Living in Clapham


Fashionable Clapham is perennially popular with couples, young professionals and families, who love its green space, café culture and nightlife. For anyone considering living in Clapham, find out more in this area guide.

History of the area

Clapham “has for many years, been one of the most respectable [villages] in the environs of the metropolis”, wrote the Topographical Dictionary of England in 1848. Grand country houses surrounded Clapham Common in the 17th and 18th centuries, as the rich and famous discovered its rural charms. Samuel Pepys lived there for a while, as did the widow of Captain James Cook and the composer Edvard Grieg. The place had such a feelgood factor that when a major railway station was built in neighbouring Battersea in the late 19th century – too far away to be considered part of Clapham – it was called Clapham Junction anyway, just to capitalise on Clapham’s allure.  

With the dawn of the railways Clapham became a busy commuter suburb. Its wealthier residents did not think much of this and left. Many of their impressive houses were demolished, but enough beautiful period buildings remain to make Clapham a jewel in the south London crown. Grafton Square in Clapham Old Town, with its rows of Victorian white stucco terraces, is one of the most sought-after addresses in SE4.

Clapham High Street is on the route of a Roman road. A Roman monumental stone, dated to the 1st century AD and discovered in 1912, stands in the garden of the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham. 

The property market

House prices in Clapham are higher than the London average. Prices have risen sharply over the last few years, as the area’s desirability continues to rise.

New build homes

Thornton Park is a mixed-use development of 294 apartments currently under construction on the south side of the Common near to Lambeth College. 90 affordable apartments will be available. Another recently completed new build development is The Residence, a Grade II listed building and new build block just off Clapham High Street. 29 luxury apartments are offered with prices starting at £563,000.

First time buyers

First time buyers on a budget won’t find Clapham an easy place to get on the property ladder, but there are Help to Buy properties available on the former Clapham Park Estate, which is currently being regenerated and refurbished, with construction of some new properties on the site.

Renting in the area

Young professionals have long flocked to Clapham. The going rent for an average 1-bed flat is between £1700-1900 per month.  

Schools and education

Clapham has a number of well regarded schools, including Lambeth Academy on Elms Road, a secondary rated ‘good’ by Ofsted. Primary schools with ‘outstanding’ Ofsted ratings include Iqra Primary, a Muslim faith school on Park Hill, and St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary on Crescent Lane. Lambeth College is located on Clapham Common South Side, offering a wide range of vocational courses, training and apprenticeships.

Transport links

Clapham is surely the best served area south of the river for tube connections. There are three Northern Line stations – Clapham South, Clapham Common and Clapham North – and while it does get crowded at rush hour, commuters could change at (or walk to) Stockwell for the less hectic Victoria Line. Pick up the No. 88 bus from the Common into central London. Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road overground station have regular services for Canary Wharf and the City.

Lifestyle and leisure

People love living in Clapham because while it has a relaxed vibe, there are still plenty of things to do.

Places to eat and drink

There are some great pubs in Clapham, from the Abbeville on Abbeville Road to The Rose & Crown in the Old Town. Meat Liquor on Northcote Road serves fantastic burgers alongside a great range of beers, while more discerning foodies might want to try the Michelin-starred Trinity, or Megan’s in the Pavement for bottomless brunch.

Where to shop

Clapham is a real indie shopping treat. You will find boutique delis, bakers, butchers and independent bookshops in Northcote Road and the Pavement in the Old Town; the High Street is home to chains and branches of Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

Things to do

The 220 acre Common is the beating heart of Clapham. It has football and cricket pitches, a touch rugby club, running clubs, a skatepark, the oldest bandstand in London, even a Quidditch club. From the Park Runs on Saturday mornings to the free music events in the summer months, Clapham Common is one of London’s most active public parks. Clapham Picturehouse in Venn Street screens arthouse, mainstream and classic films, and the Omnibus Theatre stages groundbreaking new theatre productions, comedy and cabaret.

Felicity J Lord can help you buy, sell or rent in Clapham

If you like what you hear about living in Clapham, we can help you buy, sell or rent in the Clapham area. Get in touch with the friendly team at our Clapham branch and they will be happy to help.