Welcome to Balham
Balham’s south London location isn’t just boosted by its proximity to three of the capital’s commons. Row after row of Victorian and Edwardian period properties pair with excellent schooling and community hubs to make an ideal location for young families. Couples and professionals will of course benefit from the transport links that come with living in Balham, but the markets, restaurants and bars round out the amenities and make it a solid rival to nearby neighbourhoods.
Did you know?
Outstanding outdoor facilities
Balham is close to three green spaces: Clapham Common, Wandsworth Common and Tooting Bec Common, home to the largest lido in the UK.
Grammy award-winner Adele attended the popular Chestnut Grove School. Screen star Margaret Rutherford was born in Balham.
Brilliant transport links
Oxford Circus is just 20 minutes away on the Northern line. Heathrow is just under an hour by car.
With Victoria train station 10 minutes away from Wandsworth Common, day trips to Brighton and the South Coast become increasingly tempting. In the area itself? You’ll find sought after residential spots that include waterside developments and a buzzing bar scene.
Wandsworth Common and its surrounding streets has become a sought-after area for young families. Parents keen to take advantage of the good local schooling, such as the Ofsted-rated Outstanding Holy Ghost Catholic Primary School, have flocked to the area, earning Wandsworth Common the ‘Nappy Valley’ moniker. However, the area shouldn’t be judged on this alone; the scene has been set for cosy brunch spots, alfresco terraces and rustic restaurants to welcome the weekend crowd with open arms. Independent businesses are bolstered by big name supermarkets, ensuring you can always pick up the essentials, alongside more unique purchases. Though there’s rarely the need travel into wider London, excellent transport links go beyond the services of Wandsworth Common train station. Bus connections are excellent, making areas such as Sloane Square or Wimbledon easily accessible.
The area’s station provides a quick route to central London via the Northern line, and there are great bus links to Brixton and beyond too. There’s no need to leave the neighbourhood if you’re looking for things to do, though. Sitting south of Clapham Common, green spaces are within easy reach.
Life in Clapham South revolves around the common. Excellent access to the city via the Northern Line helps, but there’s little reason to stray. Families love Clapham South for the sense of community and excellent schooling. Notable schools for little ones include Henry Cavendish Primary School and Bonneville Primary. For older children, Lambeth Academy is well regarded, and Emanuel Independent School provides private education. In summer, the common comes alive with sports, picnics and annual festivals. Year round, Clapham South’s independent restaurants cater for a diverse crowd.
The best of Balham: things to do
You’ll always eat well in Balham. Pubs here are renowned for their Sunday roasts, but smaller plates can be found for an after-work bite. Mid-week? It has to be Italian. And the weekend brunches come with great coffee.
When it comes to pubs in Balham, The Bedford manages to tread the finest of lines between gastropub go-to and a traditional Sunday roast stalwart. The fact it serves a pleasingly on-trend menu, along with regular live music and comedy acts, elevates it a notch further.
Ciullosteria is a small slice of Italy tucked away on Balham High Road. The recipes and surroundings are authentic, the prices tailor-made for a mid-week meal and the seasonal produce keeps the menu fresh. Crisp, thin pizzas are the real hit here, although the homemade pasta dishes should not be overlooked.
This Balham sushi spot may be small, but it more than delivers on flavour. In keeping with its petite size, The Umi’s menu favours the Izakaya branch of Japanese cooking: small plates steeped in flavour and style that please the eye as well as the tastebuds.
Balham locals are spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs and bars. Craft ales and locally sourced ciders are crowd pleasers, yet swish cocktails do crop up in the most unlikely places.
Balham Bowls Club
Ramsden Road’s bowling club is still a community hub, albeit one that now offers a very different pastime. Reminders of the venue’s sporting past adorn the walls but gone are the days of the bowls crowd, now replaced by a committed locale that knows its locally brewed beers. The place in Balham to relish a top-class ale.
Lost & Found
The cocktail menu at Lost & Found may be short on the classics, but that’s all part of the charm of this small, but lively, bar on Bedford Hill. The bar’s quirky mixology pairs nicely with its sourdough pizzas. Don’t miss the chance to order a bespoke cocktail from the skilled bartenders.
This modern bar is always well worth a visit. Equally as good for post-work drinks, a long Sunday lunch or an alfresco small-batch gin, the drinks menu is a reassuring mix of artisan distilleries combined with high quality imports. Be sure to make the most of the terrace - perfect for watching Balham life pass by.
Weekends in Balham have always been entertainment-filled and lively. Drop in on a legendary comedy night, catch a live music gig or see a big screen hit from a plush sofa, all without even leaving the neighbourhood.
This unassuming cabaret room at The Bedford pub has been hosting weekend comedy shows for 37 years. Known as the spot that launched the careers of Eddie Izzard and Mark Thomas, Banana Cabaret is the place to catch the next big name in comedy. Don’t miss the annual Balham Comedy Festival.
Balham’s independent cinema offers the chance to see movies in style. Plump sofas in the boutique cinema set the scene for big screen genres that range from arthouse niche to feel-good musicals you can sing along to. The ‘Ginema’ screenings, which pair the classics with a G&T, are always a hit.
Hagen & Hyde
Located on Balham High Street, Hagen & Hyde brings entertainment to Balham every weekend with live music and DJ sets. Tanqueray gin cocktails and real ales shore up the drinks menu, with hearty burgers always proving popular. For something a little quieter, the Monday night quiz sees teams battle it out over brainteasers.
If you like to keep active, Balham’s green spaces come with plenty of options. A swim in the Tooting Bec Lido might be seasonal, but an art class from a resident artist goes ahead whatever the weather.
Balham Farmers Market
Every Saturday, the grounds of Henry Cavendish Primary School fill with stalls selling seasonal produce. Organic vegetables nicely balance out the host of treats on offer. Vendors bring fish, game, caviar, honey and artisan products for Balham’s residents to browse.
Tooting Bec Common
This south London common may be blessed with oaks and grassland, but the tennis courts and historic spots round it out to a fully-fledged destination. Head to the lake for birdwatching, jog along a tree avenue planted in the 1600s or picnic in the grasslands to get away from it all.
Head to Gallery Midnight to find Balham artist Johny Midnight busily painting at his easel. His prints of local London life are colourful depictions of the capital, but it’s his art classes that give Balham residents of all ages the chance to paint everything from abstract to landscapes.
Property in Balham
Residents are drawn to Balham for its streets of Victorian and Edwardian properties, which make for a gorgeous family home or a spacious, characterful base for professional sharers. Homes in what is locally known as Abbeville Village, the streets of Victorian properties surrounding Abbeville Road, always go at a premium. Anywhere ‘Between the Commons’ is also considered a prime Balham location, as residents get to enjoy more than their fair share of green space on their doorstep.
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Renters are drawn to Balham for its beautiful period properties, lively foodie scene and plethora of green space. Excellent connections make it a popular choice with young professionals, while parents enjoy the prospects of brilliant schooling and a ready-made community of families to join. Families who rent in Balham are often very familiar with the area, and tend to rent while waiting for the perfect forever home to pop up in the right catchment area.
Avg. sales price for one-bedroom property
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The premium properties in Balham tend to be around Rodenhurst Road, Elms Road, the Nightingale Triangle and the Heaver Estate Conservation area. Four-bedroom homes close to Clapham South Underground station are perennially popular with families looking to school their children in the area, while two-bedroom garden flats in period conversions are always snapped up quickly by young professionals or couples who want the benefits of Balham without compromising on proximity to central London life.
Marsh & Parsons in the Balham community
We don’t just sell and let property in London; we’re Londoners too. Engaging with our local communities is at the heart of Marsh & Parsons’ ethos and we have supported local organisations, schools, charities, businesses and community groups over the years.
Supporting Telferscot Primary School
We are proud to work with schools across London; in Clapham, we are partnered with Macaulay Primary School. We support three of the school’s events across the year.Find out more
Supporting local businesses
In our ‘What Matters: South London’ video, we interview a beautician, an ice cream shop owner, a physiotherapist and a Pilates teacher about the areas in which they work, the south London community and what they love about the city. These interviews provide a snapshot of what it’s like to live and work here- and will hopefully give Londoners and visitors alike a local recommendation for their next shopping trip or meal out.Find out more