This area guide is for Battersea Park and Nine Elms. To read about Battersea and Clapham Junction, click here.
What's it all about?
Battersea Park has always been popular for its 200-acre Victorian park and the fashionable Battersea Bridge area. But in recent years, the development of Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms has dominated the skyline and attracted a flock of excited newcomers. The area is therefore popular with families and young professionals, but despite the emergence of new developments, Battersea Park is steeped in history with lots to discover.
- Battersea Park became important in the emancipation of women in the mid-1890s, when the Royal Parks panicked at the craze of women on bicycles and banned them. The Queen’s London noted that, ‘Rotten Row, in Hyde Park, soon became almost deserted by riders on horse-back, who preferred wheeling at Battersea’.
- Battersea Dogs & Cats Home was established in 1860, and two years later Charles Dickens called it an ‘extraordinary monument of the remarkable affection with which the English people regard the race of dogs’. With updated facilities, it can now look after 260 dogs and 220 cats at any one time.
- Battersea Bridge, built in the 1880s, is London’s narrowest bridge.
- From the 1930s to 1980s, Battersea Power Station was a working Power Station. At its peak, it was producing a fifth of London’s power, supplying electricity to some of London’s most recognisable landmarks.
- Nine Elms gets its name from Nine Elms Lane, which dates back to around 1645. This name was given due to a row of elm trees along the border of the area.
Architecture and property
The area is filled with Victorian terraced houses, along with a large area of mid-20th century social housing, either owner-occupied or owned by the Peabody Estate. The park itself is bordered with turn of the century mansion blocks and impressive villas as the creation of Battersea Park by the Crown in the mid-19th century marked a turning point for the area when housing was built in the south and west. The peak of building here came in the 1880s and 1890s, with the construction of Queen Anne style houses, mansion blocks and cottages.
Property in Nine Elms tends to be new luxury homes and penthouses. The area has an abundance of river-front apartments, but also a wide selection of affordable housing. Buildings such as Battersea Power Station, Embassy Gardens, One Nine Elms, and Nine Elms Point are offering a new standard of living in the Capital.
Eating: San Gennaro is an authentic family-run business, offering south Italian-style cuisine. For something Spanish, try out the Tapas Room, where you can enjoy a vibrant atmosphere and delicious well-sourced, seasonal produce. The Wright Brothers have opened an iconic fish restaurant in the Power Station, offering their signature shellfish platters and fabulous surf and turf dishes. Head over to Darby’s in Nine Elms for a New York City-inspired oyster bar, open grill, and delicious bakery rolled into one.
Drinking: Offering a waterfront spot with all-day brunch and drinks, plus outdoor picnic tables, Pear Tree Cafe is a very popular spot situated in the park. Over towards Nine Elms, the Battersea Barge is a floating venue offering everything from disco nights to cabaret shows and is also available to hire. If you're looking for a pub, try The Lighthouse, The Latchmere, The Duke of Cambridge, or The Duke of Battersea.
Entertainment and culture
Battersea Power Station offers a chimney lift experience, Lift 109, where you can take a thrilling ascent 109 metres to the top of the north-west chimney where you will take in stunning 360-degree views of London’s skyline. The Pump House Gallery is situated in the park, and is a stunning Grade II listed building converted into a community art house. Alternatively, nestled on the scenic south bank of the park is Battersea Park Children's Zoo, the perfect place for little explorers, as is Go Ape, also situated in the park.
Every year on Guy Fawkes weekend, Battersea Park hosts a fantastic fireworks display set to music. The event is attended by around 60,000 people and has a set theme every year.
- Sainsbury's Local, Tesco Express and Budgens are all within walking distance from the park
- Battersea Power Station is home to some of the best retailers in London, including Zara's most advanced retail concept to date. There is also M&S, a up-market general food store, Apple, and higher-end brands such as Chanel.
- Battersea Park boasts an array of gyms and fitness options, including F45 training, The Gym and Boom Cycle.
Battersea Park has more green space to offer than just the central park. Shillington Park, Falcon Park and the riverside area outside the Power Station are all worth a visit. Nine Elms is becoming a green and walkable district with plenty of outdoor areas.
A new section of Thames River Path will open up and provide new routes along the waterfront, which will complement the new Nine Elms Park. Eventually, there will be a beautiful green walking route between Battersea Power Station and Vauxhall Cross.
Battersea and Nine Elms are in the process of being completely transformed; there are more than 42 projects in development at Nine Elms. These projects will introduce new routes and a riverside walk with a more pedestrian-friendly environment. There will be new public spaces and parks alongside major improvements to local infrastructure.
An extension to the Northern line opened in 2021 with two new Zone 1 Tube stations at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station.
Rail: Southern Rail services run between Battersea Park and London Victoria, Streatham, Croydon and Sydenham, and more.
Tube: An extension to the Northern line opened in 2021 with two new Zone 1 Tube stations at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station.
Bus: The area is served by 137, 344, 436, 44 and 452 buses.
Road: It can take between 20 to 50 minutes to get into town and about the same amount of time to reach the M25.
Cycle: There are a number of cycling options in Battersea Park, and the 1.8 mile long Carriage Drive which encircles the actual park is a great cycle route to stay fit whilst you take in the attractions. There are also several Santander Cycles docking stations in Battersea Park.
Boat: London’s River Bus, operated by Thames Clippers, runs between Putney and Barking Riverside. From Battersea Power Station, you can hop on board and get to Embankment within 15 minutes, Blackfriars within 20 minutes, and Canary Wharf within 40 minutes.
Getting away: Gatwick is just 25 minutes away by train, with Heathrow closer to an hour.
Belleville Primary School, Ark John Archer, Christ Church CE Primary School, Honeywell Infant and Junior School and John Burns School are all decent primary options. For private schools, there’s Parkgate House School, and the £18,000 a year Thomas’s School Battersea, where Prince George is a pupil. There are many nurseries and preschools in the area catering to different specific needs, including a bilingual French school. For secondary education, the private Emanuel School got a five-star review from the Good Schools Guide and Harris Academy Battersea is only a mile from Clapham Junction station.
Please see our education resource for more information on schools in this area.
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