Clapham Junction overview
What's it all about?
Since the arrival of the locomotive in the mid-19th century, the busiest train station in Europe has helped created the vibrant district of Clapham Junction. Stroll past the shops of St John’s Road onto Northcote Road to find a pedestrian pulse in this neighbourhood. Clapham Junction is popular with young professional families frequenting its numerous delis, cafés and baby clothes shops. Author Will Self even dubbed this area ‘Nappy Valley’. There are more affordable enclaves north of the station, with ex-local authority buildings attracting buyers looking for a short commute into London. Also located nearby is Battersea Park Square and the fashionable Battersea Bridge area.
- Up to 180 trains pass through the Clapham Junctions station’s 17 platforms every hour.
- 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.
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 area may soon benefit from the ‘Housing Zone’ development, backed by the Mayor of London, with a £3.7 billion public-private investment planned.
For house price information, please visit our resource centre.
Eating: Pi Pizza Battersea is an authentic, well-watered piazza, with lush vegetation and real trees making up its interiors. Ben’s Canteen is a relaxed local pub aimed at providing a ‘neighbourhood hangout’. Its comfy chairs, indulgent brunches and a range of bloody marys help ease diners into the day or evening. For Italian food, try The Lavender for delicious and traditional dishes. They also have a great selection of seafood and desserts – the almond gelato covered in dark chocolate is a favourite.
Drinking: Just by the northern entrance to the station, Suburb SW11 offers ‘volcanic’ steaks (cooked on a hot stone), burgers, retro fondues, and a selection of award-winning cocktails. The Bank on Northcote Road has a frontage of richly oiled oak drawers as its main bar, as well as a good range of food. Let your hair down with a kitsch cocktail at Sugar Cane Bar on Lavender Hill, replete with Polynesian hut booths and a bamboo bar. Housed in a former music hall, the Four Thieves has remote-controlled car racing, virtual reality headsets, mini-golf and a next-generation escape room.
Entertainment and culture
One of the premier fringe arts venues in London, Battersea Arts Centre welcomes more than 160,000 people a year to plays, music, workshops and classes. It’s also hosted the three-day Battersea Beer Festival since 1991. Theatre503 on Battersea Park Road is known for its support of new writers, and has won numerous awards for its productions. Northcote Records serves up pizza and drinks to accompany DJs and live music.
Clapham Common is a venue for a variety of music festivals during the summer, including South West Four, regarded one of London’s best dance music festivals. Northcote Road Summer Fete closes off the street for games, face-painting, music, drink and street food.
- Asda, Waitrose, M&S, Lidl and Whole Foods is located within a few minutes of the station. There’s also a Debenhams, Topshop, TK Maxx, Dorothy Perkins, Body Shop, Waterstones, Runner’s Need, Boots and many more high street names.
- There’s been a market on Northcote Road since the 1860s. After a brief decline in the 1990s, the street is now resurgent with groceries, butchers, florists, crafts, vintage clothes, bars and cafés. It’s great for baby shopping with shops such as Trotters and JoJo Maman Bébé. There’s also an indoor antiques market a little further down.
- There are two Fitness First gyms and a CrossFit gym within two minutes of the station, along with an outdoor gym on Clapham Common. Latchmere Leisure Centre is a ten minute walk away.
Within 10 minutes of the station are two small parks, York Garden and Shillington Park. Wandsworth and Clapham Commons are 15 minutes to the south and south east, both with an array of amenities.
The Northern line extension to Nine Elms, terminating at Battersea Power Station, is due to complete in September 2021. A possible further extension to Clapham Junction is still in the consultation stage. Meanwhile, work on the north-south Crossrail 2 should start in 2023, with Clapham Junction a ‘core station’ of the route. Also on the cards is a £1 billion transformation of Winstanley and York Road estates, making way for 2,200 new homes.
Rail: Trains to Waterloo and Victoria station run from Clapham Junction every one or two minutes, with journeys taking six to 10 minutes. The station also calls at many destinations in London and the South, along with the Overground line running to Highbury and Islington and Stratford.
Tube: The nearest tube station is Clapham South on the Northern line.
Bus: The area is served by 35, 37, 39, 49, 77, 87, 156, 170, 219, 295, 319, 337, 344, 345, C3 and G1 buses, taking you just about in any direction you’d like to go.
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: Clapham Junction sits between Cycle Superhighway 7 and 8, giving you options for the West End and the City. Cycle Superhighways place cyclists away from traffic, allowing for safer journeys.
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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