London’s Villages: Wandsworth

Heather Gatley illustration

With great transport links, a vibrant social scene and lush surrounds, this south-west london outpost is a tempting escape for city-based families seeking balance

On a spring morning, you’ll find the streets and parks of Wandsworth busy with young families pushing buggies, often with a dog in tow. The sunrise runners will be on their way home as more gym-clad locals set off for padel. This leafy south-west London enclave is a healthy, happy haven and has just been awarded London Borough of Culture in 2025.

First impressions


Stewart Harrison, senior manager at John D Wood & Co in Wandsworth paints the picture: “The neighbourhood allure lies in its family-friendly ambience, access to green spaces (such as Wandsworth Common) and a vibrant local scene along the pedestrianised Old York Road, with its hip brunch spots and independent boutiques. By the river, fabled 18th century pub The Ship is packed out on sunny weekends.” 

Its charm attracts young professionals and families. Commuters are walking distance from Clapham Junction station or Wandsworth Town, where trains whisk them to Victoria or Waterloo in 12-15 minutes. For a journey with a view, take the hourly Thames Clippers service from the pier at Wandsworth Riverside to Chelsea Harbour, Embankment, London Bridge or Canary Wharf.

Good two-bedroom apartments start at around £600,000, three-bedroom family houses from £950,000, and four-bedroom homes from £1.2m, says Harrison. “Significant rejuvenation projects include the development of the Old Ram Brewery, which has created a busy local-business centre that also boasts a fantastic selection of high-end apartments,” says Ed Firbank associate director at Chestertons.

“Across the road, the Southside Shopping Centre is a lifestyle hub with shops, a cinema and even an indoor go-karting track. It isn’t all hustle and bustle, however. The riverfront is home to several residential developments offering a peaceful sanctuary.”

A day in Wandsworth

Old York Road Unplugged, 4 June, 2023, @wandsworthtown


Pup’s pose

Before the rush of the day ahead, press pause with a Take-a-Paws class on North Side Wandsworth Common. Release endorphins by sharing the mat with adorable puppies. Committed to helping four-legged friends around the world, five per cent of all profits will benefit a selected charity shelter such as Animal Shelter Agonda in Goa, India, where founder Tiri volunteered.


Hole in one

Bringing mini golf to Wandsworth Park on Putney Bridge Road, take a swing in Putt in the Park. The 12-hole course is the perfect family activity, whether new to the game or a seasoned player. Feeling peckish? The Clubhouse’s bagels, toasties and sandwiches will get you game ready.


Lunch on the go

If you want to explore beyond Wandsworth Park, a walk west will take you to dining destinations such as Megan’s at the Tavern which serves Mediterranean dishes and Zia Lucia on Old York Road. Meanwhile, the Southside’s Fine Food Market welcomes international cuisines from South African to Turkish, every weekend.


Hold court

If you’re looking for a new sport to try, padel may be the answer. A mix between tennis and squash, padel is played by the likes of Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Andy Murray. Invented in Mexico, and usually played in doubles, it has gained popularity in recent years, with The Padel Yard on Armoury Way being its London hub.


Ready, steady, cook

Up your kitchen skills with a course at The Avenue Cookery School on Enterprise Way. Founded by mother-daughter-and-son trio Diana, Sophie and Richard, there are classes for all ages and abilities. There are kids holiday courses, from ice cream-making to an ‘All you can eat doughnut workshop’, and DoE skills to chalet hosting for older teenagers.

Ask a local: Tristian Phipps, Founder of Bellr.

“I actually moved to Wandsworth last year and love it here. I live about 200m from The Padel Yard, on the Tonsleys. Wandsworth has a really lovely community feel to it. Everything you possibly need is a stone’s throw away.

For sports lovers, The Padel Yard is the perfect place to get moving, have fun and meet some fantastic like-minded people. There are so many hidden gems in the area too. Visit the Lockdown Bakehouse for delicious brunch and baked goods, or enjoy a drink at the Alma pub. My favourite find in the area has to be Viet Town. Authentic and delicious Vietnamese food!”

Food & Drink

The Good Earth

11 Bellevue Road

Opposite Wandsworth Common, The Good Earth’s history stems back to 1979 when founder Holland Kwok opened his first restaurant on the King’s Road. Now running the collection of restaurants alongside his son Andrew, for more than 40 years, The Good Earth has made cherished memories for many families through Chinese cuisine.


St John’s Hill

The neighbourhood treasure, founded by Shane Marshall, delivers a menu full of experimental dishes that don’t compromise on flavour. Sharing plates comes highly recommended to avoid any food envy, with dishes ranging from burnt mackerel with soy lime dressing and Australian wagyu T-bone steak to slow-cooked pork belly and potato gnocchi.

The Ship

41 Jews Road

Dine riverside in friendly local The Ship, where diners can indulge in British pub classics alongside some modern dishes. At The Ship, there’s always something happening. Test your general knowledge with your own crew at the pub quiz, every Wednesday and for those wanting to let their hair down, its Saturday-night disco requires no booking.

Chez Bruce

2 Bellevue Road

Opened in 1995, Chez Bruce’s fine reputation quickly spread throughout London. Founder Bruce Poole and business partner Nigel Platts-Martin are also the duo behind the highly esteemed La Trompette in Chiswick. Head chef Matt Christmas and Bruce have curated an exceptional menu that’s based on French and Mediterranean cuisine.

Pad Thai Story

543 Old York Road

Telling the story of three friends who founded the establishment, Pad Thai Story is a love letter to Thai cooking. Only using the freshest ingredients, each dish is cooked using a handed-down recipe from the great-grandma of one of the founders. From coconut pad Thai with soft-shell crab to duck and grilled chicken, the vibrant colours and flavours of Thailand all come through the delicious dish variations.


With 93 primary schools and 30 secondaries in the borough of Wandsworth, you’re spoilt for choice. There are excellent state preps with competitive catchment areas, and a further 26 private schools to keep options open. Broomwood  last September consolidated under one banner and offers a mixed pre-prep and prep until the age of seven before dividing into single-sex schools, with most boys leaving at 13 and girls at 11.

Four buses from Fulham, Streatham/Tooting, Wimbledon/Earlsfield and Wandsworth service the school. Other solid choices include the co-ed Finton House on Trinity Road, The Roche School on Frogmore near the river, and for French speakers, the ‘Outstanding’ rated bilingual L’Ecole de Battersea. Senior school options include King’s College Wimbledon for boys, Emmanuel on Battersea Rise, inset, which is popular with locals, while the hub of schools in south-east London, including Dulwich College, Alleyn’s, JAGs, and Whitgift, are just a bus ride away.

Ask an agent: Isabelle Branson, head of sales Wandsworth, Carter Jonas

“Wandsworth is a fantastic London borough to live in. Made up of a cluster of former villages, many of which have retained their character and villagey feel to this day: Battersea, Balham, Between the Commons, Clapham, Earlsfield, Putney, Southfields, Tooting, Upper Tooting and Wandsworth Common, all have a unique feel and are popular with families and young professionals.

We have riverside walks, wide green spaces on Clapham, Tooting and Wandsworth Commons, and we have good transport links to the City and West End. Schools are first rate and a real draw to the area. The housing stock is varied, predominantly Victorian, with Edwardian and inter-war housing. We have a few architectural gems and some great modern and new-build properties too. There’s something for everyone in Wandsworth.”

Wandsworth: On the Market

Wandle Road


Located on one of Wandsworth Common’s finest roads, this rare mid-19th century four-bedroom villa is full of refined Victorian elegance, retaining many of its original features and with a south-facing garden. There’s potential to extend, subject to planning permission.
Guide price £2.2m Agent:

Crieff Road

John D Wood & Co, AWinship

An immaculately refurbished five-bedroom, semi-detached period house with high ceilings, excellent proportions and private garden. Offers in excess of £2m Agent:

Buckhold Road

Balcony View

This three-bedroom penthouse offers 1,500sq ft of space with a balcony and private parking, and is close to the tennis courts and facilities of St George’s Park. £1.2m Agent:

Read more from The London Hub:

Investments: where to go in London