For a long time, many of South London’s neighbourhoods had something of a bad name, but this part of the capital has been heavily regenerated in recent years, and now has something for all backgrounds and budgets. It’s got transport links to write home about, with central big-hitters such as London Bridge and Victoria within easy reach, plus Gatwick Airport nearby. And thanks to its good connections and recent makeovers, it’s blossomed to become the capital’s residential destination du jour.
The heavy investment has resulted in a new wave of contemporary property developments and workspaces, with an influx of creative agencies and tech start-ups setting up shop. Cue a young, professional crowd.
South London regenerations
Croydon has seen one of the biggest transformations in the past few years. This once rough-around-the-edges district has welcomed countless new apartment buildings, has a brand-new Westfield mall in the works, and is home to street food mecca Boxpark. This giant shipping container holds a market with a brilliant soundtrack and an impressive list of cuisines, and follows hot on the heels of its Shoreditch original. Head here for everything from delicate French desserts to Vietnamese specialities.
Nightlife in South London
South London majors in quirky after-dark spots. Croydon is packed with night-time haunts, such as entrepreneur favourite, Matthew’s Yard 9 to 5. By day, this is a business centre but by night it transforms into a gallery and theatre.
In Lambeth, some of London’s most famous bar and music scenes can be found, courtesy of the pubs, clubs and cocktail bars in nightlife titans like Clapham and Brixton. Meanwhile, try the South Lambeth riverside for authentic boozers serving up quality ale and Sunday roasts.
South London’s family friendly hubs
At the other end of the South London spectrum, there are gems like Sutton to be explored, which sits on the lower slopes of the sprawling North Downs. Families are drawn by the immaculate (and somewhat affordable) Edwardian homes and highly rated schools. Several parks occupy the area, too. Nonsuch is one of the best, with acres of space to picnic and play, leafy woodland walks and an 18th-century mansion. Manor Park is another – this one’s got a café for coffee and ice-cream stops.
Similarly, developers have cottoned on to the charms of Epsom, a pretty Surrey market town enveloped by countryside, just a 40-minute direct train ride from London’s Waterloo, and 45 minutes from Victoria.
Possibly South London’s biggest selling point is its something-for-all credentials. Its postcodes are eclectic, vibrant and home to all walks of life. Make a home here, and you can discover the capital in all its forms.