What’s it all about?
Nestled in a bend of the River Thames, with affluent Chelsea guarding its northern border, genteel Fulham is one of London's safe havens. Any visitor to this attractive neighbourhood would be surprised to know that Fulham had a somewhat unpromising beginning, and was known in the 18th century as a hotbed of debauchery, where the London elite would go to drink, gamble and visit ladies of the night. The Fulham of today is a firmly established upmarket location, packed with shops, bars, boutiques and restaurants. It's thoughtfully and spaciously laid out and a real delight for locals is the picturesque commute either along the river or through Eel Brook Common. Of course, there's the added bonus of plenty of lovely riverside pubs for a quick drink on the way home. Numerous young couples and City professionals have made the move into this leafy corner of London and its attractive properties and kid friendly nature have also lured numerous families to the area, who often remain for decades. Adding continental charm by the bucket load, there's a large French and Italian community here.
- Britain’s first speed bumps were installed in Fulham in 1984.
- Founded in 1879, Fulham FC is London’s oldest professional football team. Chelsea FC is at home at Stamford Bridge.
- Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe grew up in Fulham.
Architecture and property
For much of its history, Fulham’s property market consisted of just one building, the impressive Manor House. Now known as Fulham Palace, this estate was bought by the Bishop of London in around 700AD and used by his successors as a summer residence for over eight centuries. In common with so many London areas, the advent of the railway at the end of the 19th century transformed Fulham from a largely rural area to a thriving commuter hub. Property building boomed when the railway rolled into town and today the area predominantly comprises wide tree lined roads of Victorian and Edwardian architecture. More recently, a large development of high end flats and apartments have sprung up at Imperial Wharf, maximising the potential of its riverside location.
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Eating: Fulham locals are a well-educated bunch when it comes to food, thanks to the vast array of restaurants available on their doorstep. Claude Compton leads the team at Claude’s Kitchen (above Amuse Bouche champagne bar), and does an excellent job updating British classics. The Brown Cow (owned by the same people run The Sands End Pub and Kitchen) is a first class gastropub and Italian influenced institution The River Cafe is also close by. Award winning The Malt House gastro pub is popular with locals in and around Fulham and surrounding areas. The Harwood Arms is tucked away in the back streets of Fulham and offers award winning food and wine in a casual relaxed setting. The Market Hall has also now become a real centre point in Fulham.
Culture: The Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour has been dubbed ‘the interior design world’s Mecca’, telling you all you need to know about the quality and quantity of the shops and showrooms. New homeowners and renters from all over London travel across the city to find inspiration here, but for lucky Fulham locals it’s just a riverside stroll away.
Sport: There are few better places for football fans to live than Fulham, home to not one but two major clubs. Fulham FC is based at the picturesque Craven Cottage, built on the site of a royal hunting lodge on the banks of the Thames, while Chelsea FC is based at Stamford Bridge just off Fulham Road.
- Fulham residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to grocery shopping. As well as various supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, there is a large Tesco superstore on nearby West Cromwell Road.
- Fulham is home to several farmers' markets, each with its own identity. For locals, choosing a favourite is a matter of personal pride: some favour the dog free Parsons Green Farmers' Market, while others enjoy the green surroundings of the Sunday Bishops Park Farmers’ and Fine Foods Market.
- The expanse of parks and sports facilities in Fulham means many locals feel no need to go to a gym, but those who’d rather exercise indoors can join one of the area’s many fitness centres, such as The Gym. Fulham Pools has a public swimming pool and fitness suite, and a separate private health club
- Fulham Library has recently become part of the council’s ‘More Than a Library’ brand and features self-service machines as well as free WiFi, an extensive CD and DVD collection and children’s reading groups.
- Some 12 million people a year visit Fulham Broadway Shopping Centre for its shops, cinema, health club and choice of restaurants.
- Fulham is a great destination for browsers as its little streets are packed with antique shops selling vintage furniture and homewares. Wandsworth Bridge Road and Fulham Road are home to some unique boutiques, but you can’t beat Lillie Road for a spot of serious antique hunting.
- For healthy organic food and produce, head to Whole Foods Market, located five minutes’ walk from Fulham Broadway.
Snuggled between Fulham Palace and Craven Cottage, Bishop's Park attracts all sorts of visitors, from families enjoying the lake, tourists marvelling at the Grade I listed Palace, or football fans heading to see their team in action. While perhaps not quite as diverse as this, neighbouring Hurlingham Park has also had several different uses since the 19th century. Once a pigeon shooting club, local authorities soon noticed the burgeoning popularity of polo and expanded the club’s facilities. The polo club was closed in 1937 and the park has undergone a variety of changes since then. It remains a centre of sporting activity and polo returned to its grounds in 2009. Locals make use of its netball and tennis courts, football pitches and play areas for children. Passionate about their green spaces, Fulham community groups such as Friends of Bishop’s Park and Friends of South Park are dedicated to the upkeep of the area’s parks. Eel Brook Common is also conveniently located for the restaurants, bars, shops and transport along the Fulham and New Kings Roads and Fulham Broadway.
Fulham on the river
Numerous gastro pubs, such as The Crabtree, line the river in Fulham, and those interested in fine dining are spoilt rotten with The River Café, located on Thames Wharf. Stretching along the river, Bishop’s Park combines the Thames’s natural beauty with pretty gardens and is great for a picturesque stroll. The park also boasts a Grade II listed, manmade urban beach, playgrounds, a skate bowl and sculpture garden.
Find out more about the perks of living on the river here.
Fulham’s increasing popularity as a residential hotspot has encouraged developers to focus their attention on the area, and the hundreds of new homes constructed in recent years have revitalised its property market. Buyers looking for new builds can choose from luxury townhouses at London Square, modern flats at Fulham Riverside or Thames side flats at Fulham Reach.
Tube: Fulham is served by three Tube stations: Fulham Broadway, Parsons Green and Putney Bridge (in south Fulham). All in Zone 2 on the District Line, journeys to Victoria take less than 20 minutes and it’s only half an hour to Monument.
Rail: Nearby West Brompton and Imperial Wharf station is on the London Overground network and is also served by Southern Railway trains.
Bus: Fulham is incredibly well connected by bus. Numbers 14, 11 and 295 all head into central London, while the 391 (to Richmond), 295 (to Clapham Junction) and 424 (to Putney Heath) take passengers south of the river.
Cycle: There is a strong cycling community in Fulham who make the most of the 20 minute ride to Victoria. It’s only half an hour to Waterloo for those who need to get further into town.
Road: The 15 minute drive to the M4 means Fulham locals have easy access to the west of England.
There are two French schools in Fulham that cater to some of the area’s international residents. L’Ecole des Petits is for pupils aged between three and six, as well as a French lycee for older pupils Marie D’Orliac. Other primary options include Melcombe Primary and Fulham Primary. There are several secondary schools in the area, including Lady Margaret School for girls. The Fulham College Boys' School is a popular non faith school. Fulham is also the location for private schools such as Fulham Prep School and the London Oratory School.
Please see our schools tab for more information on schools in this area.
If you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or let in Fulham, contact the KFH Fulham branch today.
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