lovers Fulham Palace, Leighton House Museum and the William Morris Society museum will provide plenty of inspiration.
“This pocket of West London has a superb selection of restaurants for discerning diners, ranging from high-end eateries to high-street favourites.”
Schools and Education
Schools in the borough consistently rank among the best in England on average, making it a top choice for families. Some of the capital’s finest independent schools can be found here, including St Paul’s Girls’ School, Latimer Upper School and The Godolphin and Latimer School. Among state secondary schools, Sacred Heart High School and Lady Margaret School are both recommended, while top primary schools in Hammersmith and Fulham include St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, The London Oratory School and Good Shepherd RC Primary School.
Crime rates in Hammersmith and Fulham were 37% above the London average as of 2015, largely due to the urban nature of the borough. Theft is the the most common crime, followed by violent crime, while youth crime is also a pressing issue.
Over 19% of the Hammersmith is green space, a respectable amount considering the central location of the borough. The largest park in the area is Wormwood Scrubs Park, in the northern end of the borough, while the popular Ravenscourt Park covers over 20 acres and offers a lake, tennis courts, two cafes and a walled garden. Other appealing spots include Parsons Green, a compact triangle of green space where locals enjoy picnics in the summer before moving on to one of the many great pubs nearby.
Occupied for over 5,000 years, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham was originally a riverside settlement for Neolithic tribes, later occupied by Romans before becoming a healthy retreat for wealthy Londoners seeking relief from the city smoke of the Middle Ages. These days, the retreat atmosphere still exists in some of Hammersmith and Fulham’s most quaint riverside areas, although much of the borough is busy, bustling and built-up like the London we know today.