The man with a van’s guide to South London
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Well if London in general is a mixed bag of desirability then South (‘Sarf’ in the local vernacular) London really is a mixed bag. You run the gamut from the multi-million pound flats of Fulham (SW6), Putney (SW15) and Battersea (SW11); the film-set prettiness of Wimbledon (SW19) and Dulwich (SE21) to some of the most deprived, dirty, poverty, crime and gang ridden areas of the Uk (and indeed Europe). All within really quite a small area.
Let’s start in South-West London and work East. Fulham (SW6) is a great place although, as ever for London, quite mixed, running from somewhat grim estates near the A4 to the upper class enclave of Parson’s Green. Fulham in general though is pleasant and popular with young professionals and families. This theme is continued across the river in Putney (SW15) and Wandsworth (SW18) which are pleasant, leafy, green areas. Battersea (SW11), like Fulham is extremely mixed running from multi-million pound flats across the river from Chelsea to some fairly grim estates next to Wandsworth. Clapham (SW4) is a lovely place though keep in mind it borders Brixton. Things get slightly rougher as you head through Balham (SW12) and Streatham (SW16) although these areas have been improved immeasurably in the last ten years or so and are now, in general, quite pleasant. Continuing South we arrive at Tooting (SW17). I quite like Tooting. It’s an Asian enclave in quite a waspy area; it’s somewhat down at heel compared to nearby Clapham but lively and colourful – above all with great food!
Wimbledon (SW19) is, depending on your point of view, what London living should be. It’s a lovely, leafy green place with a small villagey feel. It’s a bit like a postcard of what you’d imagine England to be if you’d never lived here before (although pricey as a result). Merton (SW19) and Earlsfield (SW18) are a bit more down at heel than Wimbledon, Putney (SW15) and Clapham (SW4) but nice enough all the same. This theme continues along a corridor through to Dulwich (SE21) which, like Wimbledon, is one of the prettier parts of London.
South-East London is definitely one of my favourite parts of London and, if I was in the market, probably one of the places in which I’d look to buy. These areas: Crystal Palace (SE19), Penge, Anerley (SW20), Norwood (SE25) and Sydenham (SE26) are down to earth, leafy green and pleasant places.
Dulwich (SE21) is a lovely place – very green and villagey although maybe a little bit too twee for some people. For the younger, less well-heeled I would recommend East Dulwich (SE22).
Well, we’ve covered some of the nice parts of South London, now we go North to the (some would say) less desirable parts.
Long the butt of London jokes, notorious in the public imagination as a centre for guns, gangs and general dodginess, Peckham is actually an oasis of civic harmony, bleeding-edge modern architecture and progressive community relations. Hahaha. Ok seriously. The above (the bit about general dodginess, guns and gangs, NOT the other bit) is all true. There are many gangs here. Shooting incidents are depressingly frequent. BUT, if you are not involved with gangs, guns, narcotics, car theft, joy-riding, etc. IF you have reasonable street smarts and are not inclined to wondering the streets at 3am pissed off your arse with your ipod in full view and turned to maximum volume… It can be ok. There are plenty of normal people that live here. Ditto Brixton (SW9) and New Cross (SE14) – places of similarly rough reputations.
On the subject of roughness, Bermondsey (SE16), Elephant and Castle (SE17), Tulse Hill (SE27), Lambeth (SE11) and areas of Lewisham are considered um, rough. (This is not a complete list).
As you go East, I would say that Greenwich is somewhat of an oasis between New Cross and Woolwich with lots of new and interesting developments and a beautiful (if touristy) centre. Woolwich and Thamesmead are quite deprived areas.
South London areas and postcodes covered by Man and Van South London service:
South West London
SW1 Westminster, Belgravia, Pimlico, Victoria. SW2 Brixton, Streatham Hill. sw3 Chelsea, Brompton Road. SW4 Clapham, SW5 Earl£s Court. SW6 Fulham, Parson£s Green. SW7 South Kensington.
SW8 South Lambeth, Nine Elms. SW9 Stockwell, Brixton. SW10 West Brompton, World£s End. SW11 Battersea man and van, Clapham Junction. SW12 Balham. SW13 Barnes, Castelnau. SW14 Mortlake, East Sheen. SW15 Putney, Roehampton. SW16 Streatham, Norbury. SW17 Tooting. SW18 Wandsworth man and van, Earlsfield. SW19 Wimbledon, Merton. SW20 South Wimbledon, Raynes Park.
South East London
SE1 Southwark & Bermondsey. SE2 Abbey Wood. SE3 Blackheath, Westcombe Park. SE4 Brockley, Crofton Park, Honor Oak Park. SE5 Camberwell. SE6 Catford, Hither Green, Bellingham. SE7 Charlton. SE8 Deptford. SE9 Eltham, Mottingham. SE10 Greenwich man and van. SE11 Lambeth. SE12 Lee, Grove Park. SE13 Lewisham, Hither Green. SE14 New Cross, New Cross Gate. SE15 Peckham, Nunhead. SE16 Rotherhithe. SE17 Walworth, Elephant & Castle. SE19 Upper Norwood, Crystal Palace. SE20 Penge, Anerley,SE21 Dulwich. SE22 East Dulwich. SE23 Forest Hill. SE24 Herne Hill. SE25 South Norwood. SE26 Sydenham. SE27 West Norwood,Tulse Hill.