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Despite the proximity to Central London, with Chelsea just a stone's throw across the Thames, Battersea has managed to remain relatively under the radar until now. This is partly due to the lack of tube station, but with the Northern Line arriving in 2020, along with the new US Embassy, it's time for us to take a proper look at the brilliant Battersea.
Located on the south bank of the Thames, close to Fulham and Chelsea, Battersea was originally seen as an alternative for house hunters priced out of these areas. Even Clapham was considered to be a more attractive option - Clapham Junction station is actually in Battersea, but rail bosses apparently didn't want it associated with the area.
However, the fortunes of this great area have swiftly changed in the last few decades. The high number of families here have led to nicknames like 'Pram Springs', as buyers and renters flock here for the beautiful Victorian architecture, lovely parks, good schools and general joys of riverside living. A few A-listers are starting to move in too, but the community remains friendly and small.
You'll have to be quick though if you're thinking of moving here - the infamous Battersea Power Station is being converted into property, and £600 million's worth was sold in the first few days!
Read on to find out the best things about living in Battersea, and you'll be checking out the shops of Northcote Road in no time.
History of Battersea, London
Historically a part of the county of Surrey, Battersea was originally a simple island settlement in the Thames. The land was reclaimed by draining, and was largely farmland prior to the Industrial Revolution. In fact, it was the largest market gardening area in London and was responsible for feeding much of the city! The Industrial Revolution and the arrival of the railways transformed the area into a busy transport and industry hub, as lots of factories were set up and housing estates built for the workers.
Transport from Battersea, London
Despite not having a tube station (although there is one planned for 2020, on the Northern Line) the transport options for those living in Battersea are actually very good, helped by the fact that it's only 3 miles from Charing Cross.
Train stations Battersea Park and Queenstown Road are nearby, and the busiest station in Europe, Clapham Junction, is a short distance away. There are also lots of buses to all over London, and you can even walk to Chelsea and Fulham, located just across Battersea Bridge.
Cost of Renting in Battersea
Battersea has a great range of properties as a result of its varied history. Everything from mansion blocks and Victorian terraces to converted schools and modern steel and glass buildings are on offer.
Prices are rising swiftly, but it’s still possible to get a great deal if you're willing to really look for it and be patient. Being in the borough of Wandsworth, Battersea residents also enjoy the cheapest Council Tax in England - how's that for a perk?!
Average rent for a two bed flat: £2,480pcm
Search for Battersea rental properties
Shops in Battersea
Only somewhere like Northcote Road would have a whole shop dedicated to honey. This charming boutique sells everything honey-related, including jars of the stuff, beeswax, beekeeping books and equipment, and honey-based cosmetics and candles. With the bee population dying out rapidly, this is a great (and delicious) way to help support bee charities too.Address: 93 Northcote Rd, London SW11 6PL Phone: 020 7924 6233
With at least thirty independent antique dealers in one place, this market has an amazing selection of old treasures, with everything from retro 1970s furniture and kitchenware, to Victorian mirrors and teapots. The number of dealers means the goods are competitively priced and often great value, and it’s open seven days a week.Address: 155a Northcote Rd, London SW11 6QB Phone: 020 7228 6850
Fancy bringing a spot of Nantucket to your new home? Brissi specialises in French and New England inspired interiors, with a comfortable, shabby chic vibe. There are plenty of pieces that would fit a place in the Power Station development perfectly (if only we could afford one)!Address: 135 Northcote Rd, London SW11 6PX Phone: 020 7978 4261
The Battersea branch of this popular British women's fashion boutique does a roaring trade kitting out the ladies of the area. The clothes are stylish and made of high-quality fabrics, and the handbags and shoes are particularly covetable. They also do brilliant sales a few times a year.Address: 75 Northcote Road, Battersea, London, SW11 6PJ Phone: 020 7228 1352
Restaurants in Battersea
As a Michelin-starred restaurant serving high-end French food, you could expect Chez Bruce to be a bit stuffy and intimidating. But despite having a reputation as one of the best restaurants in London, the place is still as friendly and simple as it was when it opened in 1995. The menu is full of high-quality French classics like cote de boeuf, and the extensive wine list includes some great English bottles.Address: 2 Bellevue Rd, Wandsworth Common, London SW17 7EG Phone: 020 8672 0114
Why dine in a regular, land-locked restaurant when you could enjoy a floating one? Battersea Barge is a restored 1930s Dutch boat with a past that includes transporting Hitler’s tanks during the Second World War, but now enjoys a much calmer occupation as a bar and bistro restaurant with regular music, comedy and cabaret nights. The deceptively large venue serves British classic and cocktails at very reasonable prices and can be rented out for events. Perhaps not one for the sea sick though!Address: Nine Elms Ln, London SW8 5BP Phone: 020 7498 0004
This relaxed restaurant is an unusual combination of eatery and butcher shop, meaning you can choose your meat before you dine. With a striped awning, welcoming interior and seasonal menu, it's not hard to see why this place is a local favourite. The menu largely caters to carnivores as you would imagine, but there are some good veggie and fish options too.Address: 39-41 Parkgate Rd, London SW11 4NP Phone: 020 7924 3999
Designed by a Cuban-American duo, this beautiful coffee shop is a modern and stylish addition to the Battersea food scene. Decorated in muted grey tones, the atmosphere is calm and relaxed, the food and cake homemade, and the coffee some of the best you'll find in South London.Address: 123 St John's Hill, Battersea, London SW11 1SZ Phone: 020 7228 6663
Bars in Battersea
The name says it all really - this is an incredible pub garden with a pub attached. Touted as the best beer garden in London, this unassuming spot in the scruffier side of Battersea has its very own Narnia, complete with live music and DJs. Plus, the food is Mediterranean-inspired and reasonably priced.Address: 231 Battersea Park Rd, London SW11 4LG Phone: 020 7622 4844
Take a trip to 1930s Paris without leaving London (or using a time machine) by popping into Le QuecumBar in Battersea. The Roaring 30s Left-Bank vibe is present throughout, with a good French wine menu and Gypsy Swing bands throughout the week. Sante!Address: 42-44 Battersea High St, London SW11 3HX Phone: 020 7787 2227
This Georgian gastropub is thought to be one of the best pubs in London, and for good reason. They have an amazing terrace that looks over the river, a great gastro menu, and on sunny weekends the BBQ even comes out to feed hungry patrons.Address: 41 Jews Row, London SW18 1TB Phone: 020 8870 9667
This Italian-themed bar and restaurant is owned by the people behind popular Chelsea jaunts Maggies and Barts, so the crowd is similarly young and affluent (and occasionally includes a few royals). Named after Silvio Berluscioni's infamous 'bunga bunga' parties, the place transforms at night from a casual pizzeria into a raucous club filled with Roman busts and vintage mopeds.Address: 37 Battersea Bridge Rd, Battersea, London SW11 3BA Phone: 020 7095 0360
Not to be confused with Covent Garden Market in Central London, the New Covent Garden Market is the largest fruit, vegetable and flow wholesale market in the UK. It's only open early in the morning though, so you'll have to postpone your weekend lie-in if you want to stock up on fruit and veg.Address: New Covent Garden Market, London SW8
A place where creativity can thrive, the Battersea Arts Centre puts on everything from drama productions, stand-up comedy, festivals and various types of events. You can even eat and drink at Snatch Bar, which was named Best Theatre Bar in 2014.
This stunning park is without a doubt one of the best things about living in Battersea. There are water fountains, sculptures, art exhibitions, antique fairs, a Peace Pagoda and even a children's zoo! There's no better place to wile away a weekend afternoon than in this park with a picnic.Address: London SW11 4NJ Phone: 020 8871 7530
If you're looking for a furry friend to adopt, there's no better place in London to come than Battersea Cats and Dogs Home. You can also just pop in to visit the animals if you can't quite commit to looking after a cat or a dog full time, and they have a good volunteer scheme too. Address: 4 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4AA Phone: 0843 509 4444