Clapham Area Guide
Clapham is right in the thriving heart of south-west London, neighbouring Earlsfield, Tooting and Wandsworth. Thanks to a great range of very appealing homes, fantastic transport links and open spaces, the area has become a magnet for families as well as for members of the London workforce in their 20s and 30s. To cater for this diverse population, you’ll find a wealth of venues with a lively, younger vibe, as well as plenty of more sedate and refined options, as well as family-friendly places to go and things to do. Clapham’s right up there as one of the most desirable areas to live in London, so it’s no surprise that it is so hugely popular.
Why buy or rent in Clapham?The key issues for people looking for a London home are the types of housing available, the quality of life in the local neighbourhood and easy access to central London workplaces.
Clapham has a rare range of homes dating from the city’s expansion in Georgian and Victorian times, with some older buildings dating back to the 1600s in the Old Town. Older properties have the appeal of larger rooms, gardens and lots of character. They never go out of fashion, and will constantly be in demand. Buying in Clapham is a very safe bet indeed.
Clapham offers great lifestyle choices too, with a fantastic range of bars, cafés and restaurants, as well as independent shops. For families, there is no shortage of education options for all ages, and the 220 acres of Clapham Common give everyone enough space to exercise or wind down.
The London property market is fuelled by London salaries, and Clapham residents have the advantage of three tube stations, a major mainline station and multiple bus connections to get to work throughout the city.
Clapham is certainly not the lowest cost part of London, but in return for higher property prices you have a brilliant place to live whether it’s for a few years or to put down roots for a lifetime.
What are the sought-after roads in Clapham?On the south side of the Common, you can find larger semis and detached family homes in and around Abbeville Road, with names to look out for including Elms Road and Rodenhurst Road. Nearby Crescent Grove is an exclusive private road with large houses that come complete with their own coach houses.
On the north side, Macaulay Road and The Chase are top addresses, while in the village atmosphere of the Old Town there are Georgian homes ranging from smaller cottages to grand terraces in and around Grafton Square. A little away from the Common, closer to Clapham North tube station, there are great traditional properties to be found at better prices in Sibella Road, Gauden Road and Bromfelde Road. Nightingale Lane offers plenty of opportunities too. It is in the heart of ‘nappy valley’, so called because of the number of young families setting up home here.
New build activity in Clapham is restricted by the lack of land for development, but there have been recent launches of new homes in Nightingale Lane, Parkside Place, Clapham Road and Thurleigh Road. While Clapham’s older housing stock has immense attractions, its newer apartments and houses offer ready-to-move-in convenience, and the same excellent location.
Clapham for familiesClapham works exceptionally well for families, especially for pre-teen children. There are plenty of pre-school, nursery and primary options in both the state and private sector. The area is very popular for young families with abundant amenities, networks and places to go. You can find all the shops you need on the High Street, and family-friendly places for a bite to eat. The village-like feel of areas within Clapham also foster a great sense of community, and there are plenty of ways of getting to know neighbouring families and building an active social life for children, and mums and dads too.
Clapham schoolsClapham’s residents have a wide range of state and independent schools close to their homes. State primaries with an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating include Clapham Manor, Holywell Infants and Juniors as well as schools affiliated to different faiths – St Mary’s (Roman Catholic), Macaulay (Church of England) and Iqra (Muslim). For secondary education in the state sector, both Platanos College and La Retraite (girls only) are also rated ‘outstanding’.
The area has a choice of independent primaries with admirable reputations such as Eaton House, Parkgate, Oliver House and Thomas’s. Private secondaries which attract pupils from Clapham are high achieving Emmanuel in Battersea and, a few miles away, historic Dulwich College.
Eating and drinking in ClaphamWhen it comes to choices of places to while away the hours over a fabulous meal or a glass or two of your favourite tipple, Clapham is almost unbeatable. Add in late night options in and around the High Street, and you can eat, drink and party in style from breakfast through to the early hours.
Places to eat reflect the mix of younger renters and established families in the area, so you can find everything from dirty burgers and street food through to ultra-refined gourmet restaurants which are a match for anywhere in the capital. Whether you are on the main bustling thoroughfares or in peaceful side roads, you’re never far from a great plate of food. Here are some of the best:
• Michelin-starred fine dining at Trinity• Tasty sharing plates upstairs at The Dairy• Modern European at Minnow• All-day Mediterranean treats at Megan’s• California style pizzas at Joe Public • Hand-made noodles and dim sum at Mama Lan • Trinidadian delights at Roti Joupa• Authentic Italian flavours at Sorella• Aussie-run local favourite The Rookery• Hand-crafted meaty treats at Honest Burgers• Lip-smacking ice cream in true Italian style at Nardulli
Top-rated Clapham pubs where you can have a lovely drink with or without a good meal include The Old Town Tavern, which has over 20 beers on tap, The Sun with its impressive range of craft beers, ciders and gins, family-friendly The Stonhouse and, right on the Common, The Windmill. For night owls who want to party into the wee hours, check out The Little Orange Door, Tequila Mockingbird and Sugar Cane Bar.
Clapham theatres, activities and open spaces
Clapham’s arts scene is dominated by the award-winning Omnibus Theatre, where you can catch everything from Shakespeare to productions of contemporary plays. You can also find fringe entertainment at the Bread and Roses theatre. The Clapham branch of Picture House shows new releases and more eclectic films, and The Clapham Grand hosts everything from stand-up comedy to club nights, white collar boxing, drag shows and new-wave bingo.
You can exercise to your heart’s content in the gym and pool at Clapham Leisure Centre, while in a different vein, you can make a visit to Venn Street market which runs on every Saturday, and showcases great world food together with flowers, crafts and plants. You might also like to lose a few hours in escape rooms, or see new artists at Studio Voltaire. A visit to Holy Trinity Church takes you to the home of the Clapham Sect which was instrumental in getting slavery abolished by the British Government in 1833.
Clapham Common fully deserves its reputation as one of the best green spaces in London. It’s a fantastic place to play, picnic and run around, and to make use of the playgrounds, paddling pools and skatepark. Other fun things to do with youngsters in mind include a hands-on visit to Clapham Pottery, or a short trip to Battersea Park for the Children’s Zoo and Go Ape aerial adventure.
How much is council tax in Clapham?Clapham straddles the boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth. Council tax in Lambeth is 28% lower than London’s expensive borough (Kingston-upon-Thames), and is two and a half times the amount you will pay if your property is within the borough of Wandsworth.
Why choose Maalems for your move to Clapham?We are based in south-west London and with over 80 years of collective experience we have our finger firmly on the pulse of the property market here. Unlike national estate agents, we are genuine local experts.
We are also very aware of how important moving home is, and we are committed to helping our clients make the right choices about their new home. We will give advice and information every step of the way to help you find a home you’ll love. We’ll also handle each and every aspect of sales and lettings, including the complications and irritations that can crop up in property transactions and agreements. If you’re a buyer, seller, tenant or landlord and are interested in homes in Clapham, get in touch with Maalems now.