Moving to Clapham, Battersea and Wandsworth
Are you moving to Clapham, Battersea and Wandsworth? Indeed, what was once viewed as the back and beyond of nowhere 20 years ago has gradually been gentrified and regenerated, and now these three areas comprise some of London’s most desirable enclaves. Add to that the imminent arrival of the United States Embassy in Nine Elms and it becomes obvious that this is an upward trajectory that is set to continue.
Our free, in-depth Moving to Clapham, Battersea and Wandsworth report includes info on:
• The best areas to live
• The good schools
• The average monthly rental prices
• The excellent public transport system in the city
Putting Clapham, Battersea and Wandsworth on the map
In a swathe of riverside land that runs from Vauxhall in the north east to Putney in the south west, the areas of Clapham, Battersea and Wandsworth span the postcodes SW4, SW8, SW4 and SW18. To the south lie Wimbledon, Tooting, Balham, Streatham and Brixton, less desirable by virtue of being further from the centre of the city – but it is more than just proximity to central London that draws people to these vibrant inner suburbs.
A wealth of Victorian housing stock, from spacious mansion flats and tiny terraced cottages to grand villas overlooking Clapham and Wandsworth Commons attracts young professionals with expanding families, while good railway and underground links make it an easy commute to the City or the West End. Clapham Junction is actually Europe’s busiest railway station, while the Northern Line reaches the centre of town within minutes. Not least, the area benefits from the lowest council tax in the country in Wandsworth, the river frontage in Battersea, and a number of village high streets with smart restaurants, stylish boutiques and plenty of friendly cafes for the ‘yummy-mummies’ that seem to roam the area in packs.
Where to look in Clapham
This archetypal Victorian railway suburb has plenty of beautifully restored period property – step inside and you’ll find geometric tiled hallways, coving and picture rails and reinstated fireplaces, albeit now with gas fires rather than the original coal fires. Around the Common there is also a scattering of Queen Anne and Georgian properties but these rarely come onto the market.
Generally, prices in Clapham are a little cheaper than in Battersea, although houses in the most sought after streets will still fetch top dollar – these include Turnchapel Mews, Belmont Road, Lillieshall Road, Elms Road and Wallsingham Place, while anything that overlooks the Common will also be dear. Abbeville Village and Clapham Park are the most desirable areas, but there are still bargains to be found in the area around Clapham North tube station, while the south side of the Common is generally cheaper than the north. New developments coming to the market include Clapham One in Clapham Old Town, with 200 new homes and Wingate Square, with 102 Scandinavian style flats.
Your guide to Wandsworth
Named after the River Wandle, for many years this corner of South London was something of an industrial powerhouse. However, the wide expanse of the Common and villagey feel of the surrounding Victorian roads has led to an influx of professional families in the last 20 years. Now, some of the last industrial landmarks are being regenerated and the waterfront of the Wandle is being reclaimed for a stylish environment of apartments, shops and restaurants – to include up to 1,000 new homes.
Wandsworth’s demographic is getting younger as families with children colonise the area, searching out Victorian and Edwardian houses for renovation. Also popular are the Twenties properties on the Magdalen Estate, to the west of the Common. The most desirable addresses are in Spencer Park, Lyford Road, Heathfield Gardens, Baskerville Road, Routh Road, Nicosia Road, Dorlcote Road and their surroundings, and houses that overlook the Common are naturally particularly popular.
Who lives here and why?
This whole area just south of the Thames has a rich and varied history that is now reflected in the diverse population who call Clapham, Wandsworth or Battersea home. Young professionals rub shoulders with foreign students, recent immigrants mix with Londoners whose grandparents arrived here from all over the globe. There have been and still are some notable residents in the area – chef Gordon Ramsey lives in Wandsworth, while J K Rowling, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Ferguson and Vivienne Westwood call Clapham home and Battersea boasts Bob Geldof, Simon Le Bon and Greg Rusedski among its residents. However, celebrities aside, the last 30 years have seen an influx of young professionals moving in to the area, who have restored and regenerated the once run-down Victorian houses. Returned to their former glory, with prices to match, these are now some of the capital’s most sought after properties.
But as well as a smart house or apartment, what else will you find if you choose to settle here? The appeal for families of course is education, with a good choice of primary and secondary schools – see the dedicated section below.
There are also plenty of open spaces: Battersea Park is 200 acres of beautiful greenery on the banks of the Thames, that has been recently restored with a £2 million Lottery grant; it features a boating lake, a stunning peace pagoda, a children’s petting zoo and an art gallery. No less impressive in terms of space are the two commons, Wandsworth and Clapham – the green lungs of the area, popular for dog walking, horse riding, kite flying, jogging, football, and angling and boating on the ponds.
Culturally, the area has plenty to offer. As well as the well-established Battersea Arts Centre in what was once the Victorian Town Hall, there is the Royal Academy of Dance, a new £80 million library project being built in Clapham Old Town, the Clapham Picture House, one of London’s leading art house cinemas, Wandsworth Museum and, of course, the proposed redevelopment of the crumbling Battersea Power Station. This monument to coal-powered industrialisation once used to be a major contributor to London’s famous pea-soup fogs; now its celebrated art deco architecture has become one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects with plans for a spectacular commercial and entertainment complex. Old rockers will recognise the building from the cover of Pink Floyd’s album Animals.
In fact, the whole area has a long industrial history and only became a residential suburb relatively late on with the arrival of the railways. Much of the land was farm land providing produce for the capital north of the river; then with the arrival of the Huguenots in the 16th century, brewing and textiles encroached on the arable land and Battersea in particular became an area renowned for its poverty and pollution. Industrial decline lead to the replacement of factories with apartment blocks – now some of the most desirable modern riverfront developments are to be found in Battersea.
The development of several distinct shopping areas, with lively restaurant scenes and buzzing nightlife has added further to the area’s appeal, particularly with young, single professionals. Clapham Junction hosts music acts at the Clapham Grand, while Clapham High Street is home to the notorious nightclub Inferno’s. During the summer, one-day festivals are a feature on Clapham Common, and there is a 14-screen cinema in Wandsworth’s Southside Centre. Gourmet dining is also well-catered for: Chez Bruce is a Michelin-starred restaurant on Wandsworth Common; in its previous incarnation as Harvey’s, this is where Marco Pierre White taught Gordon Ramsey to cook! Battersea has a further scattering of fine-dining establishments, including Ransome’s Dock and Tom Ilic.
The Best Bits
With a good mix of mansion flats, modern apartments and Victorian terrace housing, Battersea has something to suit whatever your taste in architecture. There are some splendid Victorian mansion blocks overlooking Battersea Park on Prince of Wales Drive, while the most modern developments with river views will of course command premium prices – not surprising with examples of work by Richard Rogers and Norman Foster in the mix. Battersea’s largest and most expensive houses are found on Blenkarne, Anhalt, Soudan and Gorst Roads.
The area around Northcote Road is known locally as ‘Nappy Valley’ for the preponderance of young families drawn there: fashionable shops, plenty of restaurants, open spaces and good-sized Victorian family homes with four or five bedrooms all attract wealthy professionals. The catchment areas for Belleville and Honeywell primary schools command higher prices, while the streets directly around Northcote Road are also highly sought after. Another particularly popular enclave is the group of small railway workers’ cottages off Lavender Hill – their proximity to Clapham Junction is perfect for commuters.
Bringing the Kids
South of the river is a great place to educate your children – both Wandsworth and Lambeth regularly score above the national average in the secondary school league tables, with the best state schools including La Retraite, a Roman Catholic girls’ school, and the mixed Graveney School in nearby Tooting. The better state primaries include Belleville and Honeywell, both located between the commons and both heavily oversubscribed. The unique bilingual state primary Ecole de Wix on the north side of Clapham Common is a feeder to the French Lycee in South Kensington, making the area particularly attractive to French-speaking nationals.
Naturally there are some excellent private schools in the area, including co-ed Emanual, Thomas’s Clapham, the Dominie, while regular school buses run from the area to the outstanding private secondary schools in Dulwich and Putney.
Relocating to Clapham
Moving to a new city in a new country can be a daunting prospect even for the most seasoned expat. Where’s the best area to move to? How much will it cost? Where will the kids go to school? And where exactly will we live? If you don’t know the area, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when looking for a rental property, and a wide variation in the rents being asked. This is when employing the services of a relocation agent can really help.
At Saunders 1865, our teams of experts combine local knowledge with first-hand experience to pinpoint the right area and the right property to will tick all your boxes. Wandsworth, Battersea and Clapham have a lot to offer but you need to get the mix just right. Do you have children that need to be enrolled in school? Are the transport links convenient for your needs? Does this location fit with your expectations of London life and is the space configured in a way that suits your requirements? We can bring expertise to all these factors and help to arrange smooth, efficient and stress-free relocations – here or to other parts of London and the UK. Our services include home finding assistance, school finding, lease negotiations, temporary accommodation, move management and immigration assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you.
Clapham, Battersea & Wandsworth are 3 trendy, more affordable areas of London for your employees. They each have excellent schools, local amenities & better value rental homes.
Average Monthly Rents in Battersea
Average Monthly Rent in Clapham
Average Monthly Rents in Wandsworth