Beautiful period homes, acres of parkland and riverside property, and a cosmopolitan atmosphere make South West London one of the city’s most desirable areas. From the iconic cultural attractions of South Kensington, including the Natural History Museum, to Richmond Park, with its herds of wild deer, South West London appeals to all kinds of people. While students will cluster around the region’s universities, there are areas along this pretty stretch of the river that hold a special appeal for families. Those seeking to live in friendly, green communities without sacrificing good transport links into Central London will find that any of South West London’s new builds, mansion blocks, and stucco houses will suit their needs. Those further afield, past the end of the District Line, will find that it’s not always necessary to venture into the centre for shopping or entertainment — the leisure offerings of the area can certainly compete with the offerings of the West End.
Balham was long overlooked by people looking toward neighbouring areas like Clapham, but no longer. In recent years, as families and first-time buyers have awoken to the attractive period property, good transport links, and increasing local amenities, house prices here have soared. This Zone 3 suburb is still close to the action of Central London, but has a peaceful feel because it is sandwiched between Wandsworth, Clapham, and Tooting Commons.
Barnes is a true London village, known for its community atmosphere and the sense that you could be living in far more rural settings than exist a mere half hour from Central London. This desirable area has abundant green space and waterways, and a wide selection of lovely, large period houses - add in its good state and independent schools, and you have the winning formula for attracting families.
Battersea is famous for local institutions including the dogs and cats home and the landmark power station, but it has much in the way of everyday amenities for locals, too. These are only increasing with the £8 billion redevelopment of the power station into a new riverside park and high street with new local businesses alongside the US Embassy and thousands of new homes.
Brixton is one of the most rapidly-changed areas in London. As recently as the 1990s, it was considered unsafe - now, the primary concern from a lot of residents is whether the area is gentrifying too quickly, at the expense of the neighbourhood's residents and its character. However, as it stands, the area is ethnically and economically diverse, and loved by both young professionals and families. Brixton is one of the parts of London that truly deserves to be described as 'vibrant'.
Clapham is area of South West London with an exceptionally broad appeal, drawing in City bankers and their families to live in large period houses near the Common and top schools as well as young professionals who seek good transport connections and a vibrant social scene and lively nightlife. Local amenities, in addition to beautiful architecture, acres of green space, and nightlife, include no shortage of shopping and dining options - meaning that you may not need to make use of Clapham's three Tube and two rail stations as often as you think.
Though many residents discover Colliers Wood only because prices in Clapham or Tooting have forced them further down the Northern Line, Colliers Wood should not only be seen as a cheaper alternative to other South West London suburbs. It should no longer be famous for the tower near the station, once voted the ugliest building in London, either - this building is being redeveloped. What Colliers Wood should be known for is its shopping amenities, good local schools, quiet streets - and pretty walks along the River Wandle and the several parks along its banks.
Earlsfield is sometimes overlooked by people who are house-hunting in neighbouring areas like Clapham that have a higher profile, but it is itself a nice if fairly typical London suburb. The area appeals to a range of people. Young professionals who attracted to Earlsfield because it has both local amenities like bars and shops as well as good transport links. Families may be searching for a relatively affordable house and find these exist in Earlsfield, and near green spaces and good schools to boot.
East Sheen, commonly known as just 'Sheen', is a lovely London suburb with a villagey atmosphere. It is popular with both families and professionals, who like the area's access to Richmond Park as well as its fast links to Waterloo, yet it is not as well known an area as neighbouring Richmond and Barnes.
While Fulham is affordable in comparison to its posh neighbours, it is more than just a cut-rate Chelsea. Fulham itself is an upmarket area, full of independent boutiques, wide tree-lined streets of large red-brick houses, and riverside gastropubs. The area also has excellent transport links, with easy access to the District and Piccadilly Lines as well as the Overground and good road links, attracting commuters. Families, too, are drawn to the area for its good choice of high-achieving schools.
Furzedown is a residential suburb with attractive period properties that have good access to green space - therefore, it is not a surprise that the area is considered family-friendly, and appeals to them in particular. Furzedown does not have a particularly active nightlife, nor does it have outstanding transport links - it does not have its own station, Tube or rail - but for many people, it is an area that represents the best of both worlds, with access to Central London as well as a quieter atmosphere.
With eclectic but attractive houses, good transport links into (and out of) Central London, and great local amenities, it is easy to see why Merton Park is a sought-after residential area. Though it is well-connected, the area's tree-lined streets and the fact that it is nestled amongst several outstanding green spaces can make it feel like a peaceful oasis. Schools, too, are generally excellent, drawing families to the area.
Mortlake is a peaceful and pretty suburb that lies along the South bank of the Thames, near Richmond. It has a mixture of new apartment buildings along the river and Victorian terraces, and is surrounded by fantastic green spaces including the world-renowned Richmond Park and Kew Gardens. The area is naturally popular with families, who will find good schools nearby, and it is well-connected by rail, bus, and nearby Tube for commuters. Mortlake is famous for being the finishing point of the Oxford and Cambridge boat race.
Talking about Nine Elms is to a large extent a conversation about future potential. It is an area of London that is in the midst of a lot of redevelopment - the plans for the US Embassy to relocate here have prompted additional development, and there will be several new luxury apartment buildings and a new Northern Line extension, too. This part of the Southbank will soon benefit from the transport links and recognition that its neighbours - including Battersea - already do.
Norbury is a well-connected suburb in South West London. The area is favoured by families because of its community vibe, safety, and relatively affordable family homes. Schools in the area are also generally good, and there is excellent access to green space - while for the member of the family that may commute into Central London or the City, bus, road, and rail links are good. While amenities like shops are somewhat more limited in Norbury, its connections to Croydon and into Central London make up for this fact.
Parsons Green is a residential area within the greater Fulham neighbourhood that is known for its villagey atmosphere. It is especially popular with families, who are attracted to its good schools and lovely period homes, but there is a wide range of amenities for others, too. Parsons Green has several parks and is near the riverfront, and there is no shortage of nightlife in the immediate area. Transport links, too, are good. It is no wonder that this is now a prime residential area in its own right, rather than an overspill area for those priced out of Kensington and Chelsea.
Putney is a leafy area with a villagey feel that appeals to everyone from young professionals to families. Located within Zone 2 and with good bus, Tube, and rail connections into Central London, Putney is easy to get to and from. It also has a range of local amenities, from green space and good schools to shops and bars, which means you won't have to travel far for much other than work. Putney represents the best of both worlds of London living - quiet and safe, but not boring or remote - and it is little wonder that the beautiful period homes here therefore command high prices.
Roehampton is only about 45 minutes from Piccadilly Circus, but has a rural and tranquil feel. Despite being a relaxed residential area, it's not a boring place to be. There are abundant opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, exploring Richmond Park and Wimbledon and Barnes Commons. There is also a significant population of students who attend the local university, and there are local gastropubs, restaurants, and bars to enjoy. Transport links are fairly good, though Roehampton doesn't have its own Tube station.
Southfields is a residential, suburban area neighbouring Wimbledon Common. It is popular with families, and has a sense of community, and is a desirable place to live in its own right - not just because of its proximity to Wimbledon. Here you'll find abundant green and open space, larger Victorian terraces, and excellent schools. There are also a variety of options for commuters, including a District Line station and a mainline rail station nearby.
Stockwell is a former manufacturing district that is well on its way to becoming as popular a residential area as neighbouring Clapham. The area is somewhat 'up-and-coming' and working to shed a not-entirely-deserved reputation for roughness. Stockwell's relative affordability may be the reason people give it a go to begin with, but once settled, they'll find pretty good access to parks, a mix of property for many styles and budgets, and excellent transport links as well as a cosmopolitan vibe helped by the presence of a large Portuguese community.
For many people, their only experience of Streatham is driving down the A23 where it is the Streatham High Road. That's a shame, because though it was once voted Britain's Worst Street, it is constantly improving and not really representative of what is a residential enclave of South West London. In Streatham, you will find community spirit, relatively affordable large homes with gardens, and good transport links - as well as the necessary local amenities.
For many people, their only experience of Streatham Hill is driving down the A23 where it is the Streatham High Road. That's a shame, because though it was once voted Britain's Worst Street, it is constantly improving and not really representative of what is a residential enclave of South West London. In Streatham, you will find community spirit, relatively affordable large homes with gardens, and good transport links - as well as the necessary local amenities.
Tooting is a suburb that is popular with both families and young professionals. It has something to offer people of all ages, and offers good compromises on many of the choices London residents have to make - central or calm, well-connected or affordable, and family-friendly or lively are all dilemmas Tooting answers. With two Northern Line stations and a rail station, transport into Central London is easy and quick, but it remains a peaceful, green suburb. That's not to say there's no nightlife or cafe culture, though - there's plenty on offer to everyone who makes Tooting their home.
Tulse Hill is a relatively quiet residential area. It is popular with families, who appreciate its leafy character and the relatively affordable houses. Transport links are pretty good despite Tulse Hill not having its own Tube station, and though the area itself is residential, it is possible to walk to culture and entertainment hotspots like neighbouring Brixton.
Wandsworth has experienced significant changes in the last couple of decades - from being an industrial area to becoming a trendy riverside suburb. New houses are being built here, as well as new public squares, riverside walks, and a town centre. It is an area that attracts families, because there is a lot of choice of large houses available here, along with green spaces and excellent schools. The area is ver popular with young professionals, however, too. Despite being south of the river and having no Tube station, it is also well-connected, and has good local amenities - and these will only increase as the new town centre development continues.