To those living North of the River, South West London can seem a little enigmatic: the lands beyond the London Underground are often left unexplored by North London devotees. We’d like to show you a glimpse of what an SW postcode has to offer: you may well be pleasantly surprised by the charm and promise of what is fast becoming the most sought-after part of the capital.
Known nationally for its Dog’s Home and Power Station, the area around Clapham Junction known as Battersea is more recognised locally as the home of Northcote Road and the surrounding network of streets which, combined, have a unique and neighbourly character. The SW11 postcode region is particularly popular with families but is also a favourite with first time buyers and young professionals on account of a thriving night life.
Northcote Road is often described as having two distinct characters: one by day and one by night. Placed between two expanses of leafy parkland, the streets have a wonderful neighbourhood feel and a host of excellent schooling options to choose from; it’s no surprise that this part of London is nicknamed ‘Nappy Valley’.
Northcote Road, Lavender Hill and other roads ‘Between the Commons’ are lined with pretty cafes and boutique shops perfect for a daytime wander; add to this an array of well-known retail chains and you have a fantastic shopping destination perfect for weekdays and weekends alike. By night, cafes transform into bistros and numerous acclaimed restaurants and bars make Clapham Junction and surrounds an extremely popular evening haunt.
A view from an Agent: Sarah Welby, Sales Manager, James Pendleton Estate Agents Battersea
Further up towards the river, the Battersea Park and Nine Elms area is where the aforementioned Power Station comes into its own: the undisputed icon of the region, the station site and its environs make up London’s most promising new development.
Providing jobs and quality homes by the thousand, the Nine Elms development combines stunning design with some exciting new additions to the SW8 postcode area: the new US Embassy, an extension to the Northern Line and a strikingly designed Linear Garden are just some of the new arrivals set to transform central London’s last undeveloped zone.
There is, it must not be forgotten, far more to the Battersea Park area than just new developments; the region is, unsurprisingly, home to the eponymous park, which featured heavily in the 2012 Jubilee celebrations and is established as one of the finest parks in the city. Its attractive lakes, pretty Peace Pagoda and bustling sports and activity centres make it a perfect weekend destination for Londoners on either side of the river.
A view from an Agent: Sam Wylie, Sales Manager, James Pendleton Estate Agents Battersea Park
Clapham Common is well known throughout London as both a place to visit and as one of the largest transport hubs in South West London (along with nearby Clapham Junction). The Common forms a natural local hub: sports clubs, summer events and record-breaking attempts converge on the park, which is also home to communities of anglers and model boat makers.
Around the edge of the Common you will find a wealth of outstanding period properties originating from the late 18th Century onwards when wealthy Londoners chose this area of then-countryside for a charming weekend retreat. This genteel brick and stucco fronted setting perfectly suits the quaint cafes and eateries which line streets like Abbeville Road and The Pavement. Clapham Common and Clapham Old Town are also home to a great range of pubs and bars: from cocktails to comfy sofas, all is present and accounted for in the streets surrounding the Underground station.
Those with more modern inclinations are also well catered for in Clapham Common. Developments such as Wingate Square and the Library Building offer comfortable modern apartments in a striking setting; residents can truly have the best of both worlds.
A view from an Agent: Kelly Higgins, Sales Manager, James Pendleton Estate Agents Clapham Common
Conveniently accessed via the Northern Line at the southern end of Clapham Common, residents of Clapham South benefit from the vibrancy of the Common whilst retaining a more residential feel. The stretch of South West London connecting Clapham South with Balham is very popular with families owing to its outstanding schooling opportunities as well as its proximity to the neighbouring parkland.
The area surrounding Balham Mainline and Underground stations is a vibrant residential and shopping hub popular with London natives and outsiders alike. There are dozens of venues to try on a night out in Balham, each with a unique and often cosy character. A quirky charm also applies to the many cafes and bistros open during the day and like Battersea’s Northcote Road Balham High Road is full of great family venues such as the fantastic Bertie and Boo.
A view from an Agent: Ewen Bunting, Associate Director, James Pendleton Estate Agents Clapham South and Balham
Moving north of the river but remaining firmly in the city’s South West, the Fulham and Parsons Green region has a fantastic reputation with families upsizing from Chelsea, investors looking for a great all-rounder and vibrant young professionals looking for a home away from home.
The streets surrounding the pretty Parsons Green are bustling with interesting places to eat, chat and relax. The area has a predominantly boutique character with relatively few large chains (though there are still plenty of familiar names in evidence). Local gems such as Boma, the White Horse and Bonbon deli make lunching or drinking in the area a pleasure whatever the hour or inclination, while the Green and the River offer superb walking or picnicking opportunities.
A view from an Agent: Max Green, Associate Director, James Pendleton Estate Agents Fulham and Parsons Green
From the shops and cafes lining one side of Bellevue Road, the view across Wandsworth Common would not be out of place in Surrey or Hampshire. The wide, flat, leafy expanse of the parkland is the first thing that greets visitors to Wandsworth Common Mainline station and the area has all the charm of the English countryside despite the London buses making their way around the edge of the grassland.
Extremely popular with families, Wandsworth Common is home to a bustling community as well as a variety of seasonal events such as the Bellevue Road Summer fair. Areas such as the Magdalen Estate (close to Beatrix Potter school) and Lower Nightingale Triangle (close to Holy Ghost school) are particularly popular with families, while areas like Balham Village and Tooting Bec attract both families and professionals, in part due to excellent transport links via the London Underground.
This part of London is well placed for those looking for a diverse and well-connected home; the energy and nightlife of Balham and Tooting sit very well alongside the cosy pubs and bars lining the Common, while buses, trains and nearby Underground stations are plentiful and accessible. Wandsworth Common is home to South West London’s only Michelin starred restaurants, Chez Bruce.
A view from an Agent: Deborah Bunting, Senior Associate Director, James Pendleton Estate Agents Wandsworth Common
Bordering the Thames and across the river from Fulham, Wandsworth Town and the Tonsleys make up an attractively cosmopolitan part of the capital. The area is home to some superb property opportunities: from stylish new developments such as the Riverside Quarter to Victorian ‘Tonsleys’ terraces bursting with character.
The area’s main shopping street, Old York Road, can feel charmingly bucolic due to its austere yet homespun establishments. In the evenings Wandsworth Town comes alive in a relaxed yet cosmopolitan way as the wine starts to flow; this is the perfect place to live if you’re a lover of good food and drink in a warm and friendly setting. It’s also easy to pay this part of the world a visit via either British Rail or numerous bus routes to and from Central London and beyond.
A view from an Agent: Brett Walton, Sales Manager, James Pendleton Estate Agents Wandsworth Town & Tonsleys