You’re bored of doing the touristy stuff. You’ve seen Big Ben. You’ve tried – and failed – to make the Queen’s guards with their funny hats smile outside Buckingham Palace. You’ve been there, bought the T-shirt, the mug, the matching coasters… you’ve done it all.
This is one of the wonders of the Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush area… it’s filled with hidden gems just begging to be discovered. If you’re after an authentic London experience, staying at LUMA Concept Hotel London is a great place to start. Here, you’re surrounded by West London’s many surprises and eccentricities.
Here are just a few reasons why Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush is where you need to be.
Live Entertainment Hub
With its slew of music venues, both big and small, West London is filled with music enthusiasts ready to rock.
Hammersmith is home to the Evertim Apollo. One of several landmark moments of the Evertim Apollo was in 1973 when David Bowie performed as Ziggy Stardust for the final time. What used to be an art deco cinema is now one of the most influential gig venues in West London, with both established stars and new-comers playing.
Bush Hall is an intimate venue that has seen some of the biggest icons in music play. If you’re looking for top-notch music, comedy and other interesting live acts, check out Bush Hall’s eclectic ‘What’s on?’ section on their website.
The O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire was once a music hall (seeing the likes of Charlie Chaplin grace the stage in the 1900s!) then a BBC recording studio, and is now one of the many exciting gig venues that typify this musically-inclined West London neighbourhood.
One of the things that inspired the concept for LUMA Concept Hotel London was the quietly compelling history of the Hammersmith region.
Hammersmith was crucial in the industrialisation of London. Home to the Osram Lamp factory, this area helped provide light to a city of millions. During the World Wars, Hammersmith factories became sites for aircraft manufacture, helping provide planes to combat the enemy.
Shepherd’s Bush was once a green, as its name suggests. Again, during industrialisation in the 19th century, a network of trains and trams transformed this rural spot just west of the city into a hustling and bustling hub of London commuters.
You can see examples of this region’s innovative past all over the place, from the Shepherd’s Bush war memorial and the iconic 1960s BBC Television Centre to the Hammersmith Suspension Bridge.
This area bristles with fascinating and relatively little-known art collections, museums and galleries.
For ravishing Pre-Raphaelite art, check out the Victorian wonder of Frederic Leighton and his contemporaries at the Leighton House Museum.
The Louise Blouin Foundation is dedicated to exploring the relationship between art and science. Set in an off-the-beaten-track, industrial part of town, this is definitely one to explore.
The Riverside Studios media centre, just a few minutes on foot from LUMA Concept Hotel London, is not only a gallery, but also a venue for performance art, theatre, and a quirky cinema.