Where Are The Best Places To Live In South-West London?
There Is No Shortage Of Fantastic Places To Live South Of The River In London, So Where Are The Best Places To Call Home
South London is such a big place we had to split this article into two parts to cover our favourite places to live! This article is a guide to living in South West London but, you can read all about living in South East London right here, for more information and areas to live!
There are more green areas in the south of London than in any other part of the city. Richmond Park (the largest green space in the whole of London), Kew and its iconic gardens, Bushy Park, Greenwich Park and many, many more. As a result of all that extra space, South London can offer some of if not, the most diversified living options in the whole of London.
You can live just across the River Thames and only a few minutes walk from the city centre or, you can be miles away to the south, swapping city skylines for beautiful park and riverside views. You have the possibility of being closer to the faster pace of life in the city centre as well as having the option to live in the quieter and more relaxed communities further south following the river
The Best Areas To Live In South-West London
Distance to city centre: 3.3 miles
Main Train Stations: Clapham Junction, Battersea Power Station.
Area description: city-centre riverside
Notable features: beautiful riverside accommodation, large green spaces and parks, easy access to West and Central London.
Battersea is a South London district close to the centre of London and on the opposite side of the river to the famously wealthy West London neighbourhood of Chelsea. The area is a prime location for anyone looking to move to London and remain close to the beauty of some of the city’s wealthiest areas, as well as making the most of being close to the heart of the city for work and leisure.
The neighbourhood of Nine Elms is Battersea’s most prominent riverside community to move into. There are apartments along the banks of the River Thames down to Wandsworth bridge that offers fantastic views of the city. As well as apartments, you can find many beautiful houses both along the river and more inland across the whole of Battersea, perfect for anyone wanting to live somewhere with a bit more space.
Further south, the area around Clapham Junction and the north of Clapham is a part of Battersea which offers access to one of the busiest high streets in South London, fittingly springing up out of the old Roman road into the city. There is no shortage of high-street retailers, bars and restaurants but on Northcote road, you’ll find one of the best streets in London for venturing out for fantastic food and drink at independent restaurants!
Battersea is becoming more and more popular to live in thanks to increasing investment into the area. Neighbourhoods are modern, there are fantastic green spaces like Battersea Park and Clapham Common to enjoy all year round, as well as being suitable areas to live for families, students and, working professionals. It is a perfect area for anyone who wants to live somewhere within commuting distance of the city centre but still have enough happening around where they live to not feel the need to not live in central London!
Distance to city centre: 2.7 miles
Main Train Stations: Brixton Rail and Underground Station.
Area description: Cultural Oasis In South London
Notable features: Fantastic local markets and restaurants, vibrant and diverse community, very affordable accommodation.
It is incredibly hard to find an area in the whole of London, never mind the South of the city, that can quite match Brixton. Brixton is one of the most diverse and energetic communities in London. Brixton is soaked in history and you can see much of this history in the murals (large art pieces on the walls and buildings of a street) everywhere you walk around the centre of Brixton.
Brixton has a strong link with Caribbean food and music thanks to the very large Jamaican community who have lived in the area for many, many years, helping to shape the identity of this part of the city. Housing in the area is an incredible mix between classical Victorian townhouses and newer apartment buildings built in areas like Brixton Centric.
The area around the centre of Brixton, particularly the Brixton market, is a fascinating place to explore when shopping locally, as well as providing just about anything you could want from any part of the world in the incredible stores and stalls. The nightlife in this area amongst the many bars and restaurants is easily among the most popular spots in the whole of London.
Brixton is more affordable than most other parts of the city as a result of being so much further south. There are quieter parts to Brixton that families might find more suitable if they really wished to live in this area but really, this is an area for someone who is looking to live in a vibrant and interesting neighbourhood, a place to give them a truly unique and exciting living experience whilst they stay in London!
Distance to city centre: 9 miles.
Main Train Stations: Richmond Train Station.
Area description: Up-market riverside community.
Notable features: fantastic parks and green spaces, beautiful houses and apartments, attractive and charming town centre.
Richmond is easily one of the most beautiful places to live in the whole of London —never mind any part of south London! It has more parks and green areas than anywhere else in the rest of the city including, the largest park in the whole of London, Richmond Park. A stunning green space that is even home to its large herd of deer that number in the hundreds!
With its enchanting riverside walks and picture-perfect townhouses, you might be easily convinced that Richmond is a setting from the latest Disney film! Richmond is a charming and characterful place to move to in London, the perfect community for families or, anyone looking to live a life outside of the big city, but still be very close to it.
Families will find the area attractive thanks to magnificent accommodation and house options. Choose between riverside town-houses or, quiet lanes and greens that are just a short walk away from the river or, the town centre! Schools in the area are fantastic, there is excellent access to central London from the town centre and other, smaller train stations in the area such as St.Margarets.
But the best part about living in Richmond has to be the long summer days and nights spent by the river. If you’re a fan of watersports or just relaxing on the water, then living by the river is among the biggest reasons for you to move to this area. There are so many beautiful pubs and restaurants running along the river that you’ll never have the chance to visit them all. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try!
Distance to city centre: 1.7 miles
Main Train Stations: Vauxhall Railway and Underground station.
Area description: Riverside – city centre.
Notable features: Fantastic riverside apartments and townhouses, located next to the city centre.
Vauxhall is another fantastic spot to live in South West London that is within walking distance of the city centre. The imposing view of Vauxhall Tower and the offices of British Intelligence MI6 (the building used in the James Bond franchise for the last 20 years is a real home for spies!) are all the reminders you need that you are definitely — living in the heart of London!
Vauxhall has no shortage of amazing apartments overlooking the river and the London skyline. Vauxhall Tower is a particularly fantastic building to live in if you want an amazing view of the city and the neighbouring St. George Wharf complex of apartments is very popular for members of the British Government to live and commute to work across the river at the Houses of Parliament!
Vauxhall itself is quite gentrified in some areas, with fantastic townhouses, restored pubs and a nightlife that is growing in popularity so much that Vauxhall has been nicknamed “Voho”, as a reference to the popularity of the Soho area for people going out in the evening! The community in Vauxhall is very diverse, with a significant presence of Portuguese residents across various neighbourhoods, as well as from other parts of the world too!
Vauxhall sits opposite the Westminster area of London across from the River Thames, just a short walk away from London Waterloo Station and the amazing South Bank area, making it a fantastic place to experience some of the most popular spots in the city centre. It is an ideal place to move for anyone who wants to be right on the doorstep of life at the heart of the city!
Distance to city centre: 3.4 miles
Main Train Stations: Clapham Junction
Area description: major transport and cultural hub in South London
Notable features: fantastic transport links, brilliant community and living areas, and a prominent area for independent bars and restaurants in the city.
We already mentioned Clapham in our description of Battersea as parts of the neighbourhood are included in that district. But Clapham is such a wide area with its own strong neighbourhood identity in London that it would be impossible to talk about living in South West London without expanding more into living in Clapham!
Clapham Junction is one of the key London railway stations that connect trains entering London through the south of the city. It is incredibly handy for getting around central London but also, areas outside of the city, including a very quick connection to Gatwick Airport. It is easily the busiest train station in the whole of London so commuting from here should never be a problem with access to so many different rail services across the city, at least, in theory!
Clapham High street and the neighbourhoods around Clapham Common offer a lot of variety for living in this part of London. There are many fantastic Victorian properties, from mansions to converted flats, with living next to Clapham Common particularly desirable, especially during the summers when the area becomes a giant sunbathing and social spot! The larger Victorian houses are perfect for anyone desiring a bit more space or if you’re thinking of moving with family!
Clapham is incredibly popular for eating out. Northcote Raod was mentioned earlier but, we simply have to mention it again for its fantastic variety when it comes to food and going out in the evening. Clapham is reliably busy most days of the week, especially along the high street and Northcote Road, so it should be no surprise that the area is incredibly popular among young working professionals moving to the city.
To live in Clapham is to live in a very self-contained and busy area of the city, that offers so much to people living here that they very rarely, feel the need to go too far from the area for anything other than work. With the quality of housing and quality of life that Clapham offers, it is a fantastic place to move for anyone, who is considering making a move to South London.
Kingston Upon Thames
Distance to city centre: 11 miles
Main Train Stations: Kingston Station
Area description: pretty riverside town close to the outskirts of London
Notable features: beautiful homes, more affordable accommodation than central London, excellent shopping options locally.
This will be the furthest we travel out of the city centre in this guide but when it comes to living the best life can offer in South West London — Kingston has it all. A rich history and fantastically preserved cottages dating back to the 16th Century. Fantastic riverside apartments and houses whilst it still only takes a 20 -30 minute train ride to be in the heart of the city.
With the magnificent Hampton Court Palace, fantastic gardens and green spaces like Bushy Park, Virginia Water and Teddington Locke all nearby, there are plenty of attractions to an already attractive area. Kingston is ideal for those looking to remove themselves a bit further from the hustle and bustle of the more central London neighbourhoods. Ideally suited for families or anyone who fancies a more relaxed life close by the river!
Living in Kingston, like living in Richmond, is best experienced during the summer, as life by the river is very pleasant and relaxing. Kingston has a lot of very lovely riverside dining and bar options for those long summer afternoons, evenings and nights! Despite being further away from the city centre, there is no shortage of anything, including fantastic options for shopping for yourself with lots of beautiful boutique shops and independent stores.
Kingston might seem like a very wealthy area to move into but there are plenty of options for anyone looking to move into this part of South West London. Not all the accommodation options are manor houses and former palaces of English Kings and Queens! It is a wonderful place for anyone looking to have some separation from working within the city and ideal for anyone thinking of living in South London.
Wandsworth Town & Tooting
Distance to city centre: 4.9 miles
Main Train Stations: Wandsworth Railway Station
Area description: green, suburban residential area close to central London
Notable features: Beautiful townhouses and protected buildings, a range of affordable living options, quieter neighbourhoods with good transport links.
Wandsworth Town is a typical London riverside community. Busier areas and streets are found closer to the river, whilst the further away from the river you go, the neighbourhoods become quieter and very charming! One of the most significant, close to the green space of Wandsworth Common, you’ll find the neighbourhood popularly known as “The Toast Rack”.
The Toast Rack has some of the most expensive and beautiful townhouses in the whole of London and the surrounding streets are all incredibly desirable places to live. The areas of East Hill and Old York Road are very popular and beautiful areas to live in. Old York Road, in particular, has a fantastic assortment of independent cafes and boutique shops for you to get used to visiting!
Tooting is further south away from the river and is a much more diversified and affordable area to live in compared to the expensive properties of The Toast Rack in Wandsworth Town! South Asian communities are particularly strong in the area of Tooting with a huge selection of restaurants and cuisine from this part of the world to make dining out particularly delicious around Tooting.
Tooting has many protected housing developments and green spaces as the area has a significant cultural heritage in the city of London. The Broadway Market is one of London’s largest and oldest indoor market spaces and is incredibly good value and fun to visit on weekends. Tooting has great green spaces like Tooting Common and Tooting Lido, which includes the largest freshwater outdoor swimming pool in the UK!
Overall, both Wandsworth Town and Tooting are ideal areas for families and working professionals wanting to make a life in London, which is a bit more removed from the city centre. Whilst Wandsworth Town might be more suited for those looking for a quieter life and more of a direct connection to the centre of London, Tooting is a space for anyone looking to live in a more active neighbourhood, with plenty of character and atmosphere thanks to the diverse community living there.
Distance to city centre: 8.6 miles
Main Train Stations: Wimbledon Common
Area description: Historic South London Town
Notable features: home of British tennis, fantastic accommodation options, beautiful parks and greenspaces.
Wimbledon is famous around the world for its signature tennis tournament that takes place every summer and represents the single greatest trophy in professional tennis. But Wimbledon has much more to it than just tennis! It is a fantastic area of South West London to live in, dominated by not only tennis but fantastic green spaces, diverse communities and incredible options for accommodation in this part of the city!
Housing in Wimbledon is a blend between grand old Victorian homes, low-rise apartments and of course, modern houses and flats either newly built or rejuvenated from old structures. The area is wealthy but, the value of property is very finely spread, which makes the whole of Wimbledon an affordable place to live for everyone.
The centre of Wimbledon, including the area around the old village and the main Highstreet, is as busy as anywhere else in London. The area is very good for eating out, shopping and for entertainment in the evening, meaning that there is less of a need for people to leave the area to travel into the city centre.
With that being said, it is incredibly easy to get into the city centre from Wimbledon’s main station and with Clapham Junction just a short stop away, it’s possible to reach many parts of London in good time. Families will love the area for the housing options and the fact that there are plenty of excellent schools in the area. It is a perfect neighbourhood for anyone planning to move to South-West London!
What About The Rest Of London?
For more recommendations for living in South London, see the second part of this article where we cover areas and neighbourhoods you can live in the South East of London.
Alternatively, if you wish to read more about living in other areas of London, feel free to browse through our list of area guides.