See what living in London could look like while you study and intern abroad! Genevieve takes us on a tour of the Goldhawk neighborhood where CAPA students live and shows us 5 of her favorite spots to frequent. Here's everything you need to know about where to run, study, and shop in Goldhawk.
I looked at the syllabi for the different CAPA classes to see which ones would interest me. I explored CAPA's London Institute main page, and I pinterested London (obviously an accurate representation of the city), but what really made up my mind on this program was the CAPA blog posts that I read.
This may be because I personally enjoy blogs as their format appeals to my imagination, but the post that really stood out to me and made the coming semester feel so much more real was a past blogger's tour of their apartment. So, I thought that I would return the favor and give a tour of my neighborhood, Goldhawk, for anyone out there who is reading these blog posts in order to gain a better understanding of what their abroad experience could look like in Goldhawk.
Stop 1: Ravenscourt Park
Ravenscourt Park is a great place to stretch after a run.
One thing I have had to teach myself this semester is how to make the unfamiliar feel like home. One method of gaining a level of comfort in a new place is establishing routines. The routine I established in the beginning of the semester was running (this practice may or may not have decreased as the semester has gone on, but what can I say? London is cold in November and it gets dark really early here—like 4-pm-is-nighttime-dark). As I explored my neighborhood through this routine, I found a hidden gem of Goldhawk: Ravenscourt Park. This park has a beautiful pond, a couple sports courts, a playground, numerous running trails, and a lovely rose garden. During the daylight hours, it is populated by families, dog walkers, and fellow runners. It is a beautiful spot to escape the city for a little while and it’s only a 10-minute walk (5-minute run) from CAPA’s Goldhawk apartments.
Stop 2: The Local Grocery Stores
So many frozen pizzas...Sainsbury's has saved me from going without dinner on busy days.
Another joy of the Goldhawk residences is the number of grocery stores in the area. The Sainsbury's directly below the apartments has saved me from going dinner-less on a busy day multiple times. Its neighbor, the Tesco Express, is just a minute down the street and also offers some variety in prices and goods. For example, Sainsbury has cheaper bananas and candy, but Tesco has tortilla chips. Sainsbury's does not ever have regular tortilla chips, which is a huge problem for me as they are my preferred method of chip indulgence. Tesco also stocks my new favorite Christmas party mix, a salted caramel pretzel medley. The salted caramel drops, chocolate-covered peanuts, and pretzels satisfy all of my sweet and salty stress-cravings (school and an internship will do things to you).
Stop 3: The Goldhawk Tube Station
This is the Goldhawk tube stop across from my apartment. The tube is the gateway to London.
Next stop on my tour is of utmost importance to daily life in London: the tube stop. The Goldhawk stop is directly across from my apartment, which makes life so much easier. I have come to appreciate this fact more and more as it grows darker earlier and earlier. The tube being so close to my front door means I don't have to walk out in the dark and rain for nearly as long as many other Londoners must.
Stop 4: The Westfield Mall
The Westfield Mall is the perfect place to spend a wet and rainy evening.
The Westfield Mall is next. This beautiful building is only two stops down from the aforementioned tube stop. It is full to the brim with my favorite stores, from Primark (cheap and trendy clothes) to more pricey places like Gucci. It also has a wonderful outdoor restaurant area that is fun to explore during the warmer months. Right now, the mall is decked out in beautiful Christmas lights in all of the trees and on the actual building. It's one of my favorite stops on the tube, simply because the mall is festive.
Stop 5: Bush Theatre
My favorite spot to curl up in the library with some coffee and my homework.
A recent discovery I made is Bush Theatre. This Bar, Theatre, Cafe, and Library is on Shepherd's Bush Road. It is directly beside the other entrance to Shepherd's Bush Market (another fun spot at Goldhawk) and is only about a 5-minute walk from my apartment. The inside is divided into three areas and furnished with reclaimed tables and chairs. The first area is a group of tables beside full-length windows. During the day, these let in brilliant natural light. The next section houses the bar, where they sell food, coffee, and tea as well as other drinks. The Bar leads into the theatre section of the establishment, which holds plays throughout the year. The final section, and my personal favorite, is the library cafe. The area is well lit and sells yummy coffee and treats to keep you happy. More importantly: it is a wonderful place to study...until 11 pm!! That's right, this place closes at 11pm. Most coffee shops close at around 8pm in London, and since I don't get home until 6:30pm or 7pm on some days, this is not ideal. Therefore, a place to study until 11pm is a blessing like no other. I am just sad that I didn't know about this place sooner.
So many roses at Ravenscourt Park!
You can find many things to do and places to go around the Goldhawk neighborhood.
That concludes my neighborhood tour. I love the area I am living in, even though it can be crazy or loud at times. I like the people who work nearby and the peaceful, animated, and surprising streets that surround my apartment.
Genevieve Rice is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An English Literature major at Anderson University, she is studying abroad in London this semester.
Genevieve's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.