Just across a busy five-arched bridge, resides Battersea, the youthful heart of South London. A very popular choice for young professionals and families alike.
Situated on the south side of the River Thames and boasting excellent views of the London skyline, it has a population of over 75,000 and contains a number of prosperous areas.
Ideal for an easy commute to the hubbub of Central London and leafy enough to feel almost rural, especially with a 200 acre garden on your doorstep, in the form of Battersea Park, which boasts a children's zoo, boating lake, bandstand, and several all-weather outdoor sporting facilities including tennis courts, a running track and football pitches. It’s no surprise Battersea and its Park are so popular.
Parents have plenty of choice in Battersea and the surrounding area, with both state and private options available. Many families choose to send their children to the prestigious Chelsea Academy, just across the river, providing pupils with an education and facilities rated “outstanding” by Ofsted. Alternatively, Thames Christian College lies just east of Cotton Row and offers a good education for pupils aged from 11 to 16 years.
The independent preparatory Dolphin School is popular as is the Lycée Francais & Charles de Gaulle Wix Schools
Originally a part of Surrey, Battersea has flourished since its days of agricultural prowess to become one of the key areas of industry in the greater London area. During the Industrial Revolution, Battersea’s proximity to the River Thames allowed businesses within sectors such as brewing, calico printing and water intensive, industrial processes to profit.
The parish grew from several distinct areas, surrounded by open land, which gradually grew during the late 19th century into one urban sprawl. These consisted of the original village around Battersea Square, the crossroads that would become known as Clapham Junction, the upmarket area between Clapham and Wandsworth Common and the industrial district of Nine Elms. The riverside windmills and wharves gave way to new industries, such as Prices Candles, Carton's Glucose factory, flour mills, Morgan's Crucible works, breweries and the Nine Elms Gas Works. These have now all been developed into homes - Prices Court, Candlemakers, Battersea Reach, Plantation Wharf, Falcon wharf, Oyster Wharf, Albion riverside, Montevetro and more in progress.
Today, much of this industrial heritage can still be seen, with Battersea Power Station and it’s four famous chimneys, remain an iconic landmark within the district. Having lain dormant for years, redevelopment is finally underway and will transform Battersea Power station into new homes, offices, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, shops and conference centre, bringing the 38 acre Battersea Power Station ‘village’ and the wider area into a new century of modern living.
Battersea has traditionally been known for lots of period houses, tree-lined streets with grand Victorian buildings, pretty Victorian terraces and conversion flats. Thanks to the number of development projects currently ongoing in London, there are a host of alternatives for those looking to rent, buy or invest in Battersea. Osiers Tower is one of the most exciting new residential developments, with a mixture of units and duplex penthouse suites still available.
Despite its close proximity to many of London key business areas, Battersea property tends to be reasonably priced. Those wishing to move for business or lifestyle purposes can rest assured that they will get a great deal from Battersea estate agents regardless of their budget.
As Battersea lies on the south side of the River Thames, and benefits from the presence of both Wandsworth Bridge and Battersea Bridge, it is the ideal location for young professionals looking to commute into the City. Overland trains from Clapham Junction travel to London Waterloo in 10 minutes, London Victoria in 7 minutes and Gatwick airport in 25 minutes.
Across the Common, there are two Underground stations – Clapham Common and Clapham South, both on the Northern Line. Tube services take approximately 20 minutes into Leicester Square.
Clapham Junction, Battersea Park, Queenstown Road and Wandsworth Road train stations all provide services to major central London train stations, while Battersea Tube Station lies on the Northern Line extension and thus offers something of a speedier journey! Otherwise, buses, Boris bikes and even river taxis are on hand to provide a more scenic view of the area on the daily commute.
Local bus routes include the 35 (to Shoreditch), the 37 (to Peckham), the 49 (to White City), the 77 (to Waterloo), the 87 (to Aldwych) and the 319 (to Sloane Square). There are four night buses – the N19 (from Finsbury Park), the N31 (from Camden Town), the N35 (from Tottenham Court Road) and the N87 (from Aldwych).
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Battersea High Street is a hidden gem and has a lot to offer. As well as the standard high street chains, you’ll find international cuisine alongside restaurants, gastropubs, cafes and every type of coffee shop. Chez Manny offers a warm friendly atmosphere with original French cuisine. Galapagos is another favourite for their fresh sandwiches and baguettes. There’s also Jack’s Place for sizzling steaks or take your palate further afield in Battersea for Nepalese and Indian.
Battersea Square is the heart of the original village lying on the banks of the River Thames with magical, alfresco dining, on a warm summer’s day. Battersea Rickshaw is a long standing local favourite for Indian cuisine and other options are the Village Bar & Bistro and Barrio - a stone’s throw from St Mary’s, the oldest church in the area, overlooked by the stunning, modern Montevetro building.
The most popular and the most expensive area of Battersea is ‘Between-The-Commons’ which is either side of the valley of Northcote Road. Once known as ‘nappy valley’, Northcote Road is a mecca for those with a passion for fashion and healthy food. There’s a street market every Monday to Saturday, vendors include fishmongers, yummy street bakery and ‘not-your-average’ flower stand, plus a gluten-free trail of smart deli stalls, making your amble a very pleasant one, with or without a Bugaboo!
Of course, there is also Battersea’s most famous charitable venture, Battersea Dog and Cats Home, where you may like to volunteer your time as a dog walker, a great way for local residents to pass their free time – dog walkers and volunteers are always welcome to visit which is ideal for animal lovers unable to commit to buying a pet of their own.
For culture lovers, the award-winning Battersea Arts Centre, founded in 1980, specialises in music, dance and theatre productions. This cultural gem sits on Lavender Hill and offers many independent theatre productions, with some great pre or post show places in which to dine.