Earlsfield Area Guide
Earlsfield is one of south-west London’s hottest spots for couples and families. For years the area was something of a secret, loved by locals but little known to outsiders. As demand for London property has ramped up, that’s no longer the case, and Earlsfield is getting the attention it deserves because it is such a lovely place to set up home.
Why buy in Earlsfield?The area nestles up to better-known Wandsworth and Clapham (both are pricier) and vibrant Tooting. Earlsfield features a great mix of properties, with plenty of Victorian and Edwardian homes plus a sprinkling of modern apartments. Local facilities are exceptional, with great schools, restaurants, entertainment and health facilities.
Part of Earlsfield’s very special appeal are the orderly streets of characterful semis and terraces built in the late 1800s and early 1900s with spacious gardens. Homes here are in an easy walk of supermarkets, delis and independent stores. Fancy a bite to eat, a drink in a stylish bar or a barista-crafted coffee? Look no further than Garratt Lane and the surrounding streets. There’s a welcoming community feel, and plenty of green space too.
Transport links make access to the rest of London a breeze. The overground gets you to Waterloo in 13 minutes, Victoria in a few minutes more, and it’s only 32 minutes to Canary Wharf. Buses connect you to pretty much everywhere in London, and the tube at Southfields or Wimbledon Park isn’t far away. Little wonder that the area is so popular with young professionals working throughout the city.
What are the sought-after roads in Earlsfield?You don’t have to step far away from Earlsfield mainline station to find yourself in grids of roads lined with traditional Earlsfield housing. Penwith Road takes you over the newly cleaned up River Wandle towards desirable Ravensbury Road and, Strathville Road. Back on the other side of the tracks, streets to aim for include Swaby Road, Lidiard Road, Quinton Street, Isis Street, Littleton Street and Leckville Road. It is definitely worth exploring the area, preferably on foot, to get a feel for different parts of this very liveable part of London.
Earlsfield - what's in a name?When the site of Earlsfield’s mainline station was sold by the Davis family to the London and South-West Railway in the 1800s, one of the conditions of sale was that the station, built in 1884, would be named after their large Victorian residence. The name of the house provided the name of the station, and the inner suburb of London that is Maalems’ base. Earlsfield grew around this new transport hub and as a result the property in the area is predominantly late Victorian or Edwardian.
Earlsfield for familiesLondon novelist and commentator Will Self christened the Wandsworth/Clapham border areas ‘Nappy Valley’ back in 2010, and these days Earlsfield is part of the same family-friendly enclave. Like it’s immediate neighbours, Earlsfield is a tremendous place to start a family and bring up kids.
Earlsfield schoolsEarlsfield has a wealth of highly-rated primary schools, including Earlsfield Primary, Beatrix Potter, Allfarthing, Wimbledon Park and Floreat Wandsworth. For older children, there are plenty of secondary school options in easy reach, including private schools. Families which start here often stay because all you want for family life is right on your doorstep.
The literary connectionLondon-born Louis de Bernières came to fame with his 1994 international best-seller ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ which he wrote largely in Earlsfield library. He also commemorated his ten years of living in Earlsfield in his play ‘Sunday Morning At The Centre Of The World’. The book pays homage to the Earlsfield community, dedicated to ‘the living and dead of Earlsfield, which was definitely the centre of the world when I was living in it’.
Life next to the River WandleYou can enjoy a walk along the Wandle to discover one of London’s lost rivers, or if you prefer riding on two wheels you can follow a bike trail too. The Wandle was once recognised as the best trout river in Britain and has recently been voted one of the 10 most improved rivers in Britain by the Environment Agency. Local anglers are all too happy, their catch is increasing in size!
A total of 90 water mills once lined the Wandle, providing pure clean water for local industries. Famous names like William Morris and Arthur Liberty used Wandle mill water for bleaching and printing high quality fabrics. Other mills were involved in paper-making, metal-working, leather, textiles, gunpowder and snuff milling.
With the coming of railways, industrialisation and the need for housing for a growing population, the mills were replaced with the housing you find in Earlsfield today.
Earlsfield restaurants and barsYou can eat very well in Earlsfield. Garratt Lane is a hub for thriving, independent restaurants and cafés. Take your pick! Here are some of our favourites:
- Sourdough pizzas at Well Kneaded
- Japanese and Korean specialities at Donburi
- Thai delights at Café Amaranth
- Indian and Thai at Amrutha Lounge
- Mexican and street food at Burrito Mex
- Pub classics at The Wandle
- Fish and chips and a menu full of favourites at the Halfway House
- Steak and ribs at Roxie
- Great brunches and word flavours at Bean and Hop
- Masterchef winner Dhruv Baker’s The Jolly Gardeners
Theatres, activities and open spacesTara Arts is an intimate fringe theatre that hosts everything from arts festivals to stand-up comedy. Movie fans can catch the latest blockbusters and much more at the nearby Cineworld in Wandsworth.
For burning off some energy, take the kids for soft play at The Adventure Zone in Wandsworth’s Wandle Centre. There’s plenty of open space for a run around or kick around at King George's Park (opened by King George V in 1936), and the green expanses of Wandsworth Common and Wimbledon Park. For a swim, take a trip to Tooting Lido or Putney where there’s a world-class pool and the opportunity to join Wandsworth Swimming Club.