What’s it all about?
Described as ‘one of the pleasantest of the London suburbs’ in a 1903 guidebook, Putney remains to this day an enclave of calm away from the bustle of the metropolis – despite being just 20 minutes from Waterloo station. With the Thames to the north and some of the Capital’s most gorgeous green spaces to the south and west, Putney retains ‘an element of freshness and openness seldom obtained so near London’. There is a feeling of well heeled sophistication here, with tennis, golf and cricket clubs aplenty, and smart bars where people gather. On summer weekends members of the area’s many rowing clubs flock to riverside pubs and cafes after an invigorating morning on the water, and there’s a real community of sporting locals always keen to welcome new faces. Add to this a collection of handsome period properties and contemporary new builds, as well as a thriving shopping centre and independent coffee shops, and it's easy to see why by day its cafes are filled with mums and kids. By night the area comes alive as young residents meet to relax over drinks after work. Putney’s not all professionals and pushchairs, however, and its proximity to Roehampton University also brings in students who inject the area with a sense of vitality.
- Putney marks the start of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. The two crews set off from a concrete bollard called The University Stone on Putney Embankment.
- The two cages under Putney Bridge are part of the Victorian sewer relief system, designed to prevent overflow. A common Putney myth is that criminals were locked in these cages and left to drown when the tide came in.
- The first wooden framed Putney Bridge between Putney and Fulham was completed in 1729 and became only the second bridge to cross the tidal Thames after London Bridge.
Architecture and property
For centuries Putney was a rural area, visited only by wealthy Londoners seeking fresh air and outdoor pursuits. Today affluent types remain attracted to the five or six bedroom homes with large gardens that line streets like Castello Avenue and St Simon’s Avenue. It may come as a surprise to locals today to learn that this leafy enclave of picturesque houses was once an important industrial location, home to a College for Civil Engineers in 1839. This legacy has had little impact on Putney’s property market, however, and the area’s homes and flats are anything but industrial, with many stylish developments boasting river views. House hunters can choose from impressive Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties, 1930s mansion flats and post war blocks of flats. Alongside this, the more recent swathes of high end developments continue to attract young professionals and add to the variety of Putney’s property market.
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Eating and drinking: One of the greatest pleasures of living here is a Saturday morning coffee and stroll along the river, and both Grind and Artisan serve outrageously good coffee. Putney also has some great riverside pubs including The Duke’s Head and The Boathouse, which boast great views and tasty food. The Putney pub quiz scene is a lively one, with one of the best on Tuesdays at The Jolly Gardeners. Residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to fine dining. Try the authentic Italian dishes at Enoteca Turi or the Japanese menu at Sushi54.
Culture: The Half Moon in Putney has been showcasing live music for decades, and the Putney Bridge venue is always packed with locals on weekends. The community Putney Arts Theatre is home to two companies, Putney Theatre Company and Group 64 Youth Theatre, known for their varied and innovative productions.
Sport: Active Londoners love Putney life, with its wealth of sporting opportunities. There are several rowing clubs situated on the Putney riverbank, catering for all standards from novice to international competitor. Locals can choose from several golf and cricket clubs, including the London Scottish Golf Club on nearby Wimbledon Common and Putney Cricket Club, founded in 1870.
- Residents can take advantage of several supermarkets clustered around the Tube and train stations, including a Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Co-operative. The Talad Thai Supermarket stocks a wide selection of exotic produce.
- Putney is a haven for shoppers, whether browsing the high end chains that line Putney High Street or exploring the Putney Exchange Shopping Centre.
- There’s no shortage of relaxation options in Putney, so if a walk through one of the area’s many parks won’t suffice, head to The Escape London spa or ARK Skincare for the ultimate pampering treat.
- Just across Putney Bridge lies the Fulham Palace Museum, while wildlife enthusiasts can head to London’s Wetland Centre in Barnes.
- Putney Library is open every day except Tuesdays so locals can make the most of its free internet access, study rooms and wide selection of CDs and DVDs.
Sandwiched between Putney Bridge Road and the River Thames, Wandsworth Park is the first port of call for locals seeking some outdoor space. Not only does it offer acres of grassy land perfect for picnicking and wide tree lined paths, but more active locals can enjoy a game of mini golf at Putt in the Park. Whether you’re looking to learn something new or perfect that serve, tennis coaching for players of all levels is available at All Star Tennis Coaching. Putney is great for cricket fans, with pitches on Putney Heath and Barnes Common. These picturesque parks provide a lovely slice of nature in central Putney, but when locals really need to escape the urban environment, a visit to the vast Wimbledon Common or Richmond Park to the south west usually does the trick.
Putney on the river
Development at Putney Bridge has allowed for a large number of pubs and restaurants, such as The Star & Garter and Marco Polo, on the river front. For those seeking a more active way of life, the Hurlingham yacht club and Putney sub-aqua club are a perfect afternoon’s diversion.
Find out more about the perks of living on the river here.
Putney has benefited from a swathe of new contemporary developments. One of the most impressive is Putney Plaza, which offers 143 apartments, sky gardens and penthouses arranged around a half acre landscaped plaza. The concierge services, gym and car club are sure to lure buyers to this riverside location. Designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, London Square Putney is a collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments in a desirable location near the stations.
Tube: The two Putney Tube stations straddle the Thames, with Putney Bridge station on its north bank, and East Putney station just south of the river. Both are in Zone 2 on the District Line with journey times of around 25 minutes to Victoria and 35 minutes to Monument.
Rail: Trains take 20 minutes to Waterloo from Putney station. It’s only six minutes by train from Putney to Clapham Junction, a major rail interchange.
Bus: The 37 (to Peckham), 170 (to Victoria) and 337 (to Richmond) all serve East Putney, while the 14 (to Warren Street), 74 (to Baker Street) and 430 (to South Kensington) stop at Putney Bridge. The 74 and 37 are 24 hour services.
Road: Putney is well located on the A205 and the A3. The 15 minute journey to the M4 means locals have good access to the west of England and can be on the M25 in 40 minutes.
River: A nice alternative to the Tube or train, some locals opt to take the River Bus from Putney Pier. The RB6 runs to Blackfriars and from there other services can take you all the way to North Greenwich.
Cycle: Biking commuters enjoy a half hour ride to Victoria.
Putney residents can take their pick from several local state and private schools. Our Lady of Victories, St Mary's CE Primary School and Brandlehow Primary School are some of the most popular choices for children up to the age of 11. Secondary options include two academies, ARK Putney Academy and Ashcroft Technology Academy. There are several private schools in the area, such as Putney High for girls and St Paul’s School for boys.
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