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A major metropolitan town situated squarely at the western edge of Greater London. Hounslow is the closest large town to Heathrow, and as well as the constant sight (and sound) of planes in the sky, many of the airport’s employees live close by and the prosperity of this neighbourhood is closely linked to that of the airport.
Though by sight a generic Greater London town with a large high street dominated by chain stores, it’s an interesting mix: there’s enough old-school cockneys around to still hear some good old-fashioned rhyming slang, and there’s a vibrant and very prominent Asian community around here – not least in nearby Southall, a Punjabi cultural centre which rivals even Brick Lane for colour and fantastic cuisine.
Hounslow Heath is now a pleasant green space with a nature reserve and golf course: not so 200 years ago, when during the age of the stagecoach, this wild forest was regarded as one of Britain’s most dangerous places due to that scourge of the 18th century traveller, highwaymen.
The flamboyant Frenchman Claude Duval famously danced with a lady he’d just robbed on Hounslow Heath, and so many gibbets – makeshift gallows where highwaymen’s bodies would hang as a warning to others – littered the heath in the 18th century that they were even included on maps.
You’re close to Richmond, a favourite with tourists exploring the outer reaches of London because of its beautifully quaint riversi de setting, and the ever-popular Kew Gardens (Kew Road, Richmond, 020 8332 5655, www.kew.org), and Twickenham, the home of British rugby, is nearby too (www.rfu.com).
The Piccadilly Underground line serves Hounslow Central, West and East, and it’s no more than half an hour into the centre of London.
|Hounslow Station||4||Piccadilly||0.67 miles|
|Hounslow East Station||4||Piccadilly||0.73 miles|
|Osterley Station||4||Piccadilly||1.67 miles|
|Hounslow West Station||5||Piccadilly||1.96 miles|
|Richmond Station||4||District||4.04 miles|
|Hounslow Station||0.67 miles|
|Isleworth Station||1.72 miles|
|Fulwell Station||3.83 miles|
|Brentford Station||4.04 miles|
|Feltham Station||4.11 miles|