W3 is a sizeable postcode area, located roughly 6.5 miles to the west of central London, comprising of East Acton, Central Acton, South Acton and Southfield. The crossroads of Horn Lane/Gunnersbury Lane, (A4000) and the Uxbridge Road/The Vale, (A4020) form the centre of Acton. The northern border is defined by the A40 and the Hanger Lane Gyratory marks the area's north-west tip. Acton predominantly lies within the borough of Ealing, although some parts of East Acton fall within Hammersmith and Fulham.
West and North Acton are residential areas with leafy streets. East Acton is more rundown and out of the way, but has its own little high street with a few shops and restaurants. The High Street is the centre of Acton and home to a large supermarket, numerous shops and plenty of pubs. A farmers market (20 stalls) takes place every Saturday from 9am until 1pm and is located where the High Street meets King Street. Churchfield Road runs parallel to the north of High Street and has a range of pubs and restaurants including Korean, Lebanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish, as well as a well-regarded Indian restaurant, 3Spice. This road also has many hairdressers, a flower shop, specialist clothing shops and a few antique shops. South Acton isn't too far away from the main street.
Houses tend to be larger in West and North Acton, while smaller properties tend to be found in East Acton. West Acton offers a mixture of half-timbered houses and flats masquerading as Tudor houses on the Hanger Hill Garden estate. The area around High Street is dominated by terraced housing and South Acton is mostly estates and ugly apartment blocks. The terraces are a mixture of late-Victorian and Edwardian. Acton has a varied mix of property: family homes in defined enclaves, countless one and two bedroom flats, (many bought to let) inter-war suburban areas, ex-council properties and several big new-build schemes on the way. Generally much cheaper than its neighbours, Acton is often seen as a poor second best to Ealing. W3 is a good hunting ground for first-time buyers, who are starting to discover the area's large stock of Victorian houses and possible conversions.
Traditionally, Acton was a working class area, but has recently seen an influx of young professionals and has slowly become a more fashionable part of the city. The area has a slightly antipodean feel (especially in some of the pubs) and is racially mixed with black and Asian communities. There are many estate tenants, although W3 is rapidly gaining popularity with the middle classes. Many BBC employees live here, or families who move to Acton for the Japanese School or the King Fahad Academy.