Earl’s Court, on the western fringes of central London, is generally considered the slightly poorer cousin of its posh neighbour, South Kensington. However, it’s a convenient area to stay with a good choice of budget accommodation.
It’s particularly suitable if you arrive at Heathrow airport. Earl’s Court underground station is on the Piccadilly line, a cheap and easy 35 minute tube journey from Heathrow.
Scroll to the bottom for a detailed map of the area.
The area developed after the construction of the Metropolitan District Railway in 1869 and most of the buildings date from the 1880’s. Between the 1960’s–1990’s it was a stopping point for backpackers, but with the sharp rise in property prices many bedsits and hostels were sold and are now hotels or upmarket flats.
The area has a mix of low to mid priced small hotels and budget chain hotels. Most are within walking distance of Earl’s Court tube station. The Ibis Earl’s Court and the Holiday Inn Express Earl’s Court, are actually in Fulham and closer to West Brompton station.
West Cromwell Rd is one of the major routes out of London and is always busy. Hotels on the side streets off the main road, Earl’s Court Rd, are relatively quiet at night.
Places of interest
Although it’s easy to travel anywhere in central London by tube from Earl’s Court, the following places of interest are within walking distance.
The South Kensington Museums
Lovely Holland Park has an children’s play area, woodland and a peaceful Japanese garden. Keep an eye out for the peacocks.
Leighton House Museum
Ornately decorated former home of painter Frederic Leighton filled with pre-Raphaelite paintings.
One the oldest garden cemeteries in the country. Beatrix Potter, a local resident, apparently named some characters after some of the deceased. Emmeline Pankhurst is buried here.
The Design Museum, formerly on Shad Thames, has now moved to Kensington High St.
Earl’s Court Rd, just outside the tube station has a mixture of coffee shops, banks, chain restaurants, launderettes, supermarkets and chemists. All the basics really. The Oxfam charity shop on Earl’s Court Rd usually has a good selection of books.
For clothes, shoes or household goods, Kensington High St (10-15 minute walk, one stop on the tube or bus 328 from Warwick Rd) is the closest shopping area. Westfield London, a huge shopping centre, is 20-30 minutes on the bus (C1 from Warwick Rd).
It’s easy to travel to other shopping areas by underground. Take the Piccadilly line to Knightsbridge (for Harrods), Piccadilly Circus (for Regent St) or Covent Garden.
There are three small supermarkets on Earl’s Court Rd; Co-Op, Sainsbury’s Local and the pricier M&S Simply Food. The Tesco superstore north of West Cromwell Rd is one of the largest supermarkets in central London.
If you need a UK SIM card, there’s a Carphone Warehouse branch at 153 Earl’s Court Rd.
Earl’s Court station is in zone 1/2. Unlimited travel for the day in central London (zone 1) costs £6.50 with an Oyster or contactless card. If you only use the buses it’s £4.50 per day. A weekly Travelcard is £32.40.
Single fares vary to and from Earl’s Court as it’s in two zones. For travel to zone 1 from Earl’s Court, you pay the zone 1 single fare. For travel to an outer zone from Earl’s Court you pay the fare from zone 2.
Earl’s Court underground station is on the Piccadilly and District line.
Approximate travel times by underground from Earl’s Court
Piccadilly Circus – 11 minutes
Westminster – 12 minutes
Covent Garden – 13 minutes
King’s Cross – 19 minutes
Victoria – 9 minutes
Liverpool St – 30 minutes
Paddington – 10 minutes
Heathrow 2 & 3 – 36 minutes
Heathrow T4 – 36 minutes
Heathrow T5 – 40 minutes
All buses from Earl’s Court are one this spider bus map (pdf)
To High St Kensington, Notting Hill Gate
Bus 328 (From Bus stop C, Warwick Rd)
To Westfield, White City/Shepherd’s Bush
Bus C1 (From Bus stop C, Warwick Rd)
To South Kensington, Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch and Baker St
Bus 74 (from Bus stop C, Warwick Rd)
To South Kensington, Knightsbridge, Sloane Square and Victoria
Bus C1 (from Bus stop A, Earl’s Court Rd)
To Chelsea (World’s End)
Bus 328 (from Bus stop A, Earl’s Court Rd)
To Clapham Junction
Bus C3 (from Bus stop A, Earl’s Court Rd)
To Hammersmith, Chiswick and Richmond
Bus 190 from Bus Stop BB, Old Brompton Rd
Transport to Earl’s Court from London’s airports
Take the underground from Heathrow (Piccadilly line). All underground trains from Heathrow stop at Earl’s Court.
Take a train from Gatwick to Victoria station, then the underground from Victoria to Earl’s Court (District line).
Or, if you’re comfortable changing trains, take a train from Gatwick to Clapham Junction then change for a train to West Brompton. You could then walk to your destination or take the underground (District line) one stop to Earl’s Court.
Coach to Victoria coach station, then underground from Victoria to Earl’s Court (District line). The C1 bus from outside Victoria coach station goes to Earl’s Court. It’s slower than the underground (40 mins v 20 minutes) but you avoid the 10 minute walk to the underground station.
Train from Luton to St Pancras station, then underground from Kings Cross St Pancras station to Earl’s Court (Piccadilly line).
Or coach from Luton to Victoria coach station, then underground from Victoria to Earl’s Court (District line). The C1 bus from outside Victoria coach station goes to Earl’s Court. See ‘From Stansted’.