A guide to living in South West London
Located on the south side of the River Thames is the SW district of London. Home to some of the most exclusive and expensive residential addresses in the country and boasting some of the best shopping and leisure offerings in the capital, South West London is perfectly positioned between Central London and the Surrey countryside which offers residents the best of city living complemented by a suburban/rural retreat right on your doorstep.
Getting around South West London
Unless you enjoy being stuck in traffic on an almost constant basis and aren’t phased by the Congestion Charge, then the best way to get around this part of the world is by using public transport.
London buses run regularly throughout South West London and there’s a range of pre-pay passes that you can obtain to commute through the boroughs. But like their brethren, the car, the buses tend to get stick in the traffic too. For everyone else there is the Underground network.
The quickest and less stressful way of commuting to and from work is by Underground, or the tube as it is commonly known. There are a number of tube stations throughout the SW area that area served by the District and Piccadilly lines.
Eating, drinking and shopping in South West London
South West London is the home of ‘posh’ shopping. From Knightsbridge to Chelsea and the famous King’s Road you’ll find a range of excellent shops to satisfy your every need.
South of Hyde Park lies Knightsbridge, a place that revels in its reputation for being the most glamorous and chic shopping district in the capital, anchored by the perhaps the world’s most famous department store, Harrods. Harrods is a real shopper’s paradise offering six football pitch-sized floors. While the high end choice is further enhanced by anchor Harvey Nichols not too far away.
Kensington High Street is one of London ‘s most popular shopping streets, with a number of exclusive stores that rub shoulders with the usual array of familiar high street names. Or for a less congested shopping experience, take the tube to East Putney and you find Putney Exchange Shopping Centre – home to over 50 stores which particularly appeal to female shoppers on account of its bias towards ladies fashions and beauty stores.
Throughout the district there are a number of key shopping areas that may not have the same swanky reputation as the likes of Knightsbridge et al, but they are home to a number of traditional retail chains and independent shops, such as Streatham, Brixton, Vauxhall and Clapham.
London has not been immune to the regeneration that has been sweeping throughout the rest of the UK in recent years, with the capital undergoing something of a renaissance of its own – particularly of the culinary kind.
For fine dining options there is really only one place to go: Kensington and Chelsea. The Gordon Ramsay , close to Sloan Square tube station is an impressive restaurant with an equally handsome price tag to boot. And the Bibendum Oyster Bar on Fulham Road is equally as reputable as is Aquasia, at Chelsea Harbour . Elsewhere, King Street in Hammersmith and Clapham High Street in Clapham have a wider choice of restaurants that will appeal to most tastes and budgets.
Drinking establishments in SW quite literally cater for all tastes. Whether you are looking for a modern bar with all the trimmings and late-night license or a simple, traditional boozer that beckons you to while away a few hours reading the papers over a pint or two you will find it here.
The pick of the bunch include Sultan in Colliers Wood in SW19, a no-nonsense pub complete with scrubbed wooden furniture, Turkish-style carpets and a penchant for serving some of the best locally brewed ales from the Salisbury Hop Back Brewery. While the so-called Fulham-Chelsea-Parsons Green triangle boasts a number of good pubs and bars, none more popular than the White Horse in SW6 or the finer choice of establishment that is The Pig’s Ear in SW1.
And if you happen to be in the Westminster area, the Red Lion in SW1 has a good reputation and is a particular favourite with politicians – which can make for interesting conversation if you have one too many.
As the most visited city in the UK , it goes without saying that there are plenty of things to occupy you after a long week at work or study.
If you fancy being a tourist for the day, the attractions in the SW district are staggering. Trafalgar and Piccadilly Squares, Buckingham Palace , the London Eye, the Palace of Westminster and Parliament are the most obvious. And the districts’ cultural experience is extended by the likes of the iconic Tate Britain , Wandsworth Museum , Wimbledon Museum of Local History, the Hicks Gallery in Wimbledon and the Pump House Gallery at Battersea Power Station.
Despite being the most populated city in the UK, the SW district has one of the highest number of public and Royal parks to help you escape from the buzz of the city, including Richmond Park, the largest Royal park in London at 2,500-acres and almost three times as large as New York’s Central Park. And on a lesser scale is Clapham Common, while Battersea Park and Wimbledon Common are also good places for some much needed respite.
Sports fans will be in their element with the SW19 postcode being synonymous as the home of Wimbledon , the tennis capital of the world. Whereas Chelsea FC ply their trade at Stamford Bridge (SW6) and Fulham FC is just down the road (also SW6). But if you prefer to participate than spectate, the SW district has a plethora of sporting facilities, including 18 dedicated sports and leisure centres and more than 80 private health and fitness clubs.
Article found at www.monster.co.uk