West London has a reputation for being an expensive place to live. Luxurious mansion blocks, high-end cars in every parking space, designer shops on every corner.
While areas like Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Kensington command eye-watering rents, there are alternatives if you’ve got your heart set on the west of the capital.
Venture beyond Zone 1 and you’ll discover a different side to West London. One with more green space, just as many tempting bars and restaurants, and most importantly, more affordable properties.
Here we explore five areas of West London that will leave renters with more cash in their pocket to enjoy the finer things in life.
You’ll find Fulham nestled in the crook of the Thames within the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. With prestigious neighbours including Kensington and Chelsea just a few miles away, it’s a mildly more affordable corner of west London that remains close to the action.
Increasingly popular with young professionals on the hunt for flat shares, it remains home to affluent families who value its excellent state and independent schools.
With its southern streets overlooking the river, it’s a leafy area which boasts several open spaces including the historic Botanic Gardens at Fulham Palace and Eel Park Common. And there’s easy access to the picturesque Putney to Richmond path which follows the route of the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.
Add a multi-screen cinema, independent boutiques and restaurants, plus two football stadiums (Fulham and Chelsea) and you’ve got plenty of buzz to complement the greenery.
Much of Fulham is made up of red brick Victorian and Edwardian properties along picturesque tree-lined streets. With generous gardens and room sizes, many remain family homes while others have been converted into flats.
There’s little deviation from these genteel streets but near the river, you’ll find more contemporary new-build apartments around Imperial Wharf for those hankering after shiny modern architecture and a Thames view.
While prices are more affordable than its glamorous neighbours to the east, they’re not cheap. Indeed, monthly rent for a four-bedroom house in the prestigious Moor Park Estate easily goes into five figures.
For those with their heart set on Fulham but with a slightly more modest budget, expect to pay the following typical prices:
Studio flat £1400 pcm
1-bed flat £1700 pcm
2-bed flat £2500 pcm
3-bed flat £3400 pcm
Or if you feel especially flush, make yourself at home in a luxurious 4-bed apartment overlooking the Thames for a cool £20,000 pcm.
Just four miles from the bustle of Charing Cross, Fulham is well-served by the Wimbledon branch of the District Line. Choose from three tube stations: Fulham Broadway, Parsons Green and, just north of the river, Putney Bridge. Each in Zone 2, you’ll be in the heart of the city in no time.
To the south-west, you can hop on an overground train at Imperial Wharf station or take advantage of numerous bus routes which link up with the nearby charms of Knightsbridge and Chelsea.
Another great place to live in West London is Shepherd’s Bush. Known locally as 'The Bush', it’s just one mile away from its swanky neighbour Notting Hill but noticeably more affordable.
It’s home to a wide variety of international communities and attracts both families and young professionals who appreciate its easy connections to central London, green space and lively social scene.
A thriving district packed with markets, parks and diverse restaurants, it’s also where you’ll find Westfield, a real shoppers’ paradise. At 150,000 sq m with 450 stores, it’s the second largest shopping centre in the UK and will keep you busy browsing and buying.
For culture vultures, take your pick from the Bush Theatre, Shepherd’s Bush Empire or the annual Bush Festival on the green with live music, DJs, food and drink. Or spend a Saturday afternoon cheering on QPR at Loftus Road, a small traditional ground with a great atmosphere.
Shepherd’s Bush is home to many properties from the mid-nineteenth century including imposing three to four-storey buildings and charming terraces. Many of these have been divided into generous flats with access to outdoor space.
Or if you fancy something a little more unique, you can now move into the former BBC Television Centre on Wood Lane which has been converted by RIBA award-winning architects into 950 apartments.
If you’re tempted by Shepherd’s Bush’s charms, expect to pay the following typical prices:
Studio flat £1100 pcm
1-bed flat £1600 pcm
2-bed flat £1900 pcm
3-bed flat £2300 pcm
You won’t be left stranded in Shepherd’s Bush. Five tube stations cover the area giving access to the Central, Circle and Hammersmith lines. You can reach Oxford Circus in just 11 minutes. You’ll also be close to Kensington Olympia overground station.
And with buses depositing Westfield-bound shoppers from all directions, you’ll easily find a suitable route home.
Choose the London Borough of Ealing to set up home and you can take your pick from four different Ealings: Ealing Broadway, South Ealing, West Ealing and Ealing Common. There’s something here for everyone.
Spreading west from the border with Acton in the east, it’s home to period houses and new-build skyscrapers with all mod cons. It’s a rare breed combining peace and quiet thanks to numerous green spaces and an urban buzz when you need it from bars, restaurants and one of the largest community theatres in Europe.
Dubbed the Queen of the Suburbs, Ealing perfectly combines the old with the new. Think impressive transport connections, a large shopping centre, colourful craft market and leafy tree-lined streets.
With a similar arty vibe to its much more expensive neighbour Notting Hill, Ealing is a great place to rent in West London.
Ealing has grown in popularity over the last five years and is now a leafy but vibrant rental hotspot. Eight miles west of Charing Cross, it’s traditionally been a family-focused area with good schools and generous houses.
As house prices grew, apartments remained reasonably priced prompting investors to snap them up. And now, inevitably, those flats have become more expensive and increasing numbers of young renters have moved in.
You’ll find W5 properties in Ealing Broadway and Ealing Common command higher prices than those in W13 which is a little further away from the main action.
If Ealing sounds like your idea of West London heaven, here’s how much you can expect to pay in rent:
Studio flat £1000 pcm
1-bed flat £1400 pcm
2-bed flat £1800 pcm
3-bed flat £2300 pcm
Central London is just 20 minutes away via the District and Central lines in Zone 3. And by summer 2021 both Ealing Broadway and West Ealing will be connected to the Elizabeth Line, Crossrail’s £18bn extension to the tube network.
Heading west for 20 minutes in the opposite direction, you can hop on a tube at South Ealing with your suitcases and arrive at Heathrow Airport.
And for those travelling by car, the A40 is easily accessible to escape north and out of the city
If family-friendly is top of your list, Chiswick is hard to beat. With a chilled-out peaceful vibe, lashings of green space and high-performing schools, it offers an altogether slower pace of life in West London.
You’ll get all the pros of living close to one of the most exciting cities in the world – central London is just half an hour away by tube – without the cons of excessive hustle and bustle.
Relax by the river, indulge in delicious goodies at the fine food and farmers’ markets, or take in a show at the Tabard Theatre. You’ll also be neighbours with the historic Chiswick House and Garden and Gunnersbury Nature Reserve to soothe any frazzled city nerves.
Choose from a wide variety of property types to suit your taste ranging from grand mansion flat blocks to Victorian and Edwardian family homes.
Rental prices have risen steadily thanks to excellent local primary schools but generally there’s something to suit all price brackets and, for its riverside location, it offers good value for money.
If Chiswick appeals to your sense of calm, here’s how much rent you can expect to pay for your ideal pad:
Studio flat £1200 pcm
1-bed flat £1400 pcm
2-bed flat £1900 pcm
3-bed flat £2300 pcm
Choose Chiswick and you can get a District line tube from Gunnersbury station off Chiswick High Road into the city. To the south of the area, trains from Chiswick overground station will get you to Clapham Junction in 15 minutes and Waterloo in just under half an hour.
You’ll enjoy easy car access to the M4 towards Heathrow, the M25 and the North and South Circular Roads. Plus there are 11 bus routes to take you in any direction you choose.
Heading further west, you’ll find Acton, an up and coming cosmopolitan area of West London and the focus of several regeneration projects.
Its W3 postcode is one of the capital’s biggest areas, bordering White City to the east and Ealing to the west. Grittier than some of its neighbours, it’s home to a diverse range of nationalities and offers some of West London’s most affordable properties.
It’s becoming an increasingly more desirable place to live thanks to its historic buildings, relaxing parks, improved shopping areas and growing levels of investment.
Browse through the stalls at Acton Market including arts and crafts and fresh farm produce, go for a dip at the recently renovated Victorian swimming baths or tuck into every kind of cuisine you can imagine.
Acton is really starting to shine with savvy renters already well and truly settled in. And with the arrival of Crossrail in 2021, it’ll be even more tempting for those looking for a new place to call home.
Covering such a large area, you’ll find every property type imaginable in Acton. Take your pick from new-build apartments, Victorian and Edwardian semis and terraces, and sensitive conversions of historic buildings such as the former town hall.
North and West Acton are the leafiest residential zones and therefore command a higher price. While the major redevelopment in the area is of the former South Acton Estate, a 52-acre site which is being transformed to provide 3,400 new homes surrounded by green space.
If Acton ticks your rental property boxes, here’s how much you can expect to pay:
Studio flat £900 pcm
1-bed flat £1300 pcm
2-bed flat £1700 pcm
3-bed flat £2100 pcm
You’ll be spoiled for choice with transport options if your rent in Acton. No less than five tube stations give access to the Piccadilly and Central lines and overground stations offer even more flexibility.
Property prices will inevitably go up once Crossrail’s Elizabeth line arrives in summer 2021. Action Main Line overground station will be linked to the underground system, making getting into central London even faster. Bond Street will be just ten minutes away compared to half an hour now. Looking for a great place to rent in West London? Check out the latest properties at MakeUrMove.