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London’s South West developed from a series of small towns and villages which, with the advent of the railways, became increasingly linked to the centre of the developing metropolis. During the 20th century the area became increasingly popular with London commuters seeking leafy retreats where families could flourish away from the urban centre.
South West London boasts many historical sites, parks, commons and leisure facilities as well as plenty of schools, shopping and entertainment centres. Many of the old town centres retain a distinct character, and provide comfortable, convenient living for adults and children alike.
Richmond is steeped in history and was once the site of a royal palace where Elizabeth 1 spent her final days. Richmond Green is one of London’s most elegant open spaces and is next to the few remaining ruins of the palace. Favoured by fashionable London society, the Green boasts an array of fine Georgian houses, as does Richmond Hill, where the far-reaching views of the Thames have been captured by generations of artists including Sir Joshua Reynold and J.M.W. Turner.
Besides its rich history, Richmond boasts a great selection of shops, restaurants and excellent schools. For time outdoors, enjoy riverside walks and Richmond Park, the largest of London’s Royal Parks and home to a herd of wild deer and two 18-hole golf courses.
Kew is next door to Richmond and shares its neighbour’s amenities. It is also home to Kew Gardens, a UNESCO world heritage site covering some 500 acres with a stunning collection of plant species from around the world. Nearby Chiswick is another lovely part of South West London, with plenty of attractions including Chiswick House and Gardens and London’s oldest brewery.
Following the Thames from Chiswick you come to refined Barnes, home to the London Wetland Centre, then to Putney, a popular spot for young professionals thanks to excellent transport links, and established families too. Across the river lie bustling Hammersmith and Fulham, with chic Chelsea next doors.
Another notable area is Wimbledon, just east Richmond Park. World-famous for the Tennis Championship, the town’s other attractions include the woodlands, heaths and playing fields of Wimbledon Common.
To the west of Richmond lie the residential areas of Twickenham and Hampton, before coming to Kingston upon Thames which has a thriving commercial centre and sits over the Thames from Hampton Court Palace and the expanses of Hampton Court Park and Bushy Park. South West London is certainly not short of outdoor space!
The London Underground network extends as far as Richmond and Wimbledon, with routes running into the central area through Putney, Chelsea, Clapham and Battersea. Overground rail links are fast and efficient, and connect all areas beyond the reach of the tube network to Central London.
The bus network gives further options on routes which criss-cross the area, and taxis and hire cars are readily available. Driving in South West London is manageable, and as long as you have parking available at your home, a car can provide an easy way of getting around (but beware of congestion charging in Central London).
It’s easy to get from South West London on to the motorway network, with the M3 and M4 leading to all routes west, and to the M25 London orbital motorway for access to routes for all other parts of the country.
Getting to London’s two major airports is also simple. Heathrow is just off the M4 to the west, and Gatwick is off the M23. Both airports are also easily accessible by rail or bus from Central London.
A weekend trip to Richmond or Wimbledon gives you a taste of elegant living in a fashionable London suburb. Each has plenty of local attractions including theatres, restaurants and pubs, and also leaves you in easy reach of the city centre. To find out how a longer stay in South West London would feel, a weekend away in the area provides an excellent introduction to what to expect from living here.
We offer a wide range of serviced apartments in the area, and a weekend in a home from home here would be an excellent break for couples, families and larger groups.
Families love South West London for the excellent range of schools for all ages, and further education colleges and universities. A lot of the accommodation here is designed for families, and you are never too far from expansive parks or playgrounds and playing fields. There is no shortage of opportunities for an energetic run around of game of football.
With so many families here, there are plenty of opportunities for visiting youngsters to find friends, and share in the many family-friendly attractions on offer. Restaurants and cafés in the area are generally very welcoming to children, and of course there is a familiar roster of burgers and pizzas to keep everyone happy. The shopping areas are full of opportunities to spend your hard-earned cash on treats and presents, as well as on everyday essentials.
Sports fans can find top class football at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge and Fulham’s Craven Cottage. Tennis doesn’t come much better than the Wimbledon Championship, and for rugby fans there is always the chance to watch international or club games in Twickenham.
With all the sights and attractions of the city centre in easy reach, family trips to the West End, theatre land and historic landmarks are very manageable. With a comfortable place to come back to, your family will be happy that you have picked South West London for your stay.
South West London covers many areas, with a range of different attractions in each. We recommend that you make a list of priorities for your stay. For example, families will generally be keen to ensure that the choice of nearby schools suits their children, whatever their age. Busy working people will need to check the journey to their workplace, and exercise enthusiasts will want to check the options for walking, running or cycling from home.
When you move to a new area, it is always important to get a feel for the place you are going to live. What’s it like at rush-hour? Is it noisy at night? Does it feel safe? The best way to answer these and many other questions is to spend time there, which is why a short trip can always be time well spent.
At The Apartment Network, we can give you help and advice on where to choose and to talk you through the options. Our aim will be to find accommodation where you have the best of all worlds, and where everyone in your family or group will be delighted to stay. Feel free to call, email or use instant chat to contact us today to see if we can help you with apartment options.
Kew Gardens (or to give it its full name, The Royal Botanic Gardens) is full of interest for visitors of all ages. The gardens extend to 500 acres with beautiful woodlands as well as a tranquil Japanese garden, an interactive children’s garden and displays of carnivorous plants. There is a thrilling tree-line walkway to explore, and even a newly restored pagoda to climb up for wonderful views of London. With plenty of places to enjoy something to eat or a drink, it’s a great day out.
A wander around Richmond Park also offers far-reaching views to the west of London, and the chance to mingle with the park’s deer herd. You may only be few miles from central London, but the sense of space and the hilly landscape makes you feel much further away.
Wimbledon Village is a charming spot on Wimbledon Hill. It’s a great spot for boutique shopping and a tasty lunch, which you can walk off with a stroll around Wimbledon Common. If you are lucky enough to have tickets for the Wimbledon tennis tournament you can head down the hill to the All England Club, but even if you don’t have match tickets you can still get a taste of the special atmosphere with a trip to the shop and museum at any time of year.
One of the London areas most treasured destinations is Hampton Court Palace, which is just beyond Kingston upon Thames, and straightforward to get to by public transport or car. Dating back to Tudor times, the Palace and grounds bring Tudor times to life, as well as later periods of royal history.
You are never far from a great meal in South West London. The choices are many, with prices to suit every budget and the cuisine of all parts of the world represented on every High Street. As well as all the restaurants, you will find an array of pubs, many dating back to Victorian times or earlier which are full of atmosphere and increasingly offering first-class food. Café culture is also alive and well here, and you will never be short of an opportunity to put your feet up with a hot drink and some light bites.
Major events in the calendar centre on sport, with Premier League football at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge throughout the football season and tennis at Wimbledon running for a fortnight from June into July. The huge Twickenham stadium hosts international and other matches throughout the year, and visitors can also enjoy stadium tours.
Both Wimbledon and Richmond have well-supported theatres with programmes featuring everything from Shakespeare plays to Christmas pantos and other shows specially for children. You can always take in a film at any of South West London’s many cinemas, and watch the latest blockbusters in complete comfort.