Such variety is what makes the location special. Independent delis mix with ethnic supermarkets, fast-food outlets, gastropubs and upmarket cafes, while boutique fashion retailers stand next to large chains and second-hand shops.
British middle-class families (attracted by larger homes and a community feel) live side-by-side with antipodean visitors, Hispanic students and a thriving Afro-Caribbean population. Visit Roti Joupa on Clapham High Street for a taste of the Caribbean.
Young professionals are enticed by the bars and nightlife – it’s notorious as a place they move to after uni.
Fraser Allen, from Featherstone Leigh estate agents on Lavender Hill, is a big fan of the area’s diversity. “The cross-section gives the area a great atmosphere,” he says. “Those who rent in Clapham often choose
to buy here.”
It’s no wonder. Clapham has a village-like atmosphere, but is in no way small or isolated. Three northern line Tube stations – Clapham North, Clapham Common and Clapham South – get you to central London quickly, while overground and rail services from Clapham Junction go to Waterloo, Westfield, East London and Victoria.
You can also escape the city and catch a train to Guildford, the south coast or Gatwick Airport if you’re going further afield.
Aside from hanging out on Clapham Common, there are loads of ways to keep entertained. The Sun in the Old Town (thesunclapham.co.uk) serves up tasty grub and has a patio with palm trees, plenty of seating and heaters for when there’s a nip in the air. The Plough (theploughstjohnshill.co.uk) has a wide selection of wines and beers and plenty of room inside.
Considered a cultural landmark, the Clapham Picturehouse, with its eclectic mix of arthouse and mainstream cinema,
is definitely worth a visit.
For a night out, there are plenty of notorious meat-markets such as the Clapham Grand (claphamgrand.com) or Infernos (infernos.co.uk). For something a bit classier, hit Lavender Hill and Northcote Road. Try the slightly cramped but quirkily decorated Bar Social (barsocial.co.uk).
Locals are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out. A favourite with those in the know is the modestly named Amazing Thai on Lavender Hill, where you’ll also find loads of tapas bars and Italian, Mexican and British restaurants to choose from.
Properties to rent are a mix of Victorian conversions, ex-council flats and luxury and affordable new developments The most popular spots are the streets around Clapham High Street or Northcote Road, with their buzzing vibe and good transport links.
And there are bargains to be had in the streets north of Lavender Hill.
So whether you’re after a cheap and cheery flatshare or something a bit more swanky, Clapham’s got you covered.