Hounslow

Hounslow is a town in within the limits of London, England, and is the primary town of the namesake London Borough of Hounslow. It is predominantly suburban in development and residence, as is much of the surrounding area.

Although associated and near to one of the biggest tourist and historical cities in the world, Hounslow has continued its reputation as a suburban development and remains pleasantly free of the typical London rush and buzz. While for some this may be a deterrent, it makes Hounslow a popular town for City workers with families to base themselves in – free from the London smog, but still within decent commuting distant of the City itself. It is for this commuter belt that the town has become most recognizable

This is reinforced all the more by the strong transport links that run through Hounslow. The town is served by the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground, and there are three Tube stations within the town itself: Hounslow West, Hounslow East and Hounslow Central. There are also national rail services, provided by the aptly named National Rail, from Hounslow Railway station. The town is also extremely close to the biggest UK airport, London Heathrow, which is close enough for extreme convenience but far away enough to not be a significant noise disturbance to the town itself.

While devoid of the traditionally London associated historical sites and sounds, there is nevertheless plenty to see and do when in Hounslow itself. A large, pedestrianized high street runs through the town center, making it a pleasant place for families with small children to venture. Much of the high street is designed around entrances to the large shopping mall center, known as the Treaty Center, which houses numerous stores include boutiques, cafes, stores and even the local Hounslow Council Library.

There is, however, some historical value in Hounslow – predominantly on Hounslow Heath. This area has a reputation for highwaymen of yesteryear, as the area was known to be a hub for street crime in the 17th and 18th centuries. This lead to the gallows being erected at the side of the road as a warning; though it did little good, as many notorious highwaymen of the period are said to have at some point plied their trade around Hounslow Heath.

This was, eventually, brought to an end not through deterrent but through revolution – of the industrial kind. The erection and use of the Great Western Railway provided a faster and safer route between London and the South West of England, and the Heath’s notoriety decreased with its usage. For a time, Hounslow experienced a slump in fortunes as it lost the powerful through trade, but this was eventually reestablished in the 1920s when the Great West Road replaced the steam railway system. Soon, Hounslow was a thriving passing through place for travelers – but this time, thankfully, without the threat of being robbed or even murdered!

In terms of residents, Hounslow – like much of London – is extremely multi cultured, a fact which was captured in film with “Bend It Like Beckham”; the story of an Asian girl who develops a love of football (soccer).