The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham was formed in 1965 out of the districts of Hammersmith, Fulham, and Shepherd’s Bush. All three have had very interesting histories, with Fulham having been around since the 12th Century, Hammersmith hosting one of the early Olympic Games, and Shepherd’s Bush being home to the BBC Television Service for decades. Today, the borough still has much to offer for attractions, history, and entertainment. We’ve identified our top ten favorite things to do in all three districts below, but you can let us know your own in the comments.
18 Stafford Terrace
House museums offer a slice of life from days gone by, and 18 Stafford Terrance is the perfect example of a Victorian townhome. It was once the home of Linley Sambourne, the chief political cartoonist for Punch magazine and has been perfectly preserved by the Victorian Society. The house also contains the Sambourne Family Archives, including many cartoons, letters, diaries, and other documents that provide insight into how a Victorian family lived.
Speaking of the Victorian period, events such as the Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace captured the imaginations of the populace. While the Crystal Palace no longer exists, Olympia London is a Victorian exhibit hall that still holds events today. You can check out the schedule to see what’s on or just stand outside and marvel at the period architecture.
Irish Cultural Center
A little bit of Ireland in the middle of London is certainly one way to describe the Irish Cultural Center. The Center contains a bit of everything including history and the arts as well as hosting regular events including concerts, storytelling, and lectures. If you want to get over to Ireland, but don’t have the time during your trip, the center will bring Ireland to you.
Shepherd’s Bush Empire
One of the area’s many great performance venues, Shepherd’ s Bush Empire was built in 1903 as a theater and became the BBC Television Center in 1953 before the Beeb moved into larger and fancier digs a few years later. Today it’s a concert hall that sees many different performances from acapella to punk. Be sure to check out the schedule for a concert you may want to see.
As a Manchester United supporter, it almost pains me to include the home of Chelsea FC on this list, but you won’t want to miss out on one of the best stadiums in the city. Whether you go during the season or after, there’s plenty to see and do including visiting the Chelsea Museum and taking a tour of the stadium. Of course, if you can, you definitely need to go on a match day to get the full effect of Chelsea’s history and pedigree.
Shepherd’s Bush Market
One of the top shopping experiences in the city, Shepherd’s Bush Market sells just about any type of goods and foods you could imagine. The market has been around since the early 20th Century and has resisted any attempts to develop the area of bringing in newer commercial buildings, making it a perfectly preserved piece of London culture.
BBC Television Centre
From 1960 to 2013, BBC Television Centre in White City was *the* home to many of the country’s favorite programs from Blue Peter to Doctor Who. Having closed most of its production in 2013, the building has recently reopened as a multi-use building that includes residences, offices, restaurants, stores, and bars as well as still containing some television studios used by the Beeb. Feel free to experience Television Centre for yourself and immerse yourself in a bit of TV history.
Bishops Park opened in 1893 and has maintained a reputation as one of the finest parks in the borough. As such, it’s actually Grade II listed and on the register of parks and gardens of special interest maintained by English Heritage. There’s plenty to see and do here such as the rose garden, sculpture garden, playgrounds, urban beach, multiple walks, and gorgeous water features.
Also known as Eventim Apollo, this performing arts venue is Grade II listed. Opening in 1932 and displaying some fantastic art deco designs, the Apollo has seen everything from classic rock concerts by Buddy Holly to the comedy stylings of Chris Tucker. Speaking of comedy, it’s also home to the standup series Live at the Apollo. The show offers free tickets to audience members, so it’s the best way to see some of the UK’s top comedians.
Fulham Palace has actually had a home on it since the medieval period, though the current structure that stands here is a Tudor design. A Grade I listed structure, Fulham Palace was for many years the home of the Bishop of London, the head of the London Diocese. Naturally, there’s much history to be had here, and tours are offered of the building, though the gardens are also well-renown and events are hosted here on a regular basis, so check out the schedule and see what’s happening.