Like many parts of Greater London, Earl’s Court was once farmland before the growth of the city enveloped the district thanks to the expansion of the Metropolitan District Railway. Post World War II saw a large influx of immigrants from Poland, Australia, and New Zealand to the district and is still referred to as “Kangaroo Valley” by some of the older Australian expats. One of the big draws to the district used to be the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre, which had seen major events from the Doctor Who Experience to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Even though the Exhibition Centre has since been demolished, there’s still plenty to do in Earl’s Court, and we’ve identified our top ten favorite places to visit.
One of the best things about London is its beautiful neighborhoods, and Bramham Gardens certainly exemplifies this for Earl’s Court. The gardens are a great green park surrounded by lovely townhomes and can be an excellent respite in the middle of your tour of Earl’s Court. Plenty of flats in the townhomes are available for rent to make your stay in London even more magical.
Alfred Hitchcock Home
Like every district in London, Earl’s Court certainly has its own share of blue plaques, and the one at 153 Cromwell Road marks one of the district’s most famous residents—Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock moved into a flat in this building with his wife Alma after their marriage in 1926. Unfortunately, there’s no museum here and the flat is actually a private home, but it’s still cool to think about one of suspense’s greatest directors living here.
Another home for a famous resident, Garden Lodge was the final home to Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Mercury spent his last days here with his former partner, Mary Austin, who still lives in the home. While not open to the public and not much can be seen thanks to the brick wall, that same wall has been a place where many of his fans have posted messages since his 1991 death. While the messages have long been taken down, it’s still a popular place for a selfie, especially with the Bohemian Rhapsody film coming out.
While the English are mostly known for their ales, there are also a number of good wineries in the country and especially in London. Roberson Wine not only sells bottles of your favorite wines, but hosts regular events including wine tastings, food pairings, and even “Winemaker for a Day” that helps teach the winemaking art and gives you a bottle of your own wine to take home.
For those who aren’t so keen on the grape, there are a number of great cafes in Earl’s Court, though the Troubadour takes the cake. Besides the great food, Troubadour is one of London’s top music venues, having been a home to everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Morrisey since it opened in 1954. The café has a tribute night to Hendrix on Tuesdays which is followed by its jazz nights. Be sure to check the schedule and find the act that best suits your tastes.
Billing itself as “London’s leading Off West End Theatre,” Finborough Theatre has been around since 1980 and is a very intimate venue with only fifty seats. It might surprise you, then, that Finborough has won multiple awards and attracts well-known playwrights from Conor McPherson to Anthony Neilsen. Finborough tends to go with lesser-known or newer works, but you can still see plays from greats such as Arthur Miller.
Evans and Peel Detective Agency
Themed speakeasies are popular all over London, and Evans and Peel is one of the best for immersing you in another world. The only way to get in is to book a reservation, and when you show up, you’ll have to answer a few questions about your “case” before you’re whisked into the 1920s-style bar with its great selection of cocktails including the “Cold Fashioned”, a great food menu, and even live music.
St. Cuthbert’s Church
St. Cuthbert’s is a Grade I listed Anglican church but in the Victorian period and is a fantastic example of the Gothic Cistercian style. The interior is bound to fill visitors with awe and wonder form its high altar to the baptistry to the pulpit. Besides regular services, St. Cuthbert’s puts on events throughout the week including performing arts workshops, concerts, book launches, parties, and more.
Blue Police Box
At one time in London’s history, blue police boxes could be found throughout the city, providing a place where officers and citizens could call for assistance. However, as the need for the boxes began to be phased out, the blue police boxes found new life and fame as the TARDIS in long-running sci-fi show Doctor Who. The box outside of the Earl’s Court Tube Station is the last remaining working police box in the city and has been preserved because of the show’s continued popularity. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get in or travel in time and space.
One of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries found throughout the city, Brompton Cemetery was a private burial place opened in the 19th Century and today has over 35,000 gravestones. It’s also filled with magnificent structures such as the chapel and the colonnade. The only one of the seven owned by the Crown, the cemetery itself is Grade I listed and has a Grade II funerary monument with the tomb of Frederick Richards Leyland. Most people might not want to spend time in a cemetery, but you should certainly check this one out.