Wedged in-between Brixton and Clapham in South-West London, Stockwell frequently finds itself overlooked in favour of these more well-known neighbours. Potential residents are often seduced by the cosmopolitain atmosphere and busy market of Brixton, or the buzzing nightlife and easy commuting options of Clapham, and make the mistake of overlooking all that stoic Stockwell has to offer.
Formerly one of the poorest areas in London, the area has recently seen the benefit of regeneration in surrounding areas such as Nine Elms have a knock-on effect in the area, bringing new businesses, sleek residential developments and interested investors.
Diverse and energetic, Stockwell is popular with young professionals in shared flats who come to enjoy the lower rents than nearby areas, while still being close to the action and having a fast commute from Stockwell Underground Station. There are plenty of historic, affordable terraced houses to go around, relaxed restaurants and delis for weeknight dinners and long weekend catch-ups, and the pretty Larkhall Park is only a short walk away if you’re needing a breath of fresh air.
Stockwell is also known for having the largest Portuguese community outside of Portugal, with an estimated 27,000 Portuguese people living in what has become affectionately known as ‘Little Portugal’, so if you’re a fan of excellent seafood and creamy custard tarts you’ll find your fill of them here. There’s also a strong Caribbean community similar to that found in Brixton.
On a map
Stockwell is located in the Borough of Lambeth in South West London. It sits between Clapham and Brixton, and covers the postcodes SW4, SW8 and SW9.
History of Stockwell London
Records for Stockwell date back to the 1300s, when it was originally named after a local well. For hundreds of years it was rural land on the outskirts of London, with market gardens providing food for the city. It was also home to famed gardener John Tradescant’s botanical garden, which was built over in the 1800s.
During the Victorian period Stockwell developed into a genteel middle class suburb, and many of the historic houses in the area were built in this period for wealthy merchants commuting into London. The Portuguese community began to arrive in the 1960s, mostly from Lisbon and Madeira, leading to the area known as ‘Little Portugal’.
Transport from Stockwell London
Stockwell is well-positioned for commuting, with Stockwell Underground Station on the Victoria and Northern lines, and Clapham High Street Station nearby for Overground services.
A journey from Stockwell to Moorgate takes just 13 minutes, while a journey to Green Park takes only 7 minutes. The area is also served by many buses during the day and night.
Cost of living in Stockwell London
Stockwell has a real range of housing, including Georgian and Victorian terraces converted into apartments, 1960s ex local authority blocks, and an increasing number of modern developments filled with contemporary apartments. Rental prices here are on average lower than in Clapham and Vauxhall, and around the same as those in Brixton.
As of April 2016, the average rental cost of a two bedroom property in Stockwell is £1900 per month, although similar properties can be found starting at £1350 per month.
Restaurants in Stockwell London
Transport yourself to Southern Europe with this traditional Portuguese canteen on Stockwell Road, where you’ll find a wide range of classic dishes in a relaxed setting. The seafood offerings such as cod fishcakes, octopus salad and grilled calamari are particularly tasty, and make sure to save room for the rice pudding dessert.
Address: 137 Stockwell Rd, London SW9 9TN
Phone:020 7924 0218
Named after a famous 1930s character, this quirky Chinese opium den-style restaurant and bar is a great place to come for late-night cocktails and dim sum. Located under the arches on Lendal Terrace with exposed brick and atmospheric lighting, it transforms into a club after 10pm – ideal if you plan to stay in one place all night!
Address: 15-16 Lendal Terrace, London SW4 7UX
Phone:020 3397 8844
This popular gastropub is undoubtedly one of the best drinking holes in the area, with an elegant interior, an epic list of beers and ales, and a menu of hearty British dishes such as scotch eggs, fish & chips and meaty burgers. Still hungry? Come on a Sunday for the renowned belly-busting Sunday Lunch menu.
Address: 246 Brixton Rd, London SW9 6AQ
Phone:020 7737 0060
Shops in Stockwell London
Pick up an excellent lunch at this cosy family-run spot on Brixton Road, where you’ll find a range of delicious deli food including homemade paninis, cakes and salads. They also have a great selection of Italian goods such as pastas and condiments in stock, and tables outside if you want to enjoy a good coffee in the sun.
Address: 2 Brixton Road, Camberwell, London
Phone:020 7735 2121
Setting themselves apart from other independent wine merchants in London, D Vine Cellars specialise in selling handcrafted organic and biodynamic wines. Learn all about these innovative wine-making techniques and try some delicious bottles in their tasting cellar, before picking up a few bottles to enjoy at home. They also deliver locally if you plan on buying a box or two.
Address: 74 Landor Rd, London SW9 9PH
Phone:020 7733 2766
Another key spot for the Portuguese community in Stockwell, Funchal Bakery sells an assortment of Portuguese offerings including warm sandwiches, preserved fish and Portuguese wine. Make sure to pick up plenty of their traditional custard tarts – they’re utterly addictive!
Address: 141-143 Stockwell Rd, London SW9 9TN
Phone:020 7733 3134
Things to do in Stockwell London
Got a sweet tooth? Treat yourself to a day out at London’s only Chocolate Museum, located on Ferndale Road in Stockwell. Learn all about the history of chocolate and chocolate making before hitting the shop and cafe to stock up on carefully-selected ethically-produced chocolates from around the world. The museum also runs regular workshops, including chocolate making and chocolate and wine tasting, which make for a great present.
Address: 187 Ferndale Rd, London SW9 8BA
One of the UK’s leading musical venues, the 02 Academy Brixton sees world-class acts perform here on a regular basis, with previous artists including The Smiths, Madonna, and Bob Dylan. Regular club nights are also held here so keep your eyes peeled on the listings to see what’s coming up.
Address: 211 Stockwell Rd, London SW9 9SL
This small fringe theatre above the Landor Pub may only have 60 seats, but that doesn’t stop them from putting on brilliant shows every week, from comedies to musical plays. It’s the perfect place to spend a relaxed evening with some local culture.
Address: 70 Landor Rd, London SW9 9PH
Phone:020 7737 7276
Main image credit: Tom Chance