Living in Wandsworth


Lovely parks, riverside walks, great cafés and restaurants: it is no surprise that Wandsworth is popular. Once a hard sell to new buyers from outside the area, it has definitely undergone a makeover during the last 20 years or so and now has real pulling power with young families and City workers. Find out more in our Wandsworth area guide.

History of the area

Wandsworth town was historically an area of heavy industry. The River Wandle runs through the town centre and is a significant tributary of the Thames. At one time the river was the location of numerous mills and factories, and in 1805 was described as the ‘hardest worked river for its size in the world’. It was later known as the site for power stations and gas works.  

The Wandsworth area has been a refuge for immigrants and those seeking sanctuary since medieval times. Perhaps attracted by the promise of work, Dutch metalworkers and French Huguenots settled there in large numbers in the 16th and 17th centuries, fleeing persecution as Protestants in their own countries. More recently it has become home to a large Eastern European community.

Living in Wandsworth once did not have the cachet that it does now, although it has always had some very highly regarded streets.

The property market

Wandsworth’s stock has risen substantially in recent years, thanks in part to the regeneration to clear and convert the old industrial sites. However, living in Wandsworth is still cheaper than many other areas of London. You will be paying less than the London average, but some of Wandsworth’s best residential areas (especially in the ‘Toast Rack’ near the Common) command prices on a par with other West London hotspots.

New build homes

There are a number of recent developments in and around Wandsworth, especially near the Thames and brownfield sites. The 27-storey Mapleton Crescent offers 53 1-bed apartments within a 15-minute walk of Wandsworth Town station. Ram Quarter has transformed the site of the grade II listed Ram brewery building in the High Street, providing over 650 apartments and creating a riverside walk along a section of the River Wandle. The development includes cafés, shops, restaurants and a cinema

First time buyers

Shared ownership of 1-bed flats in Wandsworth is available for not much more than £100,000, and there is some provision for first time buyers on modest budgets in the new builds, such as Mapleton Crescent.

Renting in the area

Wandsworth Council is building 1,000 new homes to rent for people who live or work in the borough, and there are three times as many properties to rent as there are to buy.

Schools and education

The schools in Wandsworth are well regarded. State primary schools rated ‘good’ in their latest Ofsted report include Allfarthing Primary in St Ann’s Crescent and West Hill Primary. Primary state schools with ‘outstanding’ ratings include Earlsfield Primary. Southfields Academy in Merton Road is a state secondary school rated ‘good’.

Transport links

Wandsworth town has three overground stations – Earlsfield, Wandsworth Town and Wandsworth Common. Trains from Earlsfield and Wandsworth Town get to Waterloo in around 15 minutes, and Wandsworth Common connects to Victoria in 12 minutes. Many commuters choose the more scenic route to work via the Thames Clipper service, which reach the Embankment in 39 minutes and Canary Wharf in just under an hour. Boats leave from the Riverside Quarter Pier.

Lifestyle and leisure

Places to eat and drink

The traditional London boozer lives, breathes and sups in Wandsworth! The Ram is an atmospheric old pub adjoining the Ram Quarter, and used to be the brewery tap for the former Young’s brewery. The Shipyard is a bustling gastropub with terraced seating on the banks of the Thames near Wandsworth Bridge. Chez Bruce on Bellevue Road is a Michelin-star restaurant which Gordon Ramsey has praised (and who used to work at its previous incarnation, Harveys). Try Roxie in Earlsfield for great steaks and the Hallowed Belly in Garratt Lane for brunch.

Where to shop

Southside shopping centre is the main mall in Wandsworth, with branches of Waitrose, H&M, Decathlon and Waterstone’s. There is also all the usual fast food restaurants and a 14-screen Cineworld. If you’re looking for a more village feel to your shopping experience, the Old York Road in the ‘Tonsleys’ is a delightful part of town. You could be forgiven for having stepped into Notting Hill, with its independent cafés, butchers, bakers and restaurants. A large part of Old York Road is pedestrianised and there is a burgeoning café culture here.

Things to do

On a warm sunny day Wandsworth Common is a perfect place for a picnic, a stroll or a bike ride. The Common has public access tennis courts, and fishing is permitted with a licence from the ponds and a lake. Wandsworth Park is right by the river and Putt in the Park is its miniature golf course, always popular with families. For something a bit more strenuous, the Font near Garratt Lane is a climbing centre where you can try out the sport or develop your climbing skills. Or take a tour of the Sambrook’s Brewery Heritage Centre in the former Ram Brewery – where they have been brewing beer since 1533.

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

If you like what you’ve read about Wandsworth, we can help you buy, sell or rent there. Get in touch with the friendly team at our Wandsworth branch and they will be happy to help.