Streets of London: Northcote Road, SW11
(click to enlarge) A Bollingbroke books B Kelly's Foods C Holy Drinker D Hamish Johnson E The HIve
Walk along Northcote Road today and there is a palpable sense of community. Alongside the ubiquitous chains – Waterstone’s, Starbucks and All Bar One, for example – there are real gems: the Bolingbroke Bookshop (No 155a; 020 7228 6850) has a loyal customer following; the Hive Honey Shop (No 93; 020 7924 6233) is one of London’s most unusual shops and people travel from far and wide to visit or take a beekeeping course; near the grey concrete bunker of a public library (No 155e; 020 8871 7469) are plenty of antiques shops as well as the eclectic Raspberry Beret (No 151; 020 7738 0977), which sells top-notch secondhand and vintage clothes.
Northcote Road is a gastronome’s delight, boasting a superb butcher, Dove (No 71; 020 7223 5191), the excellent Philglas & Swiggot wine merchant (No 21; 020 7924 4494), Hamish Johnson’s cheese shop (No 48; 020 7738 0741), Kelly’s Organic Foods (No 46; 020 7207 3967), Northcote Fisheries (No 14; 020 7978 4428) and the Lighthouse Bakery (No 64; 020 7228 4537). Of the numerous bars and restaurants, the Holy Drinker (No 59; 020 7801 0544) is a firm favourite with locals, as is family-friendly Boiled Egg & Soldiers (No 63; 020 7223 4894). Tony’s Northcote Café (No 74) is a genuine greasy spoon that’s graced the road for 18 years. Battersea Rise is also filled with shops, bars and restaurants, and leads to the grand houses on Clapham Common North Side – where Times founder John Walker lived from 1773 to 1783 – which have highly desirable views over the common.
Housing on Northcote Road and surrounding streets is predominantly Victorian terraces, roughly a 50-50 mix of houses and flat conversions. The houses are generally three-bedroom and occupied by families who tend to extend to create a fourth bedroom if needed so they can remain in the area. In other words, if you’re looking to buy in the area, you’ll have to be quick off the mark.
Due to the abundance of amenities and the easy commute into town, this is an excellent area for renting and there are plenty of flats available. Although most of the flats are Victorian conversions, there are purpose-built blocks springing up, and some mansion blocks along Nightingale Lane towards Clapham South. For something cheaper, look in the shabbier area to the north of the station where you’ll find a mix of Victorian housing and high-rise blocks.
Estate agentsAndrew Kent 99 Northcote Rd, SW11 (020 7223 0947). Cluttons 125 Northcote Rd, SW11 (020 7223 7574/www.cluttons.com). Green Locations 129 Northcote Rd, SW11 (020 7738 1538/www.greenlocations.com). Haart 125 Northcote Rd, SW11 (020 7228 6588/www.haart.co.uk).
TransportOverground trains run from Clapham Junction to Victoria and Waterloo, as well as to the West Country and the south coast. Silverlink serves West Brompton, Kensington Olympia and Willesden Junction. Bus routes include the 35 and 37 to Brixton, the 337 to Richmond and the 319 to Chelsea.
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