When the American Embassy announced it was moving to a new location in Nine Elms in 2008, it marked a new era for the somewhat forgotten area of Battersea, found just south of the river. Since the announcement, the area has undergone a swathe of re-development and new investment, with a series of luxury waterfront residential developments springing up and a commitment to improve the transport links, it is now very much being billed as the place to be.
Although once overlooked, there are many reasons why Battersea is such a popular residential area with those looking for a home in south-west London. It's not just iconic landmarks such as Battersea Power Station – itself now scheduled to be re-vamped into a series of luxury apartments and Battersea Dogs' and Cats' Home that are found here. The area also benefits from both good local facilities and easy travel into central London.
Nestled between Lambeth, Streatham, Camberwell and Clapham, Battersea was originally an agricultural area, becoming increasingly industrialised during the late 18th century. Today, whilst many of the factories no longer exist, the area's industrial heritage sits alongside more modern features such as bars and restaurants.
Residential accommodation here is mixed spanning from traditional Victorian houses and purpose built blocks, and most recently the arrival of luxury river-side serviced apartments, such as Albion Riverside, whose residents can enjoy views across to Chelsea Embankment and Vauxhall.
Commuting is straightforward, with journey times from Clapham Junction to Waterloo, Victoria and Gatwick taking 10 minutes, 7 minutes and 25 minutes respectively. Planned extensions to the London Underground services are underway – with new stations earmarked at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station – to extend the Northern line services from Kennington, on the Charing Cross line. Battersea also boasts its own helipad, for those who wish to arrive in style.
Keeping busy in Battersea is easy as the area offers access to excellent leisure facilities. Battersea Park has sporting facilities that include tennis courts, football pitches, a running track, a boating lake and a small zoo. Clapham Common and Wandsworth Common are also within easy reach and residents are in close proximity to the attractions of central of London.
At the hub of Battersea is Northcote Road, with its mix of independent shops, restaurants, bars and street market. The majestic Clapham Grand can be found on St John's Hill, with its mixture of club, comedy and event nights. The Battersea Arts Centre on Lavender Hill also has regular events taking place throughout the year, including theatre productions and workshops.
Battersea's sense of community can be seen in events such as the annual Santa Run, due to take place on the 1st of December. Supporting the charity Homestart, the 5 km run in festive clothing starts in Wandsworth Park. For those who can’t wait until then, the park hosts other regular attractions, such as the Antiques and Textiles Fair which is set to run between the 1st and 6th of October.