Separated by the River Thames, south London encompasses a wide range of cosmopolitan areas. Up and coming, and noticeably less concentrated than north London, the south boasts an attractive diversity in its ambiance. Stroll along leafy suburbia in Herne Hill, peruse the market stalls in multicultural Brixton or enjoy a riverside pint in the Putney pubs.
With a street market at its centre selling mainly African-Caribbean produce, reflecting a substantial portion of its population, Brixton is a vibrant and multicultural part of town. At night the clubbing and live music scene comes alive with venues such as the O2 Brixton Academy bringing some big names south of the river.
A leafy and residential area of south-east London, Dulwich is particularly popular among families. Both exclusive and upmarket, Dulwich is renowned for its pleasant village and local park covering over 29 acres of picnic spots, a children’s playground, cycle hire, a boating lake and charming café. Spreading out from the centre of Dulwich Village is East Dulwich, full of gastropubs, delicatessens and wine merchants, and West Dulwich, a largely residential area of tree-lined streets.
Train: With no underground stop, the best way to reach Dulwich is by train. The nearest railway stations are East Dulwich, North Dulwich and West Dulwich.
Located in the boroughs of Lambeth and Wandsworth, Clapham is renowned for its lively and youthful spirit. Dotted with bars, restaurants and cafes, Clapham boasts a trendy high street, historic Old Town and a vast green park. Known as Clapham Common, this park fills up over the summer months with students throwing frisbees, families playing football and couples enjoying picnics. Head out on a Saturday night to Clapham High Street to delve right into the youthful action or relax in the more sedate Old Town, soaking up its village style atmosphere. For shopping, make your way to Clapham Junction where the high street is lined with department stores selling popular brand names. Also, as home to one of Britain’s busiest railway stations, Clapham Junction offers a fast and reliable service into central London.
Tube: Clapham North, Clapham Common and Clapham South*
*These tube stops are all a fair walk from one another so check before leaving which tube stop you need.
Bordered by Brixton, Camberwell and Dulwich Village, this leafy suburb is home to a 126 acre park offering stunning views across the London skyline. Known as Brockwell Park, this picturesque green has become home to a range of sporting facilities including tennis courts, a bowling green, a BMX track, a miniature railway and a recently refurbished outdoor swimming, the Brockwell Lido.
Situated on the River Thames and overlooking Canary Wharf and The City, Maritime Greenwich has a rich historical significance. The namesake of the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Meantime, this World Heritage site is home to a series of local landmarks including the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory, the Old Royal Naval College and the dry docked Cutty Sark. With a pretty park, a Victorian village and a particularly popular market, selling antiques, arts, crafts and food, Greenwich boasts a timeless appeal.
Tube: North Greenwich Tube*
*This tube station does not take you to the centre of Greenwich. The best way to travel here is by the Docklands Light Railway or, if you are not in a rush, by river boat.
Sat right upon the River Thames, Richmond is a popular haunt of the rich and famous. Renowned for luxurious townhouses, royal parks, historic houses and a chic town centre, Richmond is a town that has a lot of draws. Attractively scenic, Richmond Park boasts endless expanses of green space and a delightful deer park, forming a beautiful backdrop to the bustling high street. Also, with the River Thames linking Richmond to Hampton Court Palace, Kew Gardens and central London, you are never far from a cultural hot-spot.
Full of gastropubs, wine bars and a vibrant arts centre showcasing the latest in local theatre and music, Battersea is an up and coming area. Home to an overspill of Chelsea residents, this buzzing district is renowned for one of its most iconic landmarks, the Battersea Power Station. Poignant and powerful, this redbrick tower soars above the area, denoting the Battersea region. Home to an animal sanctuary, London’s largest fruit, vegetable and flower market - New Covent Garden Market - and the sprawling Battersea Park, this region is surprisingly colourful and leafy for inner-city London. Also, at just three miles from Charing Cross, Battersea is easily accessible from central London.
Tube: Clapham South, Clapham Common, Balham*
*These tube stops are all at least 30 minutes from Battersea. The closest stations are the railway stops of Clapham Junction and Battersea Park.
To the south of London Bridge, Borough Market is Southwark's focal point. One of London’s most prominent market spaces, the undercover foodies’ heaven awaits. Surrounding the area are several tourist spots such as the London Dungeons as well as a wide range of restaurants to satisfy the appetites of hungry shoppers. Further west along the Thames sits the towering Tate Modern and the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe theatre.
Sat on the riverside of leafy south-west London, Putney is a picturesque and affluent district. Facing Fulham across the River Thames, and with a strong rowing heritage, this sought-after area is filled with small riverside pubs, boutique shops and minor supermarkets, exuding a village-type ambiance. Popular with families and young professionals, this tranquil and suburban area is great for those looking to get away from the chaos of central London.
Tube: East Putney and Putney Bridge