A hive of activity, the Shepherd’s Bush W12 area is becoming increasingly popular with buyers and renters as the place to be. It’s the home to London’s Westfield shopping centre and plenty of bustling bars and music venues, including the 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire building, so there’s no shortage of exciting things to do in this district of West London.
If you’re considering putting down roots in London and want a place that has plenty of activities and dining options on its doorstep, excellent travel links and outstanding schools, it’s well worth circling Shepherd’s Bush on your map.
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Where Is Shepherd’s Bush?
Is Shepherd’s Bush a Nice Area to Live?
“Rugged charm” perfectly sums up Shepherd’s Bush. While it’s increasingly becoming gentrified, with multi-million-pound investments into the area, it still retains its old-fashioned character.
Shoppers will find Shepherd’s Bush to be a haven, whether you head to the Westfield shopping mall for a spot of retail therapy or roam the Shepherd’s Bush Market, lined with stalls selling everything from fresh fruit and veg to more obscure finds, such as vinyl records and prints. It’s a vibrant, multicultural setting with excellent links to central London, and it’s bustling entertainment scene has turned it into an “it” place.
If you want a quieter life, there’s still plenty that Shepherd’s Bush can offer. Outside of the music venues and shopping centre, Shepherd’s Bush is fairly quiet, and there are a number of stunning parks within walking distance. The property in Shepherd’s Bush is just as diverse, from modern converted flats to charming period homes.
Primary and Secondary Schools in Shepherd’s Bush
With its excellent travel links and close proximity to family-friendly areas like Hammersmith, Shepherd’s Bush boasts several top-performing schools, with many rated as Outstanding by Ofsted. There are a total of 38 primary schools in the catchment area of Hammersmith and Fulham, with 93% rated as either Outstanding or Good.
These include St Stephen’s CofE primary school in Shepherd’s Bush, which sees 96% of its pupils meeting the accepted standard and has well above average ratings across reading, writing and maths. Also in W12 is Good Shepherd RC Primary School, which is rated Outstanding and listed as one of the country’s top-performing primary schools.
There are also some great secondary schools in Shepherd’s Bush to choose from, including the Good-rated Phoenix Academy and Hammersmith Academy. Shepherd’s Bush is also home to The Young Dancers’ Academy, a private ballet school.
Slightly further afield but still within close reach, thanks to the area’s fantastic travel links, are privately funded schools with excellent reputations. These include Godolphin and Latymer, in Hammersmith W6, Ravencourt Preparatory, and Latymer Upper.
Travel Links in Shepherd’s Bush
Shepherd’s Bush boasts some of the best travel connections in all of London.
A number of buses serve the area, while Tube stations and Overground trains give you easy access to wherever you want to go.
Trips further afield are easy too, whether you want to head to Heathrow for business or pleasure or take the kids to Milton Keynes, home to Gulliver’s Land, which takes just an hour.
Football fans will love Shepherd’s Bush’s proximity to Loftus Road, where Queens Park Rangers’ home matches are held, but be prepared for any road journeys to take a little bit longer on game days.
Is Shepherd’s Bush Safe?
As you might expect from a tourist-centric location with a large shopping mall as its main draw, reports of crime are much like what you’d find elsewhere in London.
The large majority of offences relate to anti-social behaviour, but reports of burglary and criminal damage are low, and there are plenty of residential areas tucked away in corners further away from the town centre, where elegant townhouses and pretty period properties line the streets. As a bustling metropolitan zone, it’s also well-lit and you’ll never go far without running into people.
Bars, Restaurants, Clubs and Pubs in Shepherd’s Bush
Shepherd’s Bush is truly a cosmopolitan capital, packed full of restaurants serving delicious food no matter what cuisine you fancy.
You’ll find over 100 restaurants in the district alone, from Abu Zaad, which serves delicious middle eastern cuisine at great value, to Adams Cafe, a greasy spoon by day and North African bistro by night, when it brings out its best mood lighting and exotic Moroccan delicacies.
You also won’t want to leave Uxbridge Street off your list. Famous for its food spots, it plays host to every cuisine imaginable and has an authenticity about it that you won’t find in Shepherd’s Bush’s more touristy areas. The Bush Hall Dining Rooms is particularly worth checking out, with its laid-back ambience and wide range of food options, from tasty burgers and pizza to salt and pepper squid.
If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a few drinks with friends or family, Shepherd’s Bush doesn’t disappoint. Don your best suit or sparkly dress and sip champagne at Searcys, a luxury champagne bar located in the Westfield Shopping Centre.
Pubs include the Defector’s Weld, with its relaxed and homely atmosphere and premier selection of beers, cocktails and classic pub grub, and the Princess Victoria, which has a rich history as one of London’s first gin palaces.
For something a little fancier, The Oak offers delicious Mediterranean food, including authentic Italian pizzas cooked in a traditional wood-fired oven. If you decide to live in Shepherd’s Bush, you’ll want to head to The Oak on a Monday for its Monday Wine Club, where you can enjoy an incredible selection of wines at 50% off — along with plenty of cheese, of course.
With the booming music scene in Shepherd’s Bush, there are plenty of clubs to satisfy your inner party animal, and it means that the area is fast becoming a hotspot in West London’s nightlife scene. Popular clubs include Smiths Cocktail Bar, Bluejay, a classy jazz club with a lounge atmosphere, and Bar FM, which is open till late, hosts live music, DJ nights and karaoke nights, and serves Filipino cuisine all through the night.
Things to Do in Shepherd’s Bush
Parks and Outdoor Spaces
Despite being a huge retail centre, there is no shortage of parks and outdoor spaces in Shepherd’s Bush and its surrounding districts. With its excellent travel links, there’s never a park or outdoor space too far away, with highlights including the Farmers’ Market in Brook Green, where, along with the opportunity to shop a wide range of organic, free-range produce, you can enjoy delicious street food, wine tasting and cooking masterclasses.
Closer to home in Shepherd’s Bush is Wormholt Park, which is just one of 13 parks in the borough to be awarded Green Flag status, which recognises parks with the highest standards of cleanliness, horticulture and facilities. The area is also home to Shepherd’s Bush Green, an eight-acre open space surrounded by trees, roads and shops, and Hammersmith Park, which contrary to its name is in Shepherd’s Bush.
In nearby Hammersmith is Furnivall Park and east of the green is the leafy Holland Park and affluent Notting Hill. Head to Holland Park and walk in its 22.5 hectares of gardens, spot wildlife in its woodland areas and enjoy a cup of coffee at the local cafeteria as you soak up the sun.
Sports and Recreation
When living in Shepherd’s Bush, you’ll find plenty of recreational spaces to enjoy. The area boasts several gyms, many of which offer free guests passes and the occasional month-long promotion so that you can find the perfect place to work up a sweat.
In terms of outdoor options, many of the local parks have dedicated sports areas. Hammersmith Park offers tennis courts and football pitches, while Wormholt Park runs basketball and tennis activities. In Holland Park to the east, you can play tennis and football or perfect your golf swing with its practice nets.
Shopping in Shepherd’s Bush
For shopaholics, there really is no place better than Shepherd’s Bush. The Westfield shopping mall truly put this district on the map, and here, you have everything you need on your doorstep.
You’ll largely find the big-name stores here, including H&M, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, but for independents, you’ll want to head to the Shepherd’s Bush Market, one of the most diverse markets in West London.
Entertainment Venues in Shepherd’s Bush
Perhaps only second to the Westfield shopping centre, Shepherd’s Bush is most well known for its incredible music and entertainment scene.
Its two biggest venues are the 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, which has hosted some of the biggest names in music and comedy, and Bush Hall, where you can watch plays, cabaret shows and live musicians, enjoy dances and even occasionally play a game of bingo in a stunning venue that’s often used for photoshoots and wedding receptions.
What Is Property in Shepherd’s Bush Like?
Property in Shepherd’s Bush is as diverse as the people this location attracts, from terraced houses and detached period properties to modern penthouses and flats in the Television Centre, also home to the BBC and offering panoramic views of West London.
If you don’t mind a noisier environment and prefer to be in the thick of all the action, you can nab a great deal, but for families who would prefer to live on a quieter street, there’s also plenty on offer for a reasonable price, some with private gardens and within walking distance of Shepherd’s Bush’s many green areas.
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is the fourth most expensive borough in London, but prices in Shepherd’s Bush tend to be affordable than in neighbouring Hammersmith, and many families tend to choose to settle down here in favour of the more pricey Chelsea and Kensington.
Ask Our Shepherd’s Bush Estate Agents: Should You Live in Shepherd’s Bush?
Whether you’re a music enthusiast looking to experience the rich history and culture of this district or a family looking to settle down in an affordable home with plenty of parks and shops close by, Shepherd’s Bush is a great choice.
Shepherd’s Bush has some of the best schools in not only the district but also the entire city, and with plenty of things to do and places to eat, you’ll be spoiled for choice, whether you head out for drinks with colleagues or go out for dinner instead of cooking.
Shepherd’s Bush is the perfect package: a friendly, relaxed atmosphere but full of life and vibrancy when you know where to look.
Buy or Rent a Property in Shepherd’s Bush
While this area guide to Shepherd’s Bush can give you a taste of what living in this area is like, there’s nothing quite like experiencing it for real. If you’re looking for a property in Shepherd’s Bush, or wider West London, Horton and Garton is the friendly award-winning Shepherd’s Bush estate agents you need. We live and work in this area every day, and with our decades of experience finding dream homes for buyers and tenants in Shepherd’s Bush, you can trust us to help you find yours.