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Area guide for Streatham Hill

Streatham Hill overview

What it's all about?

With rail access to Victoria in 17 minutes, the longest shopping street in the country and a range of highly-desirable homes, Streatham Hill is always worth considering. Originally a settlement along the Roman road from London to Brighton – Streatham means ‘the settlement on the street’ – the area later became popular for its health-giving wells, attracting wealthy City of London merchants to build their country residences in the area. Streatham Hill railway station was the first to be built in the area. After the First World War, the area became a shopping destination for the surrounding population. It remains popular with families and young professionals looking for affordable housing, with plenty of options for eating, drinking and fresh air on their doorsteps.

Fact file

  • Built in 1730 for the brewer Ralph Thrale, Streatham Park was a large estate and manor house. Samuel Johnson was a family friend and had his own bedroom there. The building was demolished in 1863 after the family ran into debt, but the area is still known as Streatham Park.
  • The M&S Foodhall, just down from Streatham Hill station, sits on the site of the Caesar’s Palace nightclub. It began life in 1928 as the Locarno Ballroom, and played host to Glenn Miller, Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn and Laurel and Hardy.

Architecture and property

A number of large properties were built in the 1830s, when the spas were popular and Streatham was still a village. More mid-sized Victorian properties appeared following the arrival of Streatham Hill station in 1856. The building of apartment blocks accompanied the arrival of the electric tram in the 1930s, which have been supplemented by flats built in the last decade or so. There are also well-maintained council blocks towards the north end of Streatham Hill. Following house price rises in Brixton and Balham, Streatham has become increasingly sought after for the affordability of its housing.

For house price information please visit our resource centre.

Going out 

Eating: For a morning pick-me-up, Batch & Co Coffee serves a bespoke blend espresso as well as a range of pastries. Just around the corner from Streatham Hill station, Addomé has been garnering rave reviews for some time. It’s run by a family from Capri, and the service is as good as the wood-fired pizzas. Or head to Boyce Da Roca for a fabulous range of brunch options, such as wild pheasant and orzo soup, or rose harissa Persian eggs. Up towards the Streatham end of the Hill is the Whole Meal Café, offering vegetarian and vegan dishes. Known for its amazingly tall and slender vase in the window, Saigon Bistro offers fabulous Vietnamese meat and veggie options. Probably the coolest date location is Hood, offering contemporary British food, local beers and European wines.

Drinking: Pratts & Payne’s neon frontage and retro interior, which pays homage to its past as Pratts department store, is a popular local choice. And yes, the ‘Payne’ part of the name references Cynthia Payne, who ran a brothel in Streatham in the 1970s and 1980s. The Leigham Well is a tidied-up traditional boozer with live music and pub quizzes. The Perfect Blend does breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and is a bar in the evenings offering their own St Reatham beer - the name a locals’ joke on the areas once-classy, once-seedy and once-again hip reputation.

Entertainment: For music while you drink, Hideaway near Streatham station is a fabulous jazz bar that’s been running for more than ten years. Streatham Theatre is run by a group of like-minded thespians looking to draw on untapped local talent. They don’t have a permanent venue, yet they put on regular productions. The group also run talent nights at the Leigham Well. Occupying a swanky new-build opposite Streatham Hill station, Streatham Space Project offers comedy, theatre and live music, as well as yoga classes and family music events in the daytime.

Local highlights

  • The Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre hosts the only Olympic-level ice rink in London, as well as a large gym, fitness studios, two swimming pools and a sports hall.
  • Just north of Streatham Hill is Tooting Bec Lido. It not only features the UK’s largest open-air pool, but also a large studio for yoga, Pilates and tai chi classes.
  • There’s a growing number of independent shops on the High Road. Look out for cool gift shop The Indigo Tree, just five minutes’ walk up from Streatham Hill station. Retro Game Base will tease your inner geek, and Balfe’s Bikes Streatham is a great little independent shop selling and servicing bikes.

Green spaces

To the south of Streatham Hill is Streatham Common, a hilltop park perfectly suited for an evening walk, boasting westward views over its long slope. Further up the hill is a mature wooded area and a rookery, on the site of the house built there in 1783, which attracts visitors to a well discovered there in 1659. The house was demolished in 1912, but a 200-year-old cedar - one of the oldest in the country - still remains. West of Streatham Hill are the Tooting Commons. Tooting Bec Common is home to Tooting Bec Lido and the adjacent, but smaller Tooting Graveney Common is home to Tooting Bec Athletics Track, with an adjacent fitness studio and gym. Nearby is Brockwell Park, another beautiful hilltop park and home to the much-loved Brockwell Lido.

Changing times

Streatham Hill has benefitted from a number of initiatives in recent years. Most notably, the London Square development, located opposite the station, on the site covering the former Caesar’s Palace club. As well as the 213 apartments, which sold within a few months of being put on the market, an M&S Foodhall opened on the ground floor, as well as the Streatham Space Project theatre around the corner. The other major change has been the long-awaited completion of the Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre and Tesco Extra supermarket, between Streatham station and Streatham Common, which has significantly enhanced the area’s leisure and shopping profile.

Transport

Rail: Streatham Hill is the transport hub of the area, with four trains per hour to Victoria taking 18 minutes.

Bus: Seven buses run direct to Brixton. From there, you can hop on to the start of the Victoria line (you’ll get a seat!).

Tube: There’s no tube in Streatham Hill. The nearest stations are Balham on the Northern line and Brixton on the Victoria line.

Road: The A23 runs through the area as a dual carriageway, providing swift access to Croydon, the M25 and Gatwick within an hour.

Cycle: The Quietway 5 route runs just west of Streatham Hill through Tooting Bec Common, to join Cycle Superhighway 7 at Clapham South. 

Getting away: Streatham Hill’s connections to Victoria and Clapham Junction allow you to reach Gatwick within an hour by train as well. Streatham station has direct 35-minute services to St Pancras International for connections to Europe.

Please see our education resource for more information on schools in this area.

 

Pop into the nearest KFH branch to talk to our local experts.

Did we miss something? If you have any local expertise to improve our area guide, then please email us on areaguides@kfh.co.uk.

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