10 Best and Worst things about living in Clapham
By Sean Ford | June 17, 2014
One of South London’s better known areas, Clapham is a large and popular area in which to live. Whether you are a singleton looking for a lively social life and a quick commute to work, or a family looking for large houses, good schools and leisure activities, Clapham can offer all of the above and more. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the area, although to be honest, it’s been hard to find many cons!
If you like outdoor life then having the ubiquitous Common on your doorstep will be a huge bonus. Not only does it have a large network of paths for joggers and cyclists, it also hosts a variety of events throughout the year including one day festivals and football tournaments.
Transport into London
The busiest station in the country is alleged to be Clapham Junction, and despite it being on the actual fringes of Clapham itself, it is an indicator of the good transport links in the area. From Clapham Junction, the rail service into central London is fast and regular –around 35 trains an hour and a journey time of about 8 minutes into Waterloo. There are also a number of tube stations in the district offering a relatively quick service to other areas of the city.
If you like commute to the city by bike, then Clapham is a great choice as somewhere to live, thanks to the relatively new Cycle Superhighway CS7 that runs through the area. This offers a dedicated cycle space on the road, with a journey time of around 30 minutes into Westminster.
Like many areas of London, Clapham has a wide range of pubs, restaurants and clubs spread across the district. The area around Clapham High Street is particularly lively but there are plenty of other quieter spots if you are looking for a more relaxed evening out.
Looking at property in general, along with the rest of London, prices and rental values have been steadily increasing but if you look hard enough there are bargains to be hard. From the classic Georgian architecture of Clapham Old Town, to the rows of Victorian terraces, there are a huge range of properties in the area that will suit any prospective purchaser.
The council tax conundrum
There’s a cost of living quirk to living in Clapham that you can use to your advantage if you pick the right place to live. Clapham straddles two London boroughs so depending on where you live you might fall into the borough of Wandsworth with famously low council tax, or alternatively you might find yourself in Lambeth paying almost double than your Wandsworth neighbours. It’s well worth looking into where the boundary is if money is tight!
Given its proximity to central London and the fast transport links to the city, Clapham has become quite a popular place for so-called ‘City Boys’ to live. If you are not a fan of these young professionals, then you might want to think carefully before moving here!
Clapham was badly affected by the rioting that affected many areas of London in 2011. However, the residents of the district showed that they had a real sense of community spirit by coming together in the following days and working together to clear up the worst-affected areas. Pictures of the people of Clapham holding their brushes and brooms up in the air were widely shown on the news, and showed people that it is one of the areas of London where pride in one’s community prevails.
Shops and markets
Although the area is well served by the usual supermarkets and chain stores, there are also pockets of independent shops and markets scattered around Clapham. The Venn Street Market takes place every Saturday selling food, crafts and plants. There are also regular farmers markets held in the area and numerous delis, coffee shops and boutiques.
A lot of regeneration has taken place in Clapham in recent years. Most recently, a new leisure centre, library and community centre have been opened, offering residents excellent new resources and leisure space.