To live in Acton is to live in multi-cultural, metropolitan Britain. However, the atmosphere, particularly within the boundaries of the parish, might almost be described as leafy suburban!
There are significant populations of Polish, Lebanese, Japanese, Afro-Caribbean, African, East Indian, Portuguese, Saudi and other Middle Eastern peoples, co-existing with the indigenous population. Even within the parish there is a very real social and racial mix. As a barometer, on Churchfield Road alone Indian, Lebanese, Afghani, Portuguese and Korean restaurants can be found, as well as two traditional working men's cafes. Acton lies within the borough of Ealing (known as 'Queen of the Boroughs').
Churchfield Road (up and coming, according to the estate agents!), boasts a variety of interesting little shops such as The Village Trading Store (gifts and coffee), Heart and Soul (florist). If it's grooming you are after, then Arthur Razor (men's grooming) or Anthony Bell (hair salon) and Nara Health and Beauty are local favourites, or there is the Bark Club for your beloved pet. Morrisons supermarket, Sainsbury's local and Homebase are also within walking distance.
A little further afield, Chiswick has a Sainsburys, as well as almost every other kind of shop imaginable. Nearby Ealing also has extensive high street shopping and a shopping centre. There is an Ikea a few miles up the North Circular.
Some of the first so-called gastro pubs started in West London, and two relatively recent but very welcome and convivial additions are the Rocket and the Station House, both on Churchfield Road. A newcomer, Laveli, offers great coffees and light meals during the day. The only pub within the parish itself is The Goldsmith's Arms, almost opposite the church.
Nearby Chiswick boasts an enormous array of cafes, bars and restaurants, as does Ealing. Food from every corner of the globe can be enjoyed locally. There are weekly farmers' markets in Chiswick and Ealing, and a French food market in Acton town centre every six months.
We are lucky in Acton to be surrounded by many lovely parks and open spaces for playing and walking. Several of the larger parks host festivals, concerts and summer programs of - events. Acton Park lies within the parish, and benefits from a playground, tennis courts, bowling green and a cafe open in summer. It also has some fine old oak trees and a duck pond. Other parks close by include Ravenscourt Park (Shepherd's Bush), and Gunnersbury Park, which has a great little museum, two playgrounds, a boating lake, year-round cafe, tennis courts, mini golf and fishing. It also hosts an Asian music festival (The London Mela) in August. Walpole Park in Ealing also has a gallery and birds. Brent Lodge Park in Hanwell even has a small zoo! Hogarth House, in Chiswick, has beautiful grounds and, yes, another gallery!
Perivale Wood Nature Reserve is an original and magnificent piece of primeval forest (the land has never been cleared or under cultivation) and is the second oldest nature reserve in Britain. Also within easy striking distance are Kew Gardens and Richmond Park (10-15 mins by Silverlink), and Hampstead Heath (15 mins by Silverlink in the opposite direction).
Heading west, Syon Park and Osterley Park feature beautiful parkland and are the cores of former country estates, once outside London.
Multiplexes on the A40 and at Shepherds Bush Green, and other cinemas in Hammersmith, and Ealing.
Music and Cabaret
There is a library on Acton High Street.
The members-only Park Club, which lies within the parish, has diverse facilities including
tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools. Similar facilities are offered by the members-only Virgin Active Club on Bromyard Avenue. Twyford School also has a Sports Centre open to the public and runs a number of children's clubs in the school holidays. Within the borough, many parks have tennis courts, there are several golf courses, and a number of cricket clubs, one of which operates within the grounds of the Park Club.
Local Schools in the nearby area include:
Maples Nursery - in the parish
East Acton Primary - in the parish.
John Perryn Primary - in the parish.
Derwentwater Primary - fast improving local primary school.
St Saviour's C of E Infant School, Ealing - a wonderful, happy little school (a parent writes!).
Christ the Saviour C of E Junior School - fed by St Saviour's.
Twyford C of E secondary - an excellent school with good facilities and results.